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We had a good flight over with Air China, just under 10 hrs and that moment we'd been waiting for finally arrived after 5 months of planning - we touched down in Beijing, our new home!! We decided the flight had been quite nice really and a bit of 'no mans land', having stressed out so much & been so busy packing the house up, it was nice to chill out & not have anything to worry about, as far as China is concerned, at that point it was a case of 'we don't know what we don't know yet'!
Ray, the manager of the Beijing Office for Gilt Edge met us at the airport & a taxi took us to our hotel - both a little unprepared for how much luggage we'd be arriving with! All squeezed in, off we went. Ray is lovely, born in Croydon but a £10 pomie to Australia as a child, so has a strong Australian accent. We really hit it off with him & chatted lots.
We got to our temporary home for a few days, the Home Inn. Not the Ritz, but it's ok for what we need for now. Ray let us settle in then met us & we walked to the office, which is only a few mins walk around the corner. It's in what they call a compound, which is gated with a guard & consists of several apartment / office blocks with a garden, cafe etc. Our office is on the 5th floor, and there we met the 2 office girls, who are both Chinese - Joy & Echo. They sorted out our phones for us with new SIM cards (we'll e-mail you with our new numbers) and gave us our business cards - we have arrived!!!
A wander over to the cafe for a much needed coffee & not a very traditional Chinese breakfast we're ashamed to say, of eggs benedict! Another wander around the local area which is Chaoyang, which has lots of the embassies here, so quite an international feel with various international restaurants. Ray left us to wander, found the street where all the bars are (what a suprise!!) as well as a big shopping centre with all sorts of international brands (Colleen, there is even a Benefit shop!!).
Sat in a bar for our first Chinese beer, I was fading fast - very tired & it's pretty hot & sunny today, so we've headed back to the hotel. We're 7 hrs ahead of the UK, so it's now 5.30pm. Think we'll take a walk out later & have some food & an early night.
Tomorrow we're meeting back at the office to go & look at some apartments which will be great, hopefully we can get that sorted & not be in the hotel for too long, so we can settle in properly.
Ray is taking us to a club tomorrow afternoon to start networking, a fab looking bar on the top floor of tall building nearby our hotel. He's been here for about 8 years & is very well known, he has also achieved the highest sales for the company year after year, so we both feel that we learn a lot from him and get introduced to lots of people.
Steve, the boss, flies in from Bangkok Sunday night & will be training us both when we start on Monday quite intensley for the next 3 weeks, lots to learn but very excited by it all.
Anyway, will say bye for now & hope you're all ok.
Tracy & Andy