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by Nerida Coghill
After a four hour wait, a few Hail Mary’s and seven Bloody Mary’s on the tarmac at Melbourne Airport, the Chinese Commercial Law Study Tour eventually took off towards Asia, destination Beijing. Kui Hua Wang, Nerida Coghill and Eva Wawruszak led a tour of 33 students through the heat, hu-tongs (traditional houses), smog, humidity, red taxi and bicycle mayhem of this amazing city.
In collaboration with the Chinese University of Politics and Law (CUPL), students were exposed to aspects of the Chinese Legal System, Foreign Investment and Trade Law, Chinese Intellectual Property Law, Employment and Labor Law, Chinese Contract Law and the Chinese Mediation and Arbitration System.
With the help of the friendly CUPL staff and our Mandarin-speaking students (who were invaluable), we were shown some spectacular local sights. The Summer Palace with amazingly high kites, a stroll through the hu-tongs, the awesome Great Wall with perfect weather for pictures, the Temple of Heaven with the invisible exit and the Forbidden City, to name just a few.
Of course other highlights included the Silk and Pearl Markets, whose stocks are currently at a record low, most likely due to some highly successful Melbournians with excellent negotiating skills. (They’re probably still nursing a few bruises from the slaps and pinches!)
We ate feasts for $2.50, drank the local beer for 75 cents a litre, swung our hips to the Havana rhythm and never once used forks. We kicked soccer balls in the 40 degree heat, drank water, drank water and drank water, whispered prayers in the hot red taxis and eventually all got home in one piece, only after just managing to squeeze in Eva’s 100kg of luggage into the 747!
A huge thanks must go to all involved, especially the students who were a fantastic bunch of people. A highly recommended tour, an unforgettable journey.
2002 Group photo
On the marble boat at the Summer Palace
Mixing it up with the locals at an outdoor Gym
Me hanging out with the locals in Bar street