The Shanghai Dream, gyming, starting school, plus a party or two in Beijing




Despite my good intentions to write my blog on the high speed train from Anhui to Shanghai, I ended up chatting to my flatmate, who was travelling to Shanghai for a meeting with a client she was pitching her art business to. This is being written about a month after the event, so I will write about the Shanghai trip and everything that has happened since then up until now. This includes joining the gym, starting at Tsinghua and a couple of crazy evenings out.

Returning to Shanghai brought back so many memories. As soon as I arrived, things felt familiar as I hopped on the underground train line that I used to catch regularly when I worked in the heart of Shanghai’s Nanjing West Street. I still have my transport card that allowed me to travel on trains, busses and taxis with stickers on it that I bought from the local shopping centre near my apartment in Zhongshan Park. I stayed with Sungie for my time here and spent some quality catch up time with him, plus finding time to catch up with all my old friends, colleagues and school friends. Based on how busy I was over the few days I was there, I really have developed a decent network in Shanghai from my two plus years there. People I met with included:

Jessica – a girl I studied Chinese with at Donghua, she is now a masters student at Berkley and is interested in Human Rights in China, It was really interesting to hear her ideas on this.
Wendy – who is a Shanghai friend’s (Hanks) cousin who ended up studying at UNSW for a while.
Jason – My previous competitor in the headhunting business who has just bought a partnership stake in a local firm
Tiffany – my old Chinese teacher in Australia who is now working as an assistant for the Greek embassy
Hayley – One my first friends in Shanghai who turned out to be best friends with one of my work colleagues Vera that I got on with amazingly well with. Vera was in Singapore so I did not get a chance to meet her. She is now working at Goldman Sachs in Shanghai, and she has an office in the same building as Tiffany making it convenient when I met them both.
Wendy – An old work colleague who now works in a consulting firm and loves her job
Tim – We tease him for being a spoilt rich kid because his parents bought him a super expensive apartment in Pudong, he still works in recruitment and seems to be enjoying life
Christina – A fellow Chinese language student at Beijing Language and Culture University. She moved to Shanghai to continue her Chinese studies. She is an interesting person born in Korea, brought up in South Africa and interested in China.
Ke Gen Di – A Russian friend who was a poor student when I knew him at Donghua university. He now owns a warehouse, two cars including a Mercedes v8 AMG, and a company that exports Chinese products to Russia. It was a real shock when he came to pick me up driving the AMG. Buying a Shanghai licence plate alone costs 100,000 RMB, let alone the ridiculous taxes on an imported luxury car!
Lee Lee and Kelly – These are two Chinese girls I studied with at UNSW, they have graduated and are coincidentally working at the same law firm in Shanghai! Although I know them both, they did not meet until they returned to China started working at the same firm.
Jess – A Korean friend I met when I first moved to Shanghai and when I was looking for a place to stay outside the university a friend introduced him to me. He has just gotten married to a Chinese girl, and he seems happy and settled in Shanghai. I really like the Korean culture where older guys look after the next generation. He took me out and bought me a really nice Korean dinner!


I have started a gym membership in Beijing, this is the first thing I did after getting back from Shanghai. I received a free gym trial from a friend whilst I was in Shanghai and absolutely loved it. I love the feeling of leaving the gym sore, and high on endorphins after a workout. I have some protein powder, and I’m getting serious over the next few weeks.

Starting School

School has started and has been going relatively smoothly so far. I have chosen subjects and these include:

– Comparative Chinese commercial law
– Commercial law in practice
– E-commerce IP
– Introduction to International Arbitration
– International Arbitration in Asia

Initially I wanted to take a few subjects in Chinese, but this was just too difficult for me. Instead, I am taking a couple of language subjects to keep improving on the language front.

A Party or two in Beijing

I now have a little network of party friends in Beijing. A guy I know from Australia, Richard, has been living in Beijing for a while. He has a bunch of ABCs, ABKs and even an ABJ who party with him in Beijing. I’ve been out with them a couple of nights, and helped out one of his friends take some photos at an event where Hardwell, a DJ I like, was playing. The Hardwell party was fun, it was a day event at the ‘Workers Stadium’ where they had turned the whole arena into a dance floor.

Another night I went out with James, one of his Korean friends from Canada, I bumped into some old friends Wendy, and Heidi randomly in a bar in Sanlitun. Wendy is a friends friend that I met in Australia and Heidi is a girl I studied with at BLCU. This really is a small world!

The last memorable night out was with Keeson, a successful Hong Kong guy who was educated in the States where we ended up at his beautiful apartment till the early hours of the morning with a bunch of the guys.

I’ve decided that I should party less with this bunch, not because they aren’t fun, quite the opposite, they are too much fun and it doesn’t help me achieve the goals I want to reach while I am on this short exchange.


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