All who contributed to this book met in China in 1995, when
she was fondly referred to as the ‘Wild, Wild East’. It was a
time of limited Internet access, limited basic staples (no coffee,
no cheese, one kind of bread), limited bars and restaurants
and unlimited adventure.
We were a family of circumstance. We were pioneers in
our fields. We adapted in unimaginable ways: we tested the
limits of the adage that fondly describes China, ‘nothing is
possible and everything is possible’, and crafted our own
The knowledge that shaped this book could not have been
accumulated without the experiences acquired with our
family of circumstance, all China pioneers in their own right.
This book is fondly attributed to each of them and honours
the strong bond of lifetime friendship that is forged through
From this group, two direct contributors to CultureShock!
China are American Clancey Houston and Hungarian
Attila Balogh. Clancey wrote the chapter on the history of
China. A China scholar and well-regarded business advisor,
Clancey’s knowledge of and passion for China shines through
Attila’s photos illuminate the book. His eye for the absurd,
his sense of grace, his humour, and his compassion toward
people, are all clear throughout the book.
We would also like to acknowledge the support of those
who generously understood when we carved extra time out
of days and nights to write this book, while having already-full
professional and family lives.
Finally, our thanks goes to the two Crystals, Chan and
Ouyang, as well as Melvin Neo and the rest of the staff at
Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited, for
their support in publishing this book and the two previous
ones. The book has been made stronger by their comments
CS! China.indb viii 3/14/11 10:06 AM