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RE: New Subject: American structural engineers working in Asia

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I am from California, but I am currently working in the Philippines on a
new $US400 million dollar airport, I am a section manager for the
structural section.  You will work with all different nationalities,
British, Australian, Indian, Danish, Japanese.  Work has slowed down her
because of the monetary crisis, but it mostly has affected the private
sector.  Most of our work is through the World Bank, Asian Development
Bank, and large investors from Europe.  There are many markets here;
India, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines that have some large
projected projects in the future.  I understand that China wants to
develop about 50 new airports in the future.  There is a lot of
infrastructure that needs to be done, right now there is a waiting game
due to the economy.  Some of this work is critical for these developing
countries to survive.  Most people here feel this is only a short term
set back.  The Asian countries have so much to offer, and the strength
of the region will return.  As far as the cultural shock, this is up to
the individual.  Some countries are very difficult to adept to as far as
living conditions,  it is not like the US, there are many things that
you are use to getting in the US that you cannot get over here, manly in
the 3rd world countries.  I have seen people from the US and England
come over here and just about get on the next plane out of here, some
countries are very poor, the culture is very different, the food is very
different and if you are not flexible and do not have an open mind about
respecting their culture, you will not survive.  The language barrier
for me is not a problem, the people over here are extremely hospitable
and willing to help, most countries allot of people speak English,
except for China. Hong Kong still has a lot of British influence there,
but communication can be a problem, but it is a great city despite the
current problems, I am going over there February 12th till the 16th.
When I am in a country I try to learn some of the common terms even if
they speak English just out of respect for there culture, they will
return this respect for you.

As far as things to do, it would take to long to describe.  I can fly to
Hong Kong for a weekend and have a great time, all the countries are
very close, Puket island in Thailand has some great golf and beautiful
beaches.  There is some of the best scuba diving in the world here in
the Philippines, beautiful Corel reefs here, wind surfing is really big,
some of the islands have some of the cleanest white beaches in the
world, water sports is big, and some beautiful sunsets.  People in Asia
really like to party, if you like live music and dancing, there is some
great nightlife no matter where you go, they dance till 3:00 or 4:00 in
the morning 7 days a week.  If you want to do some exploring, surf the
internet, there are many internet locations for the whole region. 

One warning, the women over here cling to US workers, you have to be
very careful, if you know what I mean.  My life is to learn all about
the different cultures, people, the beautiful artistry, gold and
emeralds are very cheap over here.  To stay out of trouble, I read
allot, surf the internet, do some dancing, and try to travel to the
different locations, everything is very close (Hong Kong - 1:15 minutes
flight time).  Be careful of pickpocket's, keep your wallet in your
front pocket, hold onto your passport dearly, make copies of it and
place it in different locations in your luggage.  They are very strict
about immigration and customs over here.

As far as the government, just go by the rules, don't argue.    

I hope I was informative, if you want to know ant thing else, please do
nor hesitate to e-mail.

Tom Long
PCI Asia   

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Andrew Goh [SMTP:andrew(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Sunday, February 01, 1998 7:42 AM
> To:	'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
> Subject:	New Subject: American structural engineers working in
> Asia
> hi, 
> just like to add my 2 cents.
> I side with Bill Allen  to keep this forum open for any sort of
> discussions.:)
> In recent years, China has adopted a more open policy towards trade
> and commerce.  One of the effects is there is an increasing number of
> chinese going overseas to work in many ranks of occupations including
> engineers.
> I'd just like to find out if any American/Euporean civil/structural
> engineers has had a stint over in Asia as well?  How did u cope with
> language barrier, ethnic prejudice ... etc. ?  How different is the
> living/working/bureaucratic conditions from home, & any problems
> coping?
> What about the nicer side of things: eg fun?
> Care to share with us?
> Regards and Cheers
> Andrew