into the breach
Here we go. I'm going to do my best not to focus on this being the first entry, one that I'm sure I will re-visit with nostalgia and a critical eye.
I hope this space will capture some of my thoughts, feelings and ideas on many of the incredible changes that are going on in my life right now. My wife and I moved to Shanghai just over one year ago, we both started in new jobs/industries/careers, I went through a tremendous business school application ordeal and now it seems there will be some major changes with the management at work. Of course, throughout that time we've dealt with being away from family and friends, learning, being immersed in and adapting to the Chinese language and culture, surviving on a local salary, moving across the globe and then several times back and forth across town, making new friends, and losing some too.
The name of the blog comes from a quote I recently read in a book by Jonathan Spence. I'm digging it up from a bunch of thoughts and notes I've been scribbling down over the last few months. I may resurrect some of them in the future, but for now, here's this one:
I also hereby give readers a necessary warning by which they can conjecture the greatness of the things of China, viz.—that whereas distant things often sound greater than they really are, this is clean contrary, because China is much more than it sounds and the sight thereof make a very different impression from what is heard or read about it, as has been verified by myself and others after we have seen the things of China. This must be seen and not heard, because hearing it is nothing in comparison with seeing it. -- Fr. Gaspar da Cruz, 1570 [Charles Boxer translation]
Funny how things have come full circle in 435 years, or maybe they haven't changed. Anyway, I don't figure this space to be just about China, but thinking about China and the unique opportunities here take up most of my working hours. Seeing and not just hearing kicks up a lot of other ideas too though: venture investing and due diligence, multimedia, art, new places, new people, new cultures...
I also figure this blog as part of a more concerted effort to get off the sidelines. I've been reading a lot of blogs for a long time, but I know that I won't truly understand their impact without participating directly. Same goes for a host of other technologies that I'll be throwing time and money at in the near future. Heck, I feel the same way about parts of my China experience, and so, I hope to carve out some time for more language lessons, and maybe most dauntingly, buying an apartment here with my wife and starting a small business.
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