Friday, August 27, 2010


Mr. William Baker of Mahon Investments showed an interesting insight about the differences between how people from two different parts of the world behave. To name a few, westerners are more direct to the point as compared to people from the east. Easterners tend to “dance around” before telling what the matter is. Westerners like to go to tanning salon while easterns like to be fair, they use umbrella to protect their skin from getting dark. Westerners are on a first name basis with their boss, Easterners address their supervisor as Sir or Ma’am. And the list goes on…

I’ve been here in the states for over six years and I often asked myself, where do I belong now? Am I one of those who call the westerns the “rich and the damned” as one of my friends who worked at a call center back home told me? Or am I one of the snobs who dreaded going to the third world countries in the East? Or will I choose to see the beauty of both worlds, the magnificent Great Wall from the East and Grand Canyon from the West, the uniqueness of each culture, the variety of food- the delicious mushroom soup and the Peking duck from the east and the steaks with mashed potato on the side from the west, the richness of the arts – the kung-fu show and the Broadway musical? Don’t these equally magnificent things make life more exciting? They do, at least to me, and the visit we had in China makes it even better. The idea of globalization excites me! Will there be a day that the words east and west just pertain to direction? Nothing more nothing less!
And yet another personal note, I had a good time in China. I was able to hike the Great Wall (only in ChinaJ), ran around the Forbidden City (many thanks to Rich!), sang on a karaoke (even though I was warned by my Dad not to sing), got to know my classmates better, and had a soothing foot massage!!! Hopefully next time when I go back it will be a business trip and/or if not, I will be able to at least stop by to Philippines! So till next time. Also, I want to thank our professors, Paul and Janet, Don, Tara, Grace and Isabel for this wonderful experience. zai jian!

1 comment:

ABH said...

I'm not Blog savvy. Instead of creating my post, I'll just post as a comment.
The trip all started as most travels do: A few cocktails at the airport bar, waiting in a long line to board a plane that has assigned seating (what is the rush?), the smell of stale cabin air, the squeak of the worn-out seats as you slid by your neighbor eyeing him/her for proper grooming habits, the itch of the cheap “fleece” blankets and airline-issued pillows, and the heaviness of my eyelids before slipping off into never-never land. Though I am happy to report that I did not drool on myself, I am fairly certain that I alarmed several of my classmates with my deep, deep slumber. As we were herded off the flight like Angus cattle, the wheels in my head began to turn. With my feet back on solid ground, my bladder reminded me that I have obligations to uphold or accidents can happen. After tracking down the universal circle head, triangle body, stick leg figured sign, my body thanked me. As we trekked off towards the bus with luggage in tow, we stepped out of the airport doors. The low rumble of the bags over the grooved side walks let my mind wander as we took our first collective breath of smoggy, thick air. This wasn’t your average trip, pause for a sweat droplet to roll down the forehead, we were in China!
So that was my first and, regrettably, only journal entry from China. Though I had all the intention in the world to write at least one blurb a night, life, or maybe it was the Tsingtao, got in the way of my plans.
After bargaining for postcards, silk comforters, designer chopsticks, leather belts, precious pearls, jade jewelry and fabulous knock-off handbags in the market I made the most of my international shopping spree. As Chris mentioned, when someone asks “where did you get that?” I will calmly boast that I picked it up while I was in China. Though timid by the aggressive sales-folk at first, by then end of the trip I think they were the ones waiving the white flag. I can play your game too! Some may say that the “hey pretty lady I give you great price… best price” ploy got the best of me, I would have to say that I am grateful to have picked up these precious wonders forever reminding me of our exciting experience.
It’s been difficult since we’ve arrived home. I can’t seem to wrap my head around paying $30 for a pedicure. It should cost about $10 and include a hot tea, a 20 min massage and a facial. I was disappointed after an unsuccessful attempt to bicker the price down (or at least get a few “extras”). It was then that the harsh reality hit me. We were back in the states!
Since being back, I have adopted (no pun intended) some China-esk activities into my daily life. Jade bangle left wrist to ward off the musth, check, connoisseur of tea and looking like a magician as the jasmine blooms, check, squeezing my car into places it doesn’t belong (think B&Q), check, and counting to ten on my fingers using the Eastern method, check. My latest mission: never settle for a “no” answer. I’m working on it, but my fiancĂ© isn’t keen on the idea and feels the operation should be aborted if I want to continue on as a happy couple. We’ll see :)
Though beer with every meal has not yet become a U.S. daily ritual as it was in China, I think that once classes start back up I may have to adjust my habits accordingly. If anyone asks, just assure them that I’m health conscious- you can be too trusting of a good water source. As a side bar (as if this whole entry isn’t), I was informed after we got back that Tsingtao has an annual celebration. If only we had our trip were pushed back a month, we could have been foam-mustached at the Qingdao International Beer Festival
Rich: who needs the 6am run when you can work out your flexor carpi radialis all afternoon? Lactic acid, bring it on!
Interesting how life can change so quickly. One day you’re on a trip with complete strangers in China, and then the next you’re looking forward to a Hou Hai reunion.