Australian Journey | Week Two:Significant

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Author : Kris
Update time : 2023-12-08 11:14:29
"This is your first business trip to Australia, isn't it?" I said.

"Actually, this is my first time traveling abroad," Rachel replied unexpectedly.
From left to right: Rachel, Cindy, Aster
"Rachel is the supervisor of the order department at WuHan Bizarre Sports Company, a very gentle and amiable lady, and also very talkative. This is not my first interview with Rachel, and the first time I interviewed her, she gave a particularly warm feeling. At the end of that interview, I joked, saying, 'You seem very suitable for a profession like teaching,' and she just smiled."
She is the main protagonist of today's article.
Last night, I connected via video with Cindy and Rachel, who are currently in Australia, for a rare three-way interview. Cindy insisted on giving the main stage to Rachel this time, while she supplemented with some necessary background information from the sidelines. I happily went along with the arrangement.
Regarding the two-week journey of the ladies in Australia , after careful consideration, I decided to present it from both the subject and object perspectives. Direct dialogue with the participants is crucial, and in this process, many responses quite different from my initial assumptions were discovered, making it particularly interesting.
"So, your main focus this week was visiting clients. How have the clients been lately?" – the first question.
"Well..." Rachel chuckled, "it feels like the situation with most clients hasn't been great."
"The impact of the pandemic is indeed global. While some might think it's challenging domestically, the reality is that it's tough internationally as well," Cindy added.
"Ah... I never imagine like that.. however, with your daily client visits this week, the schedule must have been quite demanding and tight. How much time did you typically spend traveling to clients each day?"
And with that, the floodgates of conversation opened.
"Well, it takes about one to two hours roughly. The primary mode of transportation in Australia is usually by car, but since our stay this time is relatively short, we opted for public transportation. We also took the train a few times because our visit covers the entire Melbourne area. Oh, speaking of public transport, there's something quite unfamiliar – cars here drive on the left side. When waiting for the bus, we often find it confusing that the vehicles are coming from the opposite direction."
"In Australia, they drive on the left side of the road (meaning the left lane is for forward traffic, opposite to China)." (C)
"Doesn't that make it easy to get lost? Fortunately, Cindy has been there several times," I remarked.
"It's easy to get lost, but Aster is very capable. Even if language is a barrier, she can navigate based on various landmarks and has strong adaptability. Cindy, on the other hand, doesn't babysit us; she lets us find our own way and isn't afraid that we might lead her astray," Rachel explained.
"I'm not worried at all. If you lead me into a ditch, then so be it." (C)
The girl with the bright smile is our great housekeeper Aster!  In the picture, she is cooking in the villa where the three of them live this time (Cindy treats everyone to Australian beef).
"Oh, and one more thing about Australian buses, there's a point you absolutely can't imagine. You might be sitting on the bus, and suddenly the driver pulls over, asks all passengers to get off, and then drives away. Can you guess why? It's because their shift has ended; they're off duty," Rachel shared with a hint of surprise.
"Because Australia follows a 38-hour workweek, once it's time, they just finish their shift. There's nothing you can do but wait for the next bus. If the next driver is also finishing their shift, you have to wait for the one after that." (C)
"Ah? A 38-hour workweek?!" I completely shifted my focus in surprise.
"Well, in a way, that's how the social system is in developed Western countries. But you see, people everywhere work hard to achieve more. We even managed to schedule a meeting with a company owner on a Saturday during this visit. So, whether it's in China or abroad, whether the situation is good or not, everyone is putting in a lot of effort," Cindy added.
"Oh, right," Rachel seemed to suddenly remember something, glancing at Cindy, "there's that matter."
Then she turned to me, "The tour guide we had this time is also quite impressive."
"She's a girl from Shandong, a single mother. She used to work as a tour guide in China, but felt that her work wasn't respected, so she went abroad to seek opportunities. Being a tour guide is a demanding job that requires high personal capabilities. She first went to the United States and then came to Australia. She's quite impressive—self-taught English, got her driver's license, and now owns two houses in Australia. She brought her child and family over as well," Rachel shared.
"Wow!" I exclaimed.
"In fact, seeing the life abroad can make you yearn for it. Either you have the ability and means to go abroad, or you stay in China and work hard. Pursuing mental and financial freedom is the goal in life, but both require a lot of effort." (C)
"Yes," I nodded in agreement.
"Australia gives a really different feeling from China, so it's good for people to travel and experience it. On one hand, it's very safe; you rarely see police on the streets, and there's no one checking tickets at public transportation – it all relies on self-discipline. Also, Cindy and Aster go for a walk every night after dinner. The sun sets very late here; even after 8 p.m., it's still up. Our accommodation is next to a hospital, park, city hall... One thing that struck me is that unlike parks in China where mostly older folks gather, here there are a lot of young people, engaging in various sports and exercises. There's minimal loud chatter, and people aren't constantly glued to their phones. The atmosphere feels really good," Rachel elaborated.
"And when you say hello to someone, they'll naturally respond with a hello. For me, foreigners used to exist mainly in movies. Now that I'm here, it feels like I've stepped into a movie, and the movie has entered my life. When it comes to actual conversations in English, I realize there's still a lot to improve. Last week, during the exhibition, I've never listened to English so attentively before; my mind was constantly working, afraid of missing any information and being cautious of clients who might set traps in their words. As an exhibitor, expression and thinking are crucial because you lead the conversation. You need to be able to introduce your products based on the different needs of various clients," Rachel reflected.
In order to protect the privacy of customers, we can only select a part of the picture that only shows the back
"Then there's the follow-up work of visiting clients. The cost of developing new clients is high; some clients may agree to meet, but then they won't respond to our messages, making it hard to gather more specific information and plan for the next visits. In such cases, we have to find information ourselves. At this point, I have to say, Google Maps is truly a magical and useful tool (and there are fewer ads) – this is not an ad, by the way. The street view in it is particularly clear; you can even read the signs on the company's windows, indicating the working hours. Later, Cindy had me make phone calls to clients. The first call was really stumbling, but as I made more calls, it became smoother. After all, you're essentially conveying the same information, and with repetition, you get the hang of it. So, it emphasizes the importance of learning English," Rachel concluded.
"So, let me ask a question – what do you think is the impact of this trip on your future life?" Cindy asked from the other side of the screen.
"I want to sum it up with one word."
"Oh?" I perked up on the video call.
"Significant, far-reaching significance," Rachel answered.
"Reading ten thousand books is not as beneficial as traveling ten thousand miles." After concluding this conversation with Rachel and Cindy, I felt that the little person confined to the sea of books within me took another subtle step forward, almost imperceptibly.
Thanks to Rachel and Cindy for taking the time to connect with us, sharing their valuable experiences of the Australian journey from a subjective perspective. 
In this exhibition in Australia, we are very interested in our recycle products.  If you are also interested, please leave a message to us
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