Hi, my name is Colin and I’m an Sydney-holic. I’ve lived in Sydney for over 10 years and I love everything about it. I love the city, I love the culture, I love the people, I love the weather, I love the food, I love the lifestyle, I love the sport, I love the nightlife; I love everything about it.
If I could design a city that is different in almost every possible way to Sydney, at least in perception, I don’t think I could do much better than Beijing. But as I sit here, in Beijing, nearly a week to the day I hopped on a plane to the Middle Kingdom, I can’t help but reflect, smile and think about how much this city is growing on me.
As a Finance graduate from the University of Sydney, there’s nothing I heard more about than China. Everyday I’d hear this about BRICS economies, that about how much US debt was held by China and on and on and on about the rapid growth and growing influence of China in the big wide world of imaginary, electronic money. For the first time in my life though, I listened to what I was taught.
I decided to go on an adventure; I was going to do a Finance internship in Beijing.
I was placed with the Beijing branch of Forex Signs, a research and trading company specializing in foreign exchange. It’s been an exciting few days, I’ve been thrown in at the deep end and am learning more about strategies and markets than I ever did in my studies. It’s going to be a great 2 months and I can’t wait to tell you about all my successes (I guess you’ll see my failures in the newspaper if I fail spectacularly).
Since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re either anticipating or deciding on participating in CRCC Asia’s program. Before I tell you about what my fellow interns and I have been up to, let me just tell you something about Beijing that you don’t read about in the Lonely Planets or hear about on the Travel Channel.
Beijing is vibrant, exciting and every bit as cosmopolitan as New York and London but if you can’t speak Chinese, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” As a young person, there’s no greater experience than coming here with intelligent, charismatic, committed and sociable people, keen to get experience as interns in a foreign country. It’s better than a tour group and it’s better than a holiday.
So get over here already. If you’re worried about the pollution, I hear they make some very fashionable face masks. You won’t look like Lady Gaga at all.
Colin’s Phrase of the Week:
Nǐ yào xià chē
Do you want to get off?
One of the externalities of having China’s population is that no matter how efficient your metro system is, and Beijing’s trains are all else, on time, it’s going to be crowded. I don’t want to alarm you but your country’s definition of crowded does not even come close to Beijing’s. So this phrase is probably the one that I’ve found the most useful in my time here. It’s the easiest way to get your fellow passengers to turn and give you that extra inch of space you need to squirm your way into to the train exit.
Thanks for reading and feel free to email with any questions, queries, comments or feedback. In my next post, I’m going to talk a bit about my trip to the Forbidden City and a Western spin on a very, very Chinese activity.