Day 0 – March 19th, 2015
A few years back when me and my family had moved to Canada, I met a friend on my first day at school. We instantly had a connection because when she asked me where the Registrar’s office was, I had no idea! Haha. We were both on the same boat I suppose. Anyway, after our funny little conversation about moving into a new school, she asked me where I’m from. I should first tell you that this is a common question that people ask if you especially live in Toronto. I told her I’m from the exotic, mysterious land of India.
She was rather shocked by the vivid imagery I painted on the harsh realities of the country.
I asked her if she was from the Asia-Pacific region and she told me she’s from Liaoning province of the People’s Republic of China. I was a bit too excited to learn about China’s heritage and it’s history. When I began researching on the Internet, the first thing that popped up was The Great Wall of China.
That’s when I learnt that Beijing (Peking), like the Great Wall was mightier than ever. It was not only the political centre of China, but also the most strategically built.With an average of ~10% GDP annual growth over the last 30 years, it ranks #1 in purchasing power parity globally and #2 in global nominal GDP rankings.
Along with its population of ~21 million, the Peking Duck roast is a favourite in every household. Not to forget that McDonald’s is the city’s most favourite fast food restaurant. You know they say that Heaven is a place on Earth? Well, did you know that you can find heavenly peace at Tiananmen Square? Or at the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, The Summer Palace,.. wait. “Oh man, I need to visit this country”, I thought.
Let’s fast forward a bit to 2015. Have you heard of crazy AIESECers? Hello, nice to meet you. I’m one of them. I will save my “AIESEC story” for now. Instead, take a look at the beautiful quotes below. It perfectly describes my experience so far.
So anyway, I was recently given a wonderful opportunity to become one of four Global Ambassadors. The project is aimed at building stronger relations to increase the impact that we make in our Global Talent program. And guess what? I’m going to China! Who knew that I would be offered a chance to visit China?! After 2 weeks of preparation, I am sitting at the airport now bitting my nails and having my last cup of Tim Horton’s dark roast coffee.
I am sure that I won’t be missing this. Oh did I mention that I’ll be landing in Beijing in 16.5 hours? Yep. That’s right. The National VP for Incoming Exchange in China, Matthew Feng and the National VP for Outgoing Exchange in Canada, Tamara Hombrebueno were kind enough to guide me through the whole process. I have also been in touch with another crazy AIESECer in China. We have some massive plans to build this partnership. Watch out for crazier stories to come. Until then, jing qing guanzhou… (I can’t speak Mandarin).