The SHY Interview: Claire Chiang ~ wife of Banyan Tree founder.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon ~ thetransitcafe.com
Wednesday, 24th January 2007
When not at home with husband KP H0 - kids and dogs - Claire Chiang spends time visiting villages in remote parts to source items for the Banyan Tree Gallery. She shares what inspires her and what she wants to do when she turns 90. Our only question is, why wait so long? Anyone care to challenge her?

What is the biggest buzz you get out of what you do?
In retail business, my job is to shop and to create, so I travel to many countries to buy. Aesthetics is the delight of the mind and soul.What do you most dislike about it?
I deal with thousands of store items and samples, the cluttered work space can be annoying.

What is your most perfect travel moment?
Seated in a restaurant toasty warm with loved ones, eating a delicious meal with a glass of Merlot.

What irks you most about travel?
Unclean toilets and rude service.

What is your most treasured souvenir?
A highly polished red lacquer table with inlaid gold fibre from Japan,

Who's the most interesting person you have met in your travels?
During my recent trip to Lijiang in October for the official opening of Banyan Tree hotel, I met our Guest of Honour, the Tibetan party secretary of Kunming, Dan Zheng who spoke with compelling passion the importance of cultural capital in shaping creative economics as part of an overall development strategy, a refreshing perspective from a politician.

Who's the living person you most admire?
I admire many for their different qualities. I will name Vera Tseng Khoo, a 57-year-old first generation Chinese American living in Palo Alto, California and a mother of three, who won four out of five consecutive National Action Pistol Championships in US and obtained the title of "Top Woman". She got into this to overcome her fear for firearms, and her sheer determination and perseverance to win to prove to herself that she can be as good as she wants to be, is an inspiring tale of human endeavour. I admire the simple fact that she did this for herself, not for anyone else.

What is the quality you most admire in others?
Their sincerity, you get what you see, and their honesty in the way they lead their lives.

What is the talent you would most like to have?
Playing the Chinese guzheng

What do you value most in your friends?
Their loyalty and care

What's your favourite word?

What's your least favourite word?
No… when I ask for something

What's your favourite noise?
Sounds of my family members chattering with the background rumblings of a garden waterfall.

What's your least favourite noise?
Loud disco music

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being alive, healthy and busy.

What's the one thing you would say to kids?
Get up and make yourself useful.

What's the one thing you must do before you die?
Perform at 90 my favourite song "Summer Time" and a rock and roll dance with my short skirt, in order to raise a million dollars for Community Chest.

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