A New Life in China

A New Life in China

April 15th, 2009  |  Published in Culture

By Thinnakone Arounsack

Some facts: I will be working, living, and experiencing China for the next 3 years. I have packed up and moved out of California, out of USA for that matter to work and live in China or the Middle Kingdom as its fondly known by the locals! I work for a Danish pharmaceutical company called Novo Nordisk and have been expatriated here for three years to build a new insulin production plant for the Chinese market to combat the growning needs of diabetes. I am working and living in a city called Tianjin in an area called TEDA (short for Tianjin Ecnonomic Technology Development Area), it is located 2.5 hours southeast of Beijing. By way of background, I am a biochemist and for this assignment I will be working as a project manager to setup the quality management system for the new plant.

Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China

What’s happening now: I arrived here in January of this year and have not completely settled in yet, still waiting for my household shipment from California. By all appearances I look Chinese, so many of the locals speak Chinese to me until I give them a blank stare and shake my head that I don’t understand them. The biggest challenge thus far is the language barrier, my Mandarin is non-existent and until I have some command of the language I am 100% a “laowei” (foreigner in Chinese). Most of my colleagues speak English, its when I’m out shopping on the weekends where its a challenge. From what I gathered, there are so many things to see and do in China that I can only hope I have enough time to see the majority of it in the three years that I am here. One of the best perks to this assignment is that I am much closer to our motherland, my plan is to attend each and every Lao festivals throughout the calendar year. I have not found another Lao person or community here yet…will need to explore some more. I have started my running and have signed up to run the Great Wall Marathon on May 16th. I have so much to explore and share with my family and friends, if you want to follow me check out my blog – http://tarounsackchina.blogspot.com/.


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