Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bangkok training

Last week I was in Bangkok for training. It involved all new managers in the Far East, so participating countries included China (various offices: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong), Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia, and of course, Thailand.

I actually had gone to the same training last year in Florida, and unfortunately, was kind of critical on the management of this training in the Far East. It's interesting to see the big culture difference between the way it was run and in the participants in general. For example, as part of the training, we all did the Myers-Brigg assessment to understand our preferences. In Asia, the number of introverts far outnumbered the extroverts! The difference between what we would see in North America was interesting... it was interesting to see how the exercises were run because it took a long time before anyone dared to take the step of leadership. Interesting observations. =p

So, my own personal objective for attending the course was to better know the coworkers in my group; five of us went in the Capital Markets Centre (CMC) from Hong Kong, and there was one other CMC manager from Shanghai. It was a lot of fun... the six of us girls hung out all week, and stuck together during classes... kind of causing trouble because many things taught were not relevant to us (as we're not in audit.)

I have had enough thai food for a while now. =p We probably had Tom Yum Kung soup at least 4 times, green curry at least 3 times, fishcakes at least 3 times... also, the food made me sick. On one of the days, my body awakened me at maybe 5 or 6 because I felt nauseous... and ended up throwing up a number of times in the morning. Anyway, it wasn't food poisoning because the reaction was probably 11-12 hours after we had dinner the evening before... so *hopefully*, it was just the general acidity level of the food (I think) that I was not used to it. Anyway, thankfully, I recovered very quickly and by the evening next day, I was eating normally again. But, I haven't been feeling great in Hong Kong this week so will actually go to a doctor... Anyway, I'm generally okay. Just taking some antacids when I don't feel great.

We had some spare time so went around on a couple of the evenings and on the Friday and Saturday. No, we did not go see the transvestites. =p But the society is so open to them that many are in normal employment positions like at the 7/11. We did a lot of shopping, and my friend went crazy at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is like the Ladies' Market in Hong Kong, but maybe 100 times bigger. (A HUGE flea market.) And hotter! According to a Hong Kong travel book, spending 20 minutes in each section is like going to the sauna for 20 minutes. Yuck. =p

One evening, we went to the Siam Tower, which I think is a government building + hotel. At the top is a great view of the city with very nice bars. One of the bars was unique in that there are no chairs and tables, just sofabeds. So, this is the 6 crazy girls on the sofa bed!

We have, from left to right, Alva (top), Ina ("eena", bottom), Chinchin, Shirley, Aida, and me.

Alva and Ina are from HK and went to school at the University of Toronto, Chinchin is from Jakarta and went to school in the US (Indiana), Shirley is from Singapore and now in Shanghai, Aida is Taiwanese and went to school in Wisconsin.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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