Muschamp Rd

Another Exciting Day in Beijing

November 6th, 2005
Beijing Starbucks

Today I slept in. Then after I got up I worked on my paper for Managing Global Innovation. I actually was quite productive. Although I still haven’t finished it, that is a mere formality now. Wanting to get out of my apartment for the first time all weekend, I called up Hyemi. She was gracious enough to meet me for coffee.

We went to Starbucks where I told her she can use the WiFi. She has been having trouble connecting to WiFi networks since being in Beijing. Hyemi is of course a good Korean girl. I learned all about good Korean girls when I went to visit EJ in Korea. We ended up talking for about four hours on a wide variety of subjects.

I introduced her to two of my classmates, Julie and Russell who happened to be in Wu Dao Kou Starbucks too. We also met Julie’s boyfriend and Russell’s girlfriend respectively. I promptly forgot Russell’s girlfriend’s name. I’m bad with names. One thing I won’t soon forget about Russell’s girlfriend is how thin she is, thin enough to fashionably bare her pelvic bone.

Starbucks near Hohai Lake
This Starbucks was not the one in Wu Dao Kou

Hyemi is worried about doing what she wants versus what her parents (father) wants. She wants to keep studying, which is something a good Korean girl is allowed to do. But of course her parents want her to get married and settle down to be a house wife. They weren’t keen on her coming to China. Hyemi had to get a job to earn money to pay her own way. After she finishes her degree in Chinese Literature, she hopes to study abroad possibly even at UBC, where her brother now studies.

Hyemi’s roommate Minkyung wanted to come and talk with me too, but had to work on a paper, something I completely understand. Of course having a second attractive Korean woman to have coffee with wouldn’t have been so bad. Minkyung was very popular with older, drunker, Chinese men when I met her. I never even got to talk to her, she was always occupied. Of course she has a boyfriend. Of course he is Korean. Of course he is in Beijing. Of course he used to be in the army. I was able to guess all this because as I often tell my classmates “I’ve got magic powers.” It’s amazing what visiting countries and actually talking to people will do for learning about other cultures. Perhaps if George Bush had had a passport before he became president.

Actually I’m not trying to bash Americans, that’s Micheal Moore’s job, rather I’m trying to warn my classmates. Next time we have a party or a dinner if I or Ahn invite Hyemi and her roommate Minkyung you might be wise to recall that the majority of South Korean guys have to serve in the army, which means they have to learn Tae Kwon Do. My old mentor Chuck described Koreans “as the Irish of South East Asia, they like to drink and get in fights.”

Speaking of the Irish on my way home from coffee I stopped for some ramen and gyoza. After that I went to My Shop and bought a can of Beamish Irish Stout. It cost me just over 25 RMB. This is more than the average meal costs in China, quite a bit more. I’m enjoying it and will savour it while finishing off my paper and presentation shortly.

Hyemi and I may soon be classmates. After I get back from Xi’an I plan to enroll in a private Chinese language school. There is one in Wu Dao Kou which is very popular. Several of my MBA classmates already study there, now so does Hyemi. She even studies from 3-5pm which is the only two hour time block I will have free five days a week once Managing Global Innovation wraps up.

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