Sensory overload. Everywhere I looked in China there was something new to take in - sights, smells, food. The sheer size of China is overwhelming and the fact that Xiamen, a clean modern city of a few million, is considered small compared to some areas is just staggering - and hard to capture and express in just a few photos...
Since this was a work conference little time was left for adventure but we did manage to find a karaoke bar in the form of a giant pirate ship (yes, a full size ship in the middle of the city) and lead the bar in a rendition of 'Sweet Caroline'. I was also roped into dressing as a koala bear to represent Australia in one of the conference events and bravely tried the local seafood cuisine during 13 course banquet dinners.
Lastly I am happy to say that I survived my presentation and was pretty proud of overcoming my fear. I did have a mild panic attack when I first saw that the stage was huge and look as if it was hosting Anthony Robbins. There was no table to hide behind so I had to work the stage as if I was auditioning for 'So You Think You Can Dance'. When the mic (which was clipped to my jacket, leaving my hands free so I could attempt to make professional hand movements - whatever those are supposed to be?) stopped working I had a moment of panic creep in but luckily it was fixed before anything major happened.
Once it was over I completely blacked out and don't remember anything that was said but since the audience clapped I assume all went well. Let's hope I don't have to do another presentation anytime soon...but at least this time I'll go into with a bit more confidence.