There is nothing like new adventures to keep you going. This is what staying young means to me. Right now, I am writing from my hotel room in Beijing. I arrived here on Sunday after a 20 hours journey. This is my first trip to Asia.
I am here to visit my colleagues and for now, I have only commuted from the hotel room to the office (a whooping five minutes walk).
At this point, I don't know how much I am going to blog about this experience but I thought that I would celebrate my arrival by listing my first impressions.
I am due for a post anyway.
- Nothing beats face to face time with colleagues on the other side of the world. You can get so much accomplished and you plan so much more effectively. Phones are really a poor substitute for real human contact.
- The food is excellent and Chinese food has nothing to do with the stuff (I'd rather not use the word crap) that you usually find in North America or Europe. The lamb is exquisite and so is the duck. The beer is great. Of course, you also have dishes that North Americans consider more exotic such as pork lungs, pork stomach or donkey. This is not that unusual in Europe.
- I am glad that I have started to practice using chop sticks eight months ago. It saved a lot of frustration.
- It takes about one hour to negotiate for a new room with an Internet connection that actually work. As one of my colleague puts it, since the hotel is named E-House and is located in a Software Park north of downtown Beijing, you would expect a decent Internet connection.
- Like anywhere else in the world, Windows Vista is frown upon.
- The jet lag is not so bad once you realize that flying from Calgary to Beijing is similar to flying from Paris to Los Angeles.
- It is fun to be ahead of Europe (time wise) for a change. Family, and friends don't usually expect a phone call from me in the morning (Europe time).
- I need to polish my Mandarin. For some reasons, I have trouble communicating.
- Thanks the FSM for Internet.
- Having lived in Europe and North American means that I am not as surprised as my North American colleagues with the cultural differences.
- You are not going to escape snow by flying around the world. At least here, the temperature is above freezing
I will be doing the touristy things on week-ends — I am here for three weeks — and I will post some photos.