A Foreign Affair's First China Singles Tour
My name is John Adams, President of A Foreign Affair. This summer my wife and I accompanied a group of adventurous souls to Shenzhen, China for the first Singles tour to that country. It was so successful and I was so impressed with both the women and men that I felt compelled to write a newsletter to share the experience with our members.
We opened the office in Shenzhen more than a year ago, which is about the normal lead-time necessary to conduct a successful tour. This was my first visit to China so we arrived a few days in advance to be sure everything was in order. When we arrived we were shocked as to how modern and large the city was. The skyscrapers were endless with one more impressive than the next. The architecture was modern and efficient, and the city was teeming with people, cars, restaurants, and energy.
We visited the office right away to work with staff on tour preparations. They were very excited and had been working endlessly for weeks preparing everything.
The first thing I witnessed in the office was a large bouquet of at least 23 long stem roses meant for a woman, a gift from one of the men. It was so nice to see her face light up when she saw the flowers and read the note. All too often we get caught up in the day to day details of running the business that we forget the reason we do it - bringing people together and making them happy!
We had a client who arrived a few days early, he was very excited and a little nervous about the upcoming tour. He had been corresponding with quite a few women (as we recommend) and was afraid they were all going to descend upon him at the first social Friday night! I explained that the whole point of the Social was to get to know everyone briefly and then decide whom you would like to get to know better. Just because you have been corresponding with someone does not mean that you cannot talk to other women during the social, they will be talking with other men as well. If the chemistry is right it doesn't matter how many women you talk with or how many men she talks with - the two of you will find each other! I assured him that we make announcements to all the women explaining the format where everyone has the opportunity to meet everyone, so do not get upset if the man you are speaking with excuses himself to talk with someone else, that is how the socials work, and that will also give you the opportunity to speak with someone else as well.
The rest of the men arrived a couple days later and we were finally ready to begin the first ever tour to China! We held an orientation at the hotel and went over everything from the basics of getting around town, to how to deal with the women at the socials, to possible differences in culture. I love the orientation because it gives me an opportunity to get to know the guys. Although this was a smaller group, the guys were absolutely fantastic. There were a couple that kept everyone laughing and they all helped and encouraged each other throughout the entire tour.
The next morning after the breakfast buffet (which was very good but a little different then what we are normally used to – think “Denver Omelet Chinese style”) we met in the lobby for the city tour. Shenzhen is absolutely incredible, especially when you realize it was built in about 30 years! It is a very long and narrow city that borders Hong Kong. It is considered Mainland China so you need a visa to enter but do not need one (most countries) to enter HongKong (we recommend obtaining at least a dual entry visa so you can visit HongKong and then return to Shenzhen). We visited several key sites, and enjoyed an excellent tour guide who even tried to compete with the funny guys on the tour; it was entertaining as well as informative.
We returned to the hotel with about 3 hours until the first Social. The previous night I gave handouts to all of the men showing which women were invited to which social (staff called each woman to invite them to one of the two socials). The men poured over the lists to see who was going to be attending. Some of them were comparing notes, now, hours before the social, checking their lists of women they had asked us to invite against the confirmed lists we had given them. What is funny is normally when the social starts the men are so overwhelmed with all the women they are meeting that the lists usually go out the window and the men are engrossed in meeting the women.
I went to the 9th floor of the hotel where we were holding the social and met with the director and our manager, Lilly, to make sure everything was being prepared properly. The hotel staff were accommodating and excited as well, they had never experienced one of our socials and were curious (some even hinted they wanted to attend!). Confident that they understood our instructions we went to get ready for the evenings Social.
At about 5:00 we went back to the 9th floor and helped set up the registration table and finish any final preparations. Women were already arriving, looking beautiful and excited. Each woman went through the registration process checking her name against the invitation list and receiving the proper IMBRA forms and finally receiving her name tag, which served as a pass for her to enter. This was Friday, a work day, so there were quite a few that came in later, but by a little after 7:00 we were already close to capacity with even more women arriving. I was very proud of the men; they jumped in with both feet and started talking with the women and using the interpreters when needed. There was a buffet with hors d' oeuvres, sandwiches, fruit, desserts, and various drinks. I had the pleasure of handing out welcome glasses of champagne to the women when they entered (tough job but someone had to do it!) The men were very good at moving from table to table meeting everyone. Lilly was busy trying to be sure that the men met the women they had been corresponding with. With so many people it is difficult to recognize someone of whom you have only seen a photo. Women have an amazing way of always changing their appearance, especially hair color or style so both the men and the women appreciated Lilly' s help. It was great to see Lilly take a man by the arm and lead him to a woman with whom he was corresponding. The smiles, on both sides, when the recognition hit were priceless. These people were a half a world apart connected only by words on a computer screen - now they were standing in the same room sipping champagne and really getting to know each other, simply amazing!
The evening was going well but the hotel staff was getting a bit nervous because women kept coming and coming and coming! We were close to capacity by 7:00, but by 7:45 we were over capacity, out of chairs - standing room only. At one point I spotted one of the men standing at the bar looking a bit distracted, I asked if everything was all right. He said he had to rest for a minute, that never in his life had he seen so many available women in one place at one time and he needed a few moments to regroup and develop a strategy. That was not the first time I heard one of our clients describe their experience in that way, as a matter of fact that is a fairly common description. The Socials are an outstanding vehicle to meet the one woman who is right for you. I say this without hesitation because it worked for me. I met my wife, Tanya, over 10 years ago during one of our socials in St. Petersburg! I know I would have never met her if not for that social. There is simply no way you could meet this many women in person any other way. We do one on one introductions but how many of those can you do in one day - 2 or 3, maybe 4? You can meet 4 women in the first 5 minutest at the Social. The Socials allow you to meet, at least briefly, hundreds of women in a very short time and then go out with the women with whom you felt a mutual chemistry.
Towards 10:00 the social started winding down and the women began to file out. Most of the men asked women out after the social and some went out together to restaurants or nightclubs. I did my best to speak to as many of the women during the evening as I could. Although the majority of the women were very happy with the Social, the one thing many of the women told me was that they did not think many of the men who wrote letters were serious. They said that if they were serious they would be here; they would come and meet the women they were writing. I tried to explain how difficult it is for many men to get away to travel half way around the world to meet them, that the majority of men really are interested it is just not easy for them to get away. In the end the consensus was that the women really enjoyed the social but next time wanted us to bring many more men so more of the women would have a chance to find someone.
I always awake early and try to be the first one to breakfast on the day after the social, especially the first one. This is where you hear all the stories and feedback from the previous night. I was at breakfast bright and early but some of the guys were already there in deep conversation. They were all smiling and laughing and talking about last night. They were talking about the different women they met (or failed to meet) and their feelings about who they were interested in and why, and who they were not interested in and why. We sat there for at least 3 hours talking about everything and when someone new would come in we would start all over again. Ask yourself when was the last time you spent 3 hours talking about a date you went out with the previous night? This is so different and such an amazing opportunity that the guys are still somewhat in shock, still can't quite believe it is true and they are here doing it. I had one client say, “John, don't talk too loud – this might be a dream and if it is I don't want to wake up!” These guys had pretty much the same reaction the morning after the first social as most of our clients do; elation, confidence, and a sense that they found the secret, that there is hope and if they did not find Miss Right last night at least they now know that they are looking in the right place.
After breakfast some of the men went out with women they met from the night before, some went to the office to go through the books and have the staff call some of the women they had not yet met and arrange dates. We had another social that evening, and there was a quiet anticipation you could feel, waiting for the second Social.
The men walked into the 9th floor ballroom with an air of confidence absent from the first night. They have now all been through and survived the first social were a bit more relaxed and ready to go. The turn out, although a bit less than the previous night, was still very good and just over capacity. It did not seem quite as chaotic as it did the first night, the men were easily and seamlessly moving from table to table speaking with the different women and getting numbers. Lilly was again busy making sure that the men and women she knew had been in correspondence had an opportunity to meet. I, of course, was relegated again to passing out champagne and speaking with the women. I thought the second social went very well and from the smiles on the men and women' s faces I think they enjoyed it as much if not more than the first. It ended again around 10:00 and the men and women slowly left; some groups, some individual couples, going out to experience the night life that Shenzhen has to offer.
I was at breakfast again bright and early the next day, this time I found less of the men there but slowly they shuffled in and the conversation went basically as it had the previous mornning, reliving the previous evening and analyzing everything over and over again. The men spent the rest of the day going out with the women they had met during the Socials and or spending time at the office allowing our staff to make dates for them or assist them with other logistical details.
The China tour was only 7 days and 6 nights so it goes by very quickly. Some of the men extended their stay so they could be there for a few extra days, (with our office there it is easy and safe to do) but most left at the end of the tour. All of the men spent the days after the social dating, dating and more dating. Most of them were very tired towards the end but they kept telling me that they would have plenty of time to sleep on the plane ride home. The office staff was busy arranging dates and helping with interpreter' s etc. etc. They did a great job on the tour and they guys were very grateful.
Shenzhen also offers some incredible shopping opportunities. You can have a custom tailored suit, shirt, slacks done in just a matter of hours for a fraction of the price of what you would pay in the States or most other places. You can also purchase electronics, luggage, watches, etc etc at extremely reasonable prices. One group of guys went on a “shopping” trip with my wife as the head negotiator and 4 or 5 hours later they returned with bags and bags of merchandise. One of the guys said that the money he saved on clothes and other items he purchased went a long ways towards reducing the cost of the overall tour for him.
All of the men without exception told me that they had a fantastic time and that from a company standpoint; we did everything we said we would and more. They said they met more women then they had in years and the opportunity to find a quality, sincere, and beautiful partner was unparalleled anywhere else. I have to say that my wife and I enjoyed our time in Shenzhen and were honored to have the opportunity to work with both the men and the women. I have a lot of respect for both the men and women who participate. Although we try our best to create a fun, safe, and relaxing environment for the Socials they are not easy for the men or the women for a number of reasons, but despite that they do it because they want to meet the right person and they are willing to do what it takes, despite what their friends or family may say, to make that happen. Not every man or woman who attends one of our socials is going to find true love, but at least they are trying and giving themselves an opportunity to do so, and if they keep doing that and keep that open attitude it will happen for them.
I have to say that we have been doing this now for about 13 years and what the women told me in China is really no different than what we hear in the Ukraine, Russia, Latin America. The women who attend the socials really want to meet someone for a serious relationship. I always promise them that I will do my best to let the men around the world know about this option and try to convince them that they have to at least explore it. I have met some of the kindest, most sincere, intelligent, women over the years and I wish I could find a match for each and every one of them. We have been working for over 13 years to get the word out yet only a tiny fraction of men who write letters still ever take the next step to go over and meet these remarkable women.
If you are still reading this (it is now much longer than I intended) then you either have insomnia, or you really are interested in meeting someone. If the latter is true, do not be like 85 to 90 percent of the other men who just write letters without ever making the commitment to go over and meet these beautiful, sincere women. Don't waste their time or yours. I realize that many of you want to write letters to “test the waters” before you go, but you will never know what these women are like until you go and experience it for yourself and no amount of letter writing, phone calling or even video conferencing can substitute for a face to face meeting. If you really want to change your life, if you are tired of being alone and you are not afraid of a little adventure then pick a tour to China, Colombia, Ukraine, Russia, Peru, etc etc. and do it. The only regret you will ever have is not trying.
Written by John Adams, President, A Foreign Affair
Questions or comments please E-mail John at firstname.lastname@example.org
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