HONG KONG: URBAN JUNGLE

The sun is setting on the Cantonese skies of Shenzhen as I am saying my last goodbye to the factory team who have treated me like nothing but a king during my stay at their facilities. We have just finished dinner in a local joint nearby and I am now sitting in the back of an SUV - with the "itis" hitting me hard - while my driver is bringing me to the Shenzhen Bay Control Point to cross the border to Hong Kong.

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SHANGHAI: SCAM CITY

On my first evening in the "City Above the Sea", a few guys I met at the hostel and I decided to team up for some sightseeing around the Old Town. On our way back from a full day of exploration, we decided to walk along the Huangpu River. As we were discussing while enjoying the skyscraper view along The Bund boardwalk, two ladies disturbed our friendly conversation by complimenting my outfit and uncommon haircut.

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SHANGHAI: MIDNIGHT EXPRESS TO THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT

I should have known that I was in for a crazy ride when I decided to go for the cheapest option possible to get to Shanghai for the weekend - a night train in 2nd. Class. In my defense, I am neither aware of the different commuting options in China, nor of the gap that separates First Class from "the people" (lower case).

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WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD ABOUT CHINA

I finally made it to the People's Republic of China despite a rocky preparation. As you know from my previous post, I am here for a Short Term Assignement of three (3) months to work closely on improving production with our suppliers. I have just completed the first part of my assignment at the first factory, so it's the perfect moment to reflect on my first impressions about The People's Republic of China.

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MURPHY'S LAW VS. THE WORLD

This month, I had the opportunity to travel to China for a short term assignment at work. Murphy's Law being always faithful to itself, my preparation for this STA was far from easy. Of course, things being what they are in a large global organization, no one was really aware of the process to follow to support me in this preparation. Fingers were crosspointed at each department (e.g. home location pointing at host location and vice versa). On top of that, I am sure you can imagine how complex the administrative process to obtain a Chinese visa could be. Add to this the good old German bureaucracy and you got yourself a very elaborate cocktail of mayhem.

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TEN (10) THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BECOMING AN 'EXPAT'

Today marks my second anniversary of relocation to Germany. I can't believe it has been already two years since I left the City of Saints to go live abroad. For the occasion, I thought I would write a post to share some lessons learned from my expat life. This might help you shed some light on a few elements of your relocation you won't be able to anticipate.

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LJULBJANA: THE TRUE MEANING OF LOVE

No, this is not a typo! For those who don't know yet, Ljubljana is the capital city of the tiny - yet lovely - country that is Slovenia. The capital counts about 190,000 citizens and its country, a little over 2 million people. Surrounded by Austria, Italy and Croatia, it is easy to imagine how these neighbor countries have a strong influence on Slovenia's food, architecture and natural scenery.

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THE HUNT II: THE BASE LAYER

Remember when I started my Hunt by stating that finding an apartment is not easy? Turns out I am starting to understand why as the dots are slowly connecting before my very eyes. Back when I chose Erlangen over Nuremberg and Herzogenaurach, I knew that the room I was applying for was limited to a six-month lease...

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MUNICH: THE OKTOBERFEST EXPERIENCE

I was not necessarily planning on going to Oktoberfest this year, as I just came back from a delightful two week vacation in the Balkans. But, when I learnt that my great friend Jo' was coming to town to visit me, resistance was out of the question!

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THE HUNT

Finding an apartment is never easy. That phrase might sound like a stereotype, but... it actually is! Truth is I wouldn't know whether it's easy or not since it's my first experience as I just moved out of my parent's house back in Montreal. Therefore, I'm pretty much assuming at this point!

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MY RELOCATION AGENT IS NOT GERMAN!

With my new position as a Senior Project Manager in Germany was provided an on-site relocation service. A relocation agent had me appointed to assist with my work permit; registration to the Town Hall; apartment search; transfer of driving licence; etc.

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A SAMPLE FROM A TOTALLY FAKE RESIGNATION LETTER

Dear Mr. Vice President General Manager, Mr. Functional Director, Mrs. Human Resources Director,

Please accept this written statement as an advance notice of my resignation from the Undisclosed Company. I intend to work through the next three weeks with my last working day on Friday, July 3 of 2015.

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