Are you in China?

"I'm In China" brings a new level of opportunity to China travellers

I’m In China project takes them out for once in a lifetime experiences… not so much mayhem as mischief, not a little hard work – they had a day to jump into the mix as they were selected for ‘My Chinese Working Day’ – a short-form reality-travel series in which participants of all nationalities foray into every nook and cranny of China to work for a day doing such jobs as national park rangers, catamaran crew members, tai-qi masters and gourmet bartenders – there is no limit on the range of situations that I’m In China participants find themselves in. But one thing is consistent – it is unpredictable, often madcap and typically endearing to see all manner of folks adapting to their new challenges. The enthusiasm and genuineness with which all of it’s stars apply themselves gives their tales on screen real thrills, some spills and a boat-load of chuckles.

“At first I was like no way!” Says Australian PhD student Brad, who found himself suddenly flung out to China’s tropical Hainan Island at the drop of a hat. “I hate being on camera. Then I stewed on it for a few days. Finally I thought, this is something I will regret if I don’t go for it and just do it. So in the end I called them (I’m In China) up and asked can I still do it? They said, yes, but you have fifty minutes to get to the airport! So I threw everything in a bag and ran to the airport just in time for the last flight to Hainan.’

From the moment the dramatic panoramas of Hainan island give way to the pair strolling into the hotel lobby for their ‘Chinese working day’, one would be forgiven for assuming that the pair had grown up together but in fact it couldn’t have been further from the truth. “we were both super nervous” says his show-buddy and fellow Aussie, 19 year-old Chinese language student Dorian. “Which one is the manager?” he asks Brad as they saunter through the 5-star hotel lobby. “Well it’s not going to be the lifeguard” replies Brad.

“We’d never done TV before so we decided to crack a beer together on the first night to ease the nerves a little – and by sheer coincidence we found out we’re from the same place in Australia – Brisbane” relates Dorian. “We absolutely bonded” says Brad. “It turned out we came from the same city, and the fact that we were polar opposites. At first I was seriously doubting. But then I was like this whole thing is already out of my comfort zone so let’s just do this thing. I’m this super introverted guy and then Dorian just comes to life in front of the cameras and things just clicked”.

Dorian and Brad throw themselves into their Chinese working day experience with gusto. “It was so far out of my comfort zone that I thought, let’s just do this anyway”, says Brad, and he did. Within moments of looking sorely dubious.

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“I’m doing a PhD in International relations. This is part of why I took part in My Chinese Working Day. My thesis is about how culture and education can break down stereotypes, building common ground between Aus and China. At the end of the day it’s about realizing how simple are or about how is China is different but how similar we are. Everything about the trip was just like exactly what we do back home when we want fun in the sun. There was nothing different. Apart from riding in a helicopter and… managing a Chinese wedding.”

Again, not what one would have ascribed to a 19-year old Chinese student or a 33-year old PhD researcher but then – My Chinese Working Day seems to deliver it’s charm on the basis of it’s unusual scenarios.

On learning what their Job will be for the day, Brad’s face is not quite the same, there is an element of hesitation from the low-key Brad. “We can do that!” Chips in the effervescent Dorian. And they do. Within moments, Dorian is halfway up a tree fetching coconuts whilst Brad is fixed on the reception location as the green and not the beach as ‘It’ll be more comfortable for the guests’.

Just normal chaps thrown together in a madcap rush around a tropical island resort, working for the day as Wedding planners. What could go wrong? Not too much apparently, although the pair were rushed off their feet – “we planned for 5pm off work with a beer on the beach but we ended up going till one in the morning to get things just right” says Brad. “I’m a redhead and we spent most of the day on the beach – by the time we were done I was beetroot red and was worried for the continuity of the story – that I might be this flashing white and red light of a face in the final show!”

Finally, the groom comes in on a horse, just in time to greet his bride from her helicopter. “Of course we had to try it and make sure the helicopter worked ok”, recounts Brad with his trademark Cheshire-cat smile. The 360-degree view of the whole island. Chatting in the air with tropical island on all sides. That was something I don’t think either of us will ever forget. It was only twenty minutes but the time spent seeing this amazing island from the air – I didn’t even know China had tropical rainforests – will probably stay with me for a lifetime.”

“I was terrified. I had no idea what it was going to be. But in the end it was about just being myself. After about a couple of hours filming I just forgot about the cameras.

It was a case of now climb the tree! Now throw your shoes off and run into the sea! When Dorian started capering about, I thought; Thank god you can be the crazy one!”

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We were on the beach for pretty much the whole day and… I’m a redhead. I don’t handle the sun at the best of times. I felt fine but I was worried about continuity because it was going to go from red to white to red again

“When I first came to China I genuinely didn’t know that such a place existed. I thought it was so nice to see such a balance between maintaining traditions and having an exciting modern event. Without those a wedding is just a party.” Dorian’s sense of revelation seems to typify the response of the participants in My Chinese Working Day, who come from all over the world as part of I’m In China’s global recruitment drive. British boat crews, Aussie wedding planners, Korean forest rangers, Japanese gourmet bartenders, and French watchmakers -

“A lot of firsts!” A beetroot-red Brad glimmers, as the pair receive their certificate prizes as the wedding goes off without a hitch.

One month later, and a massive cheer goes up as the unlikely duo take to the stage as special guest’s at this year’s “I’m In China” Hainan gala. It seems they not only came back from Hainan with a new skillset in wedding planning, a suntan, and also something of a keen following!


Interested in really getting into China? Want to star in your very own episode of an authentic China experience? I’m In China is actively seeking talent from all corners of the globe to take part in filming projects, live events and a whole host of exciting happenings. You can find out all about I’m In China via or wechat ID: VitaminCN

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