The People of Myanmar (Burma)

The relentless sun shimmering on gold temples, the inevitable dust and sand at the end of the dry season, the difficulty of coping in a language so foreign to me that even after a week, I can’t easily remember simple phrases – these are the impressions I have taken away from Myanmar. Continue reading

Hong Kong: Foodie Heaven

Food markets abound in Hong Kong.

Food markets abound in Hong Kong.

It’s a wonder to me that every Hong Kong citizen isn’t obese. Eyeing the streetscape before me, it rapidly becomes obvious that the people of Hong Kong really like to eat. They also really like to shop. Restaurants and clothing stores – two necessary and inextricably linked services (more food, larger clothes) – vie for number one spot on the ubiquity scale. Continue reading

The Business of Feng Shui

Winner TMAC Best Business Travel Feature, 2012.

Cultural adaptation can take many forms and for consultants working in different cultures, being aware of cultural norms – and taboos – can be invaluable. Feng Shui is one example.Feng-Shui

In the centre of Hong Kong, on arguably some of the most expensive real estate in the world, stands a small, 10-storey parking garage. The only other low building in the vicinity is the old colonial governor’s mansion. This handsome building, fronted by a large, busy open square, remains untouched, a testimony to history. Continue reading

Two Roads to China

climbing the wall sA Chinese woman strokes my face with a delicate finger and says something. I glance curiously at my guide. “She says she thinks you are beautiful,” says Hong, our guide. We smile and I say, “Xie xie,” thank you. But a moment later the connection is lost as the crowds of people, all anxious to see the Forbidden City, push us apart.

There are two roads by which to approach China, a vast country with a dauntingly large population. One could stay aloof from the teeming throng surging along the avenues and pressing around everywhere one goes. Or one can embrace the experience of simply being in a country where being alone for long is not an option. Continue reading