Monday, September 26, 2011

On the Bus in Geneva with Ruwan

I arrived into Geneva after an overnight flight through Montreal.  I'm here to do a panel on Outbound Chinese Investment to Europe, a subject on which I am one of the world's leading experts.  Baddabump!

Actually, I will be discussing the importance of communications around Chinese investments abroad, on which I do have a bit of experience.  I spent the afternoon trying to study up, but kept falling asleep.  Not wanting to waste an entire day in my hotel room, I ventured forth.  I'm in a airport hotel and the center city is about 10 miles away.  There's free city bus service, which is a bit of challenge.  Fortunately, as I wandered aimlessly along an alleyway behind the hotel, I spotted a young man with a backpack seemingly running for the bus.  So, I ran behind him.  We both caught the bus and sat together.

Turns out, he was volunteering for the meeting to which I was speaking.  His name is Ruwan and he is Sri Lankan.  He was heading for his French lessons.  Though he grew up in London, his parents were from Sri Lanka.  Unclear which side of the civil war his family was on, though I suspect the non-rebels.  He told me a few things about the meeting (200 people, lots of high level Chinese) and gave me some excellent tourist tips.  We got off at the same stop and he pointed me toward Geneva's Old City and I was off.

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