When it was confirmed that I would be assigned overseas, I felt both excited and somewhat anxious. I was about to embark on an unknown but new exhilarating environment. Although I had studied abroad, but it was the first time I would be working abroad. The destination was Guangdong, China, a place that spoke my language but had a slightly different culture. When I set out on my journey, I had countless imaginations to fill in the information gap, including different simulations for anxiety and circumstances. But when I thought about being able to step out of my comfort zone, the reward of self development and challenging the unknown future, my anxiety about the assignment overseas began to subside. On the contrary, I started to look forward to it and felt quite joyful.
As the destination of my assignment was Zhongshan, Guangdong, the most interesting part of the city was the Qijiang River bank near Xingzhong Square. There were stalls that set up tables and chairs and served beverages. Chilling out and gossiping with friends by the river bank and chit-chatting with colleagues who were also assigned here while having a cup was splendid. We got to talk about the hardship we faced at work and the reward we reaped. We could also encourage one another and share stories. This was an exotic experience that would otherwise not have happened if I had stayed in Taiwan. However, when the Cantonese rinsed the cutlery, plates and bowls with boiling hot water for disinfection in restaurants, I knew it was something that I had to get used to. Probably after living here for a longer period, I should be able to.
Having worked in Taiwan, I have got accustomed to the way Taiwanese communicate and think. However, the differences a foreign city presents in terms of culture and education content would leave a different impression. More often than not, working overseas requires more patience in communication to ensure that both parties understand the correct message and accomplish the common goal. In the process, there may be conflict and disagreement. In this regard, it requires more effort to reduce and minimize differences. But once you get through the process, working overseas rewards you with a different kind of growth. No matter where you are assigned to, it is an experience and test. Learning to collaborate with others when you are away from home and cultivating your capability in looking after yourself are the skills you pick up. Wanderers will always go home one day after they are worn out. But before they are, experiencing the trial of working overseas will always bring you different memories.