What happens if you take a woman of Indian descent, who speaks American-accented English and Taiwanese-accented Mandarin, and ask her to travel, WildChina style, for one month?
You get a lot of confused looks—that’s for sure!
Who am I? My name is Anita, and I was born and raised in Taiwan. I am currently based in Washington, DC, where I will work with WildChina’s founder, Mei, to oversee the company’s marketing and sales efforts in the U.S.
Much of my previous work experience in the U.S. has focused around China in some way, whether it was interning for a former U.S. ambassador to China, writing articles for a business news web site about China or bringing U.S. university officials to China and other parts of Asia to recruit students. Most recently, I completed a Master’s degree in Asian Studies, focused on….you guessed it: China.
Where am I going? After one week of training at WildChina’s Beijing office, I am embarking on a month of travel to experience our services and familiarize myself with China. My stops will include Xi’an, Guiyang and Guilin and will likely also include journeys in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces (click here to see a map of China).
How was Beijing? After a hectic week of training sessions and meetings (and tasty meals, of course), I spent the weekend visiting the lovely Temple of Heaven on my own and experiencing the vastness of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City with my colleague Paul. Finally making it to those sights after all these years was a real dream come true.
And, yet, it was my trip to Jinshan Park that, in some ways, proved most memorable. The park is directly north of the Forbidden City and is well-known for offering a beautiful bird’s eye view of Beijing. What I didn’t expect, however, was a park resounding with music. From one man engaging in makeshift karaoke via his laptop to small groups of musicians jamming in their corners, the park was so full of life.
At one pavilion, we encountered a large group chorus belting out old revolutionary-style songs, while in another section, we stumbled upon couples practicing their ballroom dancing moves. One elderly gentleman I spoke with told me how much he enjoyed Bollywood musicals, while another asked me to dance…in Spanish, no less.
It’s like Madonna once sang: “Music/makes the people/come together.” Yes, I just quoted Madonna in a blog post about China…