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Archive for the 'Australia' Category

Well, this is just a quick post to let you all know that we're back safe and sound in Shenzhen. There weren't really any mishaps as far as travel goes, unless you count our schedule having less than an hour between alighting in Sydney and then boarding. Our plane to Sydney was slightly delayed due to fog at Melbourne airport, so the lass who checked us in at Adelaide used her nouse in an admirable way and simply checked us into a second flight from Sydney to Hong Kong that afternoon. So apart from killing 4 hours in Sydney International airport (housing only 2 food shops), we were fine. 

We had the privilege of flying in an A330 Airbus, which had an admirable amount of legroom and the joy of only being about 50% full. We were spoiled by individual movie screens where movies could be played on demand. I chalked up a movie record consisting of Meet the Robinsons, a film made genuinely for kids with much less adult focus than is usual these days but was nonetheless most enjoyable; Being Jane, which, to avid Austen fan, seemed a bit too modern especially in the area of attitudes and actions; and Driving Lessons, starring Rupert Grint, Julie Walters and Laura Linney, which I thoroughly enjoyed on the basis of character development, intertextualty, good acting and the fact that all loose ends were tied up (a little too neatly, if it must be admitted). It was nice to really enjoy a well-written, thoughtful and non-blockbustery film. I anticipate schools will make it a core film text in months to come. Ok, it has a fair bit of swearing from one lady, but that itself is unimaginative and I didn't feel it distracted from the film's ideas. It was also quite funny, which is not surprising given Julie Walters was involved, and her own personal history is interesting given the role she played. 

But there were mishaps with the 2kg of honey we brought. Somehow about 500g of it went awry, we suspect due to de-pressurising of the containers. They were packed in plastic bags, of course, but not sealed completely, so there was honey through clothes, paper notebooks, DVDs and the travel case, both on top of and under the plastic lining of it. We managed to salvage a good half of both 1kg containers, but will know for next time that it doesn't travel well in the original plastic tubs. )  

So after everything, we got home safely and went to bed 3:15am Adelaide time, after a 4.45am start. And are skypeable again. )  

Back in the land of…

Qantas tail

Gail & I are back in the land of clean air, a land free from over-crowding, a land where the roads are wide and the cars are few, a land where you can hear the birds, a land where you can even hear your own breath. We are home…

Right now is the Chinese New Year festival. It is estimated that 300 million Chinese will travel within China during this holiday week, back to their family villages throughout China. Today (Saturday) nearly half a million Chinese are expected to cross the Luo Hu border in Shenzhen between Hong Kong and China alone. It’s a terrible time to be a tourist in China. So what will Gail & I be doing for the next 2 weeks? Chilling out in Australia, that’s what.

Good ‘ole OZ

As I write this we’re just 15 minutes for heading off to return to Australia. Yay! We’re going direct to Perth for Warwick & Kiah’s wedding. After that, Gail returns to HK whereas I have a 5 day detour in Adelaide. We’re both quite excited.

A flying visit, but a visit back home none the less.

On Sunday I wound up back in Shekou in the same spot that Gail & I were in on Saturday. This was to catch up with a couple of other expats who were from Brisbane and were working in more northern areas of China. We met at McCawley’s Irish pub where the food is bad but they had Guiness on tap.

Shekou area

These guys work for a Brisbane-based Landscaping business. Their reason for coming and working in China is that they eventually want to take their business national within Australia. Huh? Shouldn’t that be the other way around? They explained. They’re working in a sister city to Brisbane providing landscaping services. They can’t compete on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the locals in China yet they still have a tidy business, but that’s not the real reason. They’ve done it because they’re receiving tremendous Australian government support for taking their business international. It’s political. This support comes both at a state and federal level. This government assistance and promotion has brought their business national recognition within Australia for striking out into China. In the near future when they go national within Australia they will have credibility that, in theory, will give them a firm foundation brought about through brand recognition and international status, and consequently a faster ramp-up time. Interesting…

One of the guys was asked to speak at a “Doing business in China” conference earlier this year. He started by explaining the nature of Chinese business meetings and opened his presentation in the following way:

“OK, now I all want you to take out your mobiles. Yes, that’s it. You know who you are. Now I want you to make sure they’re all switched on. Oh, and while you’re at it, please make sure that the volume is set to maximum and the ring tone is on some ridiculous polyphonic attempt at a jingle. Please feel free to answer your mobile at any time during this presentation. Please don’t feel any shame in talking on the phone very loudly, even if I’m making a very critical point, and certainly don’t excuse yourself from your table. Next, any smokers here? Now would be a good time for you all to light up…”

I was in stitches. It’s so true!

Old Adelaide town

After nearly 24 hours of travelling we’re finally home again in Adelaide. I can’t tell you just how good it feels to smell the clean air and be surrounded by Aussies once again. I remember being concerned at how polluted the Sydney air was when we left Australia. That same polluted air has never smelled sweeter than it did when we disembarked this morning. The relaxation and relief of being home again is very tangible. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

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