On the morning of Tuesday November 15th 2011 I drove to LAX (two hours of heavy traffic) and boarded an Air China flight direct to Beijing. I was the only non-Asian in my business class cabin. The food was excellent! After dinner and then two movies I remember thinking that I still had eight hours to go. I had hoped to get some sleep but it didn’t happen. I arrived at 4.40 pm on Wednesday.
I was welcomed like a long-lost relative! My host in Beijing was Darren Moore, a Canadian who settled there in 1996. He lives with his Chinese wife and their 3-year-old daughter Mollii (Jasmine) in a village on the outskirts of Eastern Beijing. His house is part of a square courtyard, and the other buildings are where his staff lives and works. Darren’s company, Organic Earth, makes organic soap and other personal care products. His soap is amazing, as is his packaging. I was very impressed with the opaque white bottles he uses for his pure essential oils.
I spent part of Thursday signing copies of The Art of Aromatherapy in Mandarin (the book, not my signature), and going over my slides with Darren’s wife Sharon, who would be translating for me over the next two days. On Friday we all drove to the center of Beijing and checked into the Swissotel (Chinese cuisine with a hint of Swiss). Just before we left, Darren was feeling a bit stressed. Here you can see me shaking him, telling him that everything was going to be fine! And it was. Much of the evening was spent setting up for the seminar.
The next day I delivered my presentation How to Harness the Healing Power of Essential Oils to an audience of over 100, including 40 journalists. My talk covered many aspect of aromatherapy, such as wound healing, acne, photo-ageing, obesity, post-surgical pain, skin cancer, diabetes and antibiotic-resistant infections! Sharon did an amazing job translating, and the preparation we had done together really paid off. (Unfortunately there is rarely time to go through every slide with a translator.)
After each break, we were called back to the seminar room with live saxophone music. Very cool. I repeated the seminar on the Sunday for a new 100+ audience, this time with no media. (The video incorporates clips from both days.) On the Monday we drove back to Darren’s place where I was interviewed by three journalists – one print magazine, one website, and one tv channel. You can see the internet report here, and below is a screenshot of Yoka.com’s home page 2 days after the seminar. Yoka.com is a very popular fashion/beauty/lifestyle website.
My last day in China (Tuesday) was spent sightseeing, mostly at the Forbidden City. I was expecting to find a large structure at the center, but it’s not built like that and seems like a series of massive courtyards. I did come across some 300-year-old bottles of essential oil, which you can see on the video. And some massive incense burners. At lunch time I met a literary agent (Jessie) and Yao, who distributes Shirley Price Aromatherapy products in China. On the Wednesday I departed for Seoul, Korea.