After thirteen years in China I am back in the USA. Yesterday I went to the doctor and there was good news: my blood pressure was one twenty over seventy two. For your reference, here is a chart provided by the American Heart Association. My doctor also recommended cholesterol and diabetes mellitus screening.
When the blood tests came back there was more good news. Sort of. It seems my cholesterol levels are low to normal, but my blood sugar is considered “pre-diabetic.” Must have been that carrot cake I had for breakfast.
For a man crossing the threshold of retirement I consider this to be a relatively good checkup. Such was not the case in 2004 when I boarded a plane bound for Shanghai. I can say with some degree of certainty that my turnaround in health probably has more than a little to do with my diet during those thirteen years.
Here then is a link to a post I wrote a few years back!
Greg Bernarda is a thinker, creator and facilitator who supports individuals, teams and organizations with strategy and innovation. He works with inspired leaders to (re)design a future which employees, customers, and communities can recognize as their own. His projects have been with the likes of Colgate, Volkswagen, Harvard Business School and Capgemini. Greg is a frequent speaker; he is a co-author of Value Proposition Design (Wiley, 2014); he co-founded a series of events on sustainability in Beijing; and is an advisor at Utopies in Paris. Prior to that, he was at the World Economic Forum for eight years setting up initiatives for members to address global issues. (more…)
I’ve been living and working in China for nearly ten years – eight of those in Guangzhou. I’m always a bit bemused, however, by the mystified reactions from former classmates, friends and even family when I tell them where I live.
Historically, this area has been known as Canton, which probably accounts for some of the confusion. However, there really is no excuse for not being more informed. After all, the Guangzhou agglomeration is the world’s second largest*. Only the Tokyo agglomeration is larger.
What’s an agglomeration? It’s easier to describe than define. The Guangzhou agglomeration has a population of some 32,300,000 people. This area includes the Northern Pearl River Delta, Dongguan, Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan. The Tokyo agglomeration** has an estimated population of 34,900,000.
I just finished watching a movie called She’s Out of My League. In the movie a guy who is a 5 or a 6 gets the girl who is a 10. Do you think this is possible? I consider myself to be a 5, but if I shower and stuff I could probably be a 6.5 or possibly a 7. The problem is I always go for 10’s. What’s your advice?
Loveless in Lake Wobegon
Dude, it’s a movie! However, you might want to read the following article…
How to Find a Chinese Bride
Be serious. Chinese women do not like players either. Their culture is intensely marriage and family oriented.
Step 2 Be stable. You don’t have to be rich (although it helps), but most Chinese women want to know if you own a house…
I usually order a tall brewed coffee at my neighborhood Starbucks. It’s the cheapest drink on the menu. Today, in honor of the holiday season, I’ve ordered a nutmeg latte. While I wait for my beverage, I hum along with the Muzak. “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” Although it never snows in Guangzhou, I could just as easily be standing in line in downtown Seattle.
Coffee and Christmas have come to China in a big way. My nutmeg latte, incidentally, costs 32 RMB which is about $5.25 at current exchange rates. Make that coffee, Christmas and capitalism. In my neighborhood alone I can choose from a half dozen coffee shops. And Christmas decorations – don’t get me started! I have a snapshot of workers erecting a Merry Christmas sign above the entry to our local mall. It’s dated October 25th, six days before Halloween and exactly two whole months before Christmas. Of course, Christmas is not a government holiday so there is no time off from work. But that does not seem to impede the commercial possibilities.
For me, Christmas is about traditions – family, friends, food and festivities- and, of course, there is the religious tradition as well. The first four traditions can be found in abundance during Chinese Spring Festival, which falls on January 31st, 2014. Religious tradition can also be found in China, although in lesser amounts.
My first year in China (2004) I attended a Chinese Catholic mass with a colleague on a cold Christmas Eve. We were in Jiangxi Province at the time; in a city that had a rather scarce supply of lao wai (foreigners). Our plan was to slip quietly into the back row, listen for a while and then slip out as quietly as we came in. That was our plan.
Our plan changed dramatically, however, when the priest glanced up from his text and noticed two odd strangers sitting in the back. He instantly ordered two chairs be brought down front. You would have thought we were two of the three Magi as we sheepishly walked down the center aisle. The congregation stood up and began to applaud – so much for slipping out quietly!
In China, many buildings don’t have a fourth floor. Or a fourteenth floor. Or a twenty fourth floor. You see, the Chinese word for the number four sounds a lot like the Chinese word for death. Don’t laugh; a lot of western hotels don’t have a thirteenth floor!
Chinese cultural tradition shuns the mention of death. I’ve heard stories of Chinese families who avoid telling elderly parents about the death of a family member, carrying on a pretense about that member being very busy and away on an extended trip, etc.
Anyway, I stumbled upon this video of a proposed project on www.jue.so which is a Chinese version of Kickstarter. There are English subtitles, by the way: