Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Travelling in China

I am away from CQUniversity at the moment on holiday in China. I travelled to China a lot when I was a DVC International but I have never been here on holiday. When you travel with work you tend to see the airport, the hotel and maybe one or two Universities. Anita has never been to China so it is great to be here doing all the touristy "stuff" with her.

We have had a good look round Shanghai which must be one of the most futuristic cities in the world. It is like a scene out of one of those old sci-fi movies from the sixties. On the other hand there are still some very traditional sights. There still seems to be many bicycles on the road. The city is very safe and very clean. Yesterday we walked for miles around Shanghai. This was a bit much even for someone of my extreme fitness.

Today we went to the world expo (pictured). Not the greatest experience of my life. Don't get me wrong the national buildings were nothing short of spectacular. However half of the Chinese population decided to turn up there today - and that's a lot of people. Most of them joined queues for the pavilions we wanted to see. The queue for the China pavilion was 7 hours! It was 6 hours for the German one!

We walked for miles around the site. During this time I was yet again left to reflect on the fact that women seem to buy shoes for what they look like rather than for comfort. Anita's feet got covered in blisters - I rather graciously let her have my socks which helped. This is maybe the first time in recorded history that a pair of my worn socks had been good for anything. When we got back to the hotel however, I found it is almost impossible to remove a pair of RM Williams boots which have been walked in for hours in 45 degrees of heat when you have not worn socks. I now have a pair of boots lined with human skin.

I am writing this in a hotel lobby drinking coke which is about 10 times the cost of the same drink in the local shop across the road. The price is however worth it to sit in the air conditioning. It really is very hot and humid here.

We are catching a train this evening which will take us to Beijing. This will be a 15 hour trip. We have a sleeper so that should be fun. We will get a chance to see a bit of the countryside tomorrow morning before we arrive in the capital at about mid day.

This is an interesting time to be away from the University. When I booked the time off in the new year it looked like a two week window when there wouldn't be much going on. As it turns out we have the dual sector negotiations with the State Government, the compact documentation to write for the federal government, the AUQA visit to prepare for and the SAF bid to write. I know that Professor Kyd will be doing a great job as acting VC but it is a difficult time to be away (or on reflection a good time!). As you can imagine I am checking emails each day.

It is also an interesting time politically in Oz and I am a little sorry to be missing out on the "goings on" back home. This is an important time for us at the moment so I hope we get a government that understands the importance of Regional Universities and CQUniversity in particular. I am keeping up to date on the TV and web.

China is a great country to visit. I would recommend it to everyone. The people are friendly and there is so much history and culture learn about. With that in mind I think I will order a Chinese beer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's touching from your writing for me as a Chinese migrant and former CQU Staff. Missing CQU and students.