Opinion / From the Readers

Wish we were coming with you!

By Brian Salter ( Updated: 2012-11-01 13:49

Wish we were coming with you!

They say that travel broadens the mind; and I can certainly vouch for this. I’ve been lucky enough to work in many parts of the world, including America, across Europe, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and – for the past 14 months – in Beijing.

Each country has its ups and downs, of course, but without a doubt the most fascinating country I have worked in so far is China.

Every day is an adventure – no two days are ever the same. Whether it is discovering one of Beijing’s 150-odd museums (of which I have already been to over 30), or enjoying a day out in Shenzhen’s Window of the World, cringing at the China House in Tianjin (surely this takes the crown for being the building “decorated” in the worst possible taste across the entire country albeit that the city is one of my favourites), or enjoying all that Hong Kong or Macao has to offer, there is, as they say, “something for everyone”.

Yes, I find learning the language extremely difficult – yet it’s amazing how far you can get with an electronic dictionary, numerous hand gestures … and a smile – for the Chinese must be one of the most hospitable people I have ever come across.

When I was at school we learned nothing about China at all, let alone Asia as a whole – but finally things in the west are changing as China’s rise to dominance seems unstoppable. People are sitting up and taking notice. Suddenly China is in the news, not once a month or so, but quite regularly.

When I told my family I was going to work in Saudi Arabia a decade ago, they looked at me awestruck. “What on earth do you want to go there for,” I was asked.

When I told them I was moving to China just over a year ago, the reaction was entirely different. “Wow! So lucky! Wish we were coming with you!”

I guess that in itself says a lot!

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