Toastmasters CC4 'How to Say It': Me in Beijing

Today I was doing my competent communication manual project 4, How to Say It. I did not had time to say what I want to say. I admit I did not prepare will enough. My evaluator advised me to practice more and speak in front of a mirror. I should prepare the next speech as early as possible. Below was my speech draft.

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My fellow toastmasters and welcome guest. Euphoria was the feeling I had when I stepped on Beijing International Airport. "Welcome to Beijing." I can see this quote every corner in Beijing, during my trip in year 2007, the year before Olympic game held in Beijing. Are there anyone here been to Beijing? [Pause]

[If got anyone show their hand] Good. If I stuck in the middle of the speech, you guys can help me to continue.

[If no one show their hand] You are lucky.

[Pause] This evening, I'm here to share with you some of my enjoyable experiences in Beijing.

Before this trip, I never been to Beijing or any part in China. In my mind, I thought Beijing is still very rural city. Toilets are dirty and no privacy, we can see other parties that doing the same business with us. Everyone is wearing gray or dark blue shirt and pants with a little red book in their pocket. Everyone is still riding bicycle and spit everywhere.

That is not true anymore. I realise I was wrong when the plane arrived at Beijing International Airport. Lots of transformations for the last ten years in China especially Beijing. Now everybody is wearing modern and trendy. Lots of famous branded boutique everyone. Plenty of them are having LV bag even those were in the bus. Traffic jam was bad during office hours. Not because of the bicycle but the car. It was so bad until the government have to implement an unique traffic scheme, which is called odd-even scheme. If your car's plate ends with an odd number, you can drive today, but sorry you can not for tomorrow.

It was fun to be Chinese in China but not from China. Everybody will think that i am same as them. I remember one time, I was inside a taxi. Most of them love to listen to Beijing crosstalk from the radio. Crosstalk is called 相声 in Chinese. If I manage to catch the joke between two Beijing crosstalk actors, I will laugh. One taxi driver noticed it and started talking to me and sharing his option with his Beijing slang. Most of the time, I wouldn't able to catch what was he trying to say. I will just nod my head. Or say 'yes', [Pause] 'ah', [Pause] 'hm', or just 'smile'. Some of the taxi drivers did notice that I am not local Chinese. The next question, will be "Are you from Hong Kong?" or "Are you from Taiwan?" They never knew that I am from Malaysia. In fact, they were surprised when I said "I am from Malaysia." Must be the "Malaysia" word contains only have "Malay". "Chinesesia" will be different story.

What do you do after your office lunch? Local Chinese like to stand or walk after their lunch. After their lunch, they hardly chat in the cafeteria. They will leave the cafeteria and chit chat at the foyer of the company building. If the weather is good, they will go for a walk. At first, I though it was due to the small size of the cafeteria can't really fix the whole company employees. It is not true. The employees at company next door were doing the same thing. The employees at the company next next door were also doing the same thing. In fact, everybody in Beijing were doing the same thing. Later, I realise that they were doing it. Partly just because of health, good digest, partly because of skies. People who is staying in Beijing will know that the Beijing always gray and unattractive comparing to here, blue and gorgeous. Whenever the sky is beautiful, they will plan some outdoor activities on that day. It has been improved a lots ever seen the Olympic game was held in Beijing. You can see more and more blue skies nowadays.

Although I am Chinese, I feel like a foreigner in Beijing. As a penangnite, I love food. The Chinese food in Beijing is very different from ours. Beside rice and noddle, they also like to eat bun or dumpling as their main dish. Here our bun are normally sweet, such as red bean paste bun, black paste bean bun, corn paste bun, lotus paste bun. I believe all those sweet buns are coming from Cantonese province. In Beijing, the bun is either plain or stuff with meat or vegetable. It is very convenience during rush house. Their dumpling also different from us. Theirs is bigger comparing to ours. They had thicker skin and more meat inside. They are usually sold by weight. Very filling yet tasty.

There is one particular local Beijing food, I would like to share with you guys, which is sugar-coated haws. It is called 冰糖葫芦 in Chinese. You can still find it in modern Beijing. I always saw it in old Chinese emperor movie. These are only sold during Winter. Most of them are fresh from oven. You were able to see the way they boiled the sugar and the method of they coated the haws with sugar. Sugar will harden fast in cold weather. It is also been modernize by local people. No longer just sugar-coated haws. Now, there are also sugar-coated grapes, sugar-coated apples, sugar-coated oranges, sugar-coated kiwis, sugar-coated strawberries. Some even spring with sesame seeds. Yummy and delicious.

To me, winter in Beijing on that time was chilly and windy. It was also gray and dull. I remember the first snow in 2007 is powdery snow. It happen in the early morning. I looked through the window from my bed and I saw everything is covered with a thin layer of white blanket. Since it was not very heavy, I quickly ran out the building and felt the snow felt on me. The snowflake is as light as dandelion. I caught it and studied the shape of the snowflake. From that moment, I know it is definitely not the same as ice in my fridge.

Do you think traveling is an education? Our perceptions changed through these experiences?[Pause] I would said yes. [Pause] How about you?

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