I graduated from Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute in 2003. I never thought I’d be a tour guide, but things just worked out that way. One of my friends used to work in a hutong tour company, so he introduced me to working as a tour guide so I could practise my English. I thought it was a great idea. But then I found that I really liked doing the job…showing people around and telling them the stories, history and customs of my hometown. And I learned so much from the schools I was showing around as well. So after 3 years of working in a hutong tour company, I decided to be a professional tour guide in Beijing. After I passed the test, I got my license.
I’ve been a tour guide since 2006 – that’s 13 years and counting! I love my job, I love talking to student groups, I feel young when I stay with young people. Their passion, energy, innocence and sincerity inspire me every day.
I once took a group from Pakistan, a youth delegation. I was so touched and really overjoyed when they started shouting “East, West, Jack is best!” It was a great honour for me, better than any gift. And the tour I’m taking now – last night before dinner, when I walked down the stairs, all the students in the courtyard cheered and applauded me. I felt like a king! That’s the best gift for me, when I know the students like me and appreciate my work.
Chairman Mao said “serve the people”. I’d like to serve my clients with all my heart. I got on really well with my last group – one of the students said “Jack, I’ll never forget your smile.”
Beijing is my hometown. I love Beijing. The history impresses me a lot.
One time, an American man and I stayed in one of the watchtowers on the Great Wall. It was during the New Year, so it was freezing up there, even with the stove and double sleeping bags! The first 20 minutes were so bad, we felt like we were in a fridge. We kept talking and talking to try to keep ourselves motivated, and gradually we got used to it.
Trustworthy, nice, considerate.
Responsible, reliable, kind.
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