Two weeks ago I came back from China. I spend two and a half weeks in Wenzhou and Xiamen for IALA World-Wide Academy. We have a long and good cooperation with China Maritime Safety Organisation (MSA). The Dean of the Academy and I lectured during the Level 1 Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Manager course and after that we delivered a Risk Management Training Seminar at Jimei University in Xiamen.
It’s just great to work with China for such events. China MSA is a world leader with it’s very professional AtoN Manager training. They have a dedicated Aton training institute, unique in its kind. But not only to work, also to have fun, China is fantastic. All, the events beside the work programme, are organised with great care.
At first, I felt a little pressure as every minute was scheduled with visits, lunches and dinners. After we finished the work, if lucky, we had 5 minutes to get ready for an organised tour and dinner. I got aware that it was better to just lean back and go with the flow.
All was so well organised and the people we met were very amusing company. I could really relax a bit although it was still business people we met.
If you want to organise a good party, do it in China with Chinese people and it can be great fun. The food is amazingly good.
I only missed a traditional European breakfast and good coffee. Breakfast, lunch and dinners are all a bit the same style food in China. The first days I had a headache every morning. My system just missed the caffeine shot. I was lucky to have a Starbucks around the corner in Xiamen. It’s very popular with young Chinese people.
The most strange food I had the year before in Cambodia. I call it UFO’s: Unidentified Fried Objects. This was identified…. as tarantula! I tried to eat one leg but although fried it had still hear on it. I just did not manage to eat this.
I would really want to go back to this country for a vacation. The only difficulty would be the language. We constantly had translators with us but I noticed that in public life only few people speak a bit English.
At a certain moment some local people delivered presentations supported by translators. Another person took the floor to give a presentation and I asked his assistant why the translator did not continue. She informed me it was not necessary as the presentation was in English. I apologized by saying that my understanding of English was not so good…