The things I regret the most

10 09 2013

Subtitle: In other words, what I will do during my next trips..

Around 5 pm of Friday 2nd April 2010, Beijing time, I arrived at Hefei and (funny, the dates in my life seem to repeat at fixed intervals.. very engineering) Monday 2nd September 2013 I was back in Italy: after 1249 days or exactly 3 years and 5 months (107.913.600 seconds or 1.798.560 minutes or 29.976 hours) my first experience about living in Asia has ended.

The reasons that brought me to this decision have been a good mix between professional and personal ones: the last job in the south (Longgang district of Shenzhen, a village of typical Chinese mass production factories) had only the effect to make me realize that I want ot work more in modern electronics companies in testing, development, hands-on roles. Not a managerial position in a factory that needed more qualified and expert people than me in order to improve their production system. Unfortunately I took a challenge hoping in a better guidance that I did get at the end, in an environment that was just a Chinese factory ran in Chinese way, maybe the only way to survive in Guangdong!

Not being able to speak Chinese at a good level I understood I had no chances to get the job I wanted, where I wanted: in the city of Hangzhou, 杭州. There I met many nice people thanks to the local Aikido club. It would have been the best place for me, for friends, Aikido and position (45 minutes from Shanghai with the fast train and still not Shanghai, a Western crowded and quite more challenging city). But in Hangzhou there are not many companies in my field and even less using foreigners not able to speak the language..

So, seeing I was wasting precious professional time, I took the big decision and closed (for now) the first living experience in the East.

One week I am back, and thinking what I have been doing in this time in China, even if I had lots of wonderful and life changing experiences, made me also think to what I missed out, stuff I want to keep in mind for the future (visits or just.. future!). A not exhaustive and random list is the following:

  • I did not learn Chinese! Can’t say any Chinese, but not enough for a professional use!
  • I did not visit my dear friend Tingting in Wenzhou
  • I did not go to Huangshan, 黄山, the Yellow Mountain – an extremely gorgeous place in Anhui province, not far from Hefei where I lived more than 2 years!
  • I did not go to Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Guelin, more places in Yunnan and a few other parts of China famous landscapes
  • I did not manage to establish any long term friendship with local people in the South, in Shenzhen or Longgang
  • I did not travel to South East Asia: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines.. But on the positive side, in this years I met lots of very nice and interesting people from these places (mainly Aikido friends!!).. people I want to visit!
  • I did not start a business.. any business! So many friends managed to build up an idea into a more or less remunerative business.. I discovered (if I needed) that I do not possess much of a business mind!
  • I did not manage to start a proper Aikido dojo.. and the mats I had at home had been little used!
  • I did not learn to play Mah Jong (má jiàng, 麻將)!
  • I did not buy for me several things that during the years I have got to friends in Europe, presents here and there, always thinking: “This is cool, I must get one for me..”.. and didn’t!

These are just the few things that pop up on my mind these few first days.. I know there are many many more! At least I will have future topics for my blog, in case I need 😉



One response

11 09 2013

Oh well… you are always welcome to come back.


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