Stone City

China’s Westernmost Town

I sat on a large stone waiting. In the pre-dawn hour the air was cold and crisp. Below me on one side were the green grasslands and above me to the other side was a large snow caped mountain range. It was an ideal place for them to have built the city, whose ruins I sat among. It was so early that no one was there and I had the place to myself. I was there to take sun rise photos in the ruins of the “Stone City” in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, Xinjiang Province, People’s Republic of China. This is China’s westernmost town and it was the last stop on my 8 day tour of the ancient Silk Road.
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Duty

Recently I read Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary by War by Robert Gates who, from 2006 to 2011 was U.S. Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush and then under President Obama. The book is primarily about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and insights from someone at such a high level in the U.S. government as Mr. Gates was fascinating. However, his insights on leadership and managing conflict are what I found most interesting and what this blog is about.
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Red Tie

Red Tie

Living in China I often ask myself “how can I be successful here”? I have come to the conclusion that to successfully live abroad one must listen, learn and adapt to the culture in which one currently lives. It takes continuous time, effort and attention to detail. Sometimes cultural difference can be found in the smallest of things. I experienced this yesterday with regard to the color of my tie.
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Half Marathon Experience

This past Sunday I took part in the Hong Kong half marathon. This was my first half marathon and I had been training for almost 5 months. My goal was simply to finish the race so I was very pleased that I finished in two hours and twenty nine minutes.
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Yoga and Meditation Experience

This past week I had an amazing experience at a yoga retreat in the southern Thailand island of Koh Samui. Over the years I have visited Thailand many times and I always enjoy my visits. The scenery is beautiful, the food is tasty and the Thai people are amazing. On top of all of this I got to practice yoga and meditation for a week in a beautiful resort.
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Beijing Bookstore Discovery

Learning any language is a journey and like all journeys there are milestones that represent progress.  On my journey to be fluent in Mandarin I feel that I have reached a milestone, the time has come for me to start reading books with Chinese characters.  As of the date of this blog, I know about 400 Chinese characters, but to be considered literate one must to know at least 1,000 characters.

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Sino-American California Summit

Recently I attended a presentation given by a Chinese government official regarding interpreting the Summit in California between President Obama and President Xi.  Normally I try to avoid making comments about politics in general but the presentation I attended gave such fascinating insights, from the Chinese perspective, that I felt compelled to write this blog.

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Kantar World Audiences Summit 2013 – Day Two

One of the things I liked the most about the Kantar Media World Audiences Summit is that each Kantar office is asked to invite one of their clients to join the conference.  This made for a very informative and interactive experience because there was a unique opportunity to listen and learn from Kantar Media clients from around the world, in addition to Kantar Media internal colleagues.

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Kantar World Audiences Summit 2013 – Day One

Kantar Media is one of the largest and most trusted global research companies.  They are the joint venture company of the company I work for, CSM Media Research, and I was invited to attend their annual conference that was held in Barcelona, Spain.  Delegates have come from all over the Kantar Media world and the insights presented have been a great learning experience.

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expatriate-globe

Why the term Expat?

For many years I have resided outside my county of origin and for that I am called an Expatriate or Expat for short.  I have always wondered why this term is used because most of the Expats I know, including myself, are very patriotic.

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