Monday, October 15, 2012


After reviewing through the 9 days in Tianjin and Beijing, I am proud to say that I have learned a lot from the trip, not just studies but also morals of life.

Before I went to China, I had heard many rumors about China, about the food, the restrooms, the people there, mostly bad.
The food. Even though it may not be suited to everyone's liking, it was still edible. Many were complaining about the food, how terrible it was. For me, because I grew up in an environment that fed me with plain dishes, the food in China was more distinguished. Most were salty, which I did not really touched, but I never did complain. The chefs who prepared the food were so used to the locals preferences so I personally felt that it was rather harsh to criticize their cooking. And it was very nice of our tour guide to inform the chefs to reduce the salt contents for all our remaining days in China. Once again, I would like to thank her for making us feel welcome in her country.
The restrooms. Well, it may be true that the quality of restrooms were not like our houses, no grade A standard. Maybe because I had visited the restrooms in Tibet, I rather much preferred the restroom in Tianjin and Beijing. These 2 places were considered more developed already. The restrooms might not be clean, but it was the same as the restrooms at the coffee shops in Singapore. In Singapore, if the restrooms did not come with a price for using it, the quality would pretty much be comparable.
The people. China is a big country with a large population. I am not surprised to see the people pushing their way around, or talking at a louder volume. To me, it was all part of being in a big country. If I were in their shoes, I might have done the same. As a citizen, simple things like waiting for the restrooms were already a competition to them. To them, they really had to compete to survive. The population in Singapore is peanut-sized compared to them, yet in Singapore, we are already competing for better education, better jobs, better quality of life. What about them?

The company visits were all very interesting in their own styles. Even though certain companies were slightly drier, probably due to the nature of business, it was overall still a very good learning experiences. Some companies were not of our interest, but I could tell they were all doing their best to make their presentations more understandable for us. Companies like PwC and Tianjin Port Holdings Pte Ltd had done a fantastic job welcoming us. In the case of PwC, even though it was a presentation, their style of presentations were slightly different. In most companies, we were simply treated as students. But the speakers of PwC talked to us like we were future employees of PwC, they shared with us their experiences, the fun times and we could see their passion for PwC. And through it all, they never failed to empower us with knowledge of their company and their country. Tianjin Port Holding Pte Ltd had also made an effort to entertain us even though they were very busy with their work. They even arranged to bring us to the Tianjin Port to have a better understanding of a port. The speaker of Tianjin Port treated us like we were partners of the company, and was doing his best to pass on as much knowledge to us as possible. These 2 companies had really done an exemplary job equipping us with the relevant knowledge.
When we first knew that companies like Coca Cola, or the banks did not fulfill their 'promises', there was a commotion going on in the bus. Many were enraged at the companies, especially the groups that had to prepare for the respective companies. I do not blame them, since they would have to redo their projects, but I thought maybe we all could have been a little more understanding. I was talking to Ms Karen one night as to why there were lesser riot reports as compared to Thailand. China is an autocratic country, but the citizens do not seem to rebel. Social medias like Facebook were banned but I have never seem teenagers going on strike. In the case of Singapore, I believe there would be a major riot should the government decide to ban Facebook.  Ms Karen replied saying that the citizens knew that they were being "controlled" but it was all due to the size of the country. It is not easy to manage a country that is as big, so the people would have to adhere to the rules and laws of the country. To me, it made sense. To watch over my 2 siblings were already a very tough task, what more a country. After all, in life, we can never please everyone, so we should just stick with an action that would be the best for the majority.

All in all, this 9 days have thought me valuable lessons, about China, about Singapore, and about myself. I believe many have brought back something with them which would shape them to be a better person.

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