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Working in Urumqi
Read the lonely planet and it says Urumqi is an armpit of a transport hub in the middle of the vast province of Xinjiang. I came armed with that information when I arrived and I've been here for over four years now! Credit there's not much to see in Urumqi, no must photgraph tourist attractions, no world famous sites of interest. Still if you're open minded and give the place time it reveals a character so rich with contrasting cultures that you cannot fail to get sucked into the colour and wonders of the region as a whole.
I write this in the capacity of a happy employee of Urumqi English First. English First is a growing entity in China and being new it is not without it's teathing problems but to draw a picture the staff here are excellent, well looked after and comfortable even when the temperature drops well below zero during the winter months. There is an excellent working atmosphere at the centre, and all the staff enjoy the social side of life in the city. And what better a location than Urumqi to use as a base to get to know the true beauty of the west of China.

Xinjiang is, in my opinion, a must see province. If you're after a fast expat kind of lifestyle and are chasing the big bucks then it's not for you. But if you're open minded and are interested in catching a glimps at the mad mixture of cultures in Western China before they become obsolete then it's the place for you.

If anyone would like any information about either working or living in Xinjiang then please don't hesitate to send me a mail to ian_frankish@yahoo.co.uk.