Today was my very first working day, EVER (except from my weekend jobs). We had to be at the office at 9 and since Ellie are thinking alike, the longer in bed the better, our alarm went off at 7.20. A quick breakfast and off we go. Fortunately we knew how we needed to get there. We got there at 8.55, but nobody was there yet. The maid let us in and told us that we needed to wait for a while. Well, we understood that 9 ish was something like 9.10 but I think this is a cultural difference since everybody started to enter at 9.30! I was a bit disappointed since I got up 'soooo early' and don't you mess with my sleep. However, I think this goes with being an intern.
At 10 Jeff, our supervisor came to us to show us around the office and introduce all of our new colleagues. We still didn't got our assignment so we were going trough some look-books of Gaastra and McGregor since we will be working for both of the brands. Time passed by.. no assignment yet..
We are working in the KITEC building in Kowloon Bay. This is a huge building full with offices. In the lounge they have several restaurants where you can eat during lunch break. Our break is from 1 - 2, but once again they aren't that strict with the time schedule. We decided to eat Chinese so we ordered soy chicken and egg friend rice with veggies. Pretty good food except for the thick fatty skin which was still on the chicken. However, I don't think we are going for lunch every day since the office has a big kitchen as well were you can eat together.
After lunch, we still didn't knew exactly what to do but since we are going to a leather accessories and materials fair tomorrow, we asked a few of the managers for some tips. Max, who is sitting next to me is the head of jeans and outerwear. He asked us if we wanted to source for new suppliers at the fair tomorrow for semi prepared leather labels and raw leather. So, I'm quite excited that we got this task!
At 4 o'clock we had a meeting with Sidney, the boss of the Hong Kong office. He explained us what he expects from us and what we are going to do the upcoming three months. We don't have one big assignment like all the other girls, but we have several small ones. The first one, which we have to hand in within 10 days already, is updating the company manuals of Gaastra and McGregor. Second, we will make a fabrication library and at last we will do an assignment about quality control. We will also go to several factories and if we can arrange our visa's before wednesday or wednesday morning we are going to Shenzhen to attend a meeting. So, a lot of traveling these days!
It all started off a bit weird, because we had no clue what we had to do, but in the end it was a really nice day. We even got chocolate cake because of the girls had her birthday today! I think we will have a good time over there but I do have to get used to waking up that early. At least I know what 9 ish is now!!
Since we have four days off next weekend because it's easter and good friday, Tirsa, Ellie and I wanted to plan a trip to China. We asked our teachers were to go. They came up with really nice places but all a little bit far away. One place really caught our eyes: Guilin. Yeah, we really wanted to explore the real China now that we had the opportunity to travel around for a few days. So, we went to the train station to buy tickets in advance until we found out that Guilin is 12 hours with the train. After the shock we said to each other, well we're only in China once so let's do something adventurous. The only thing that stood us in the way was the fact that trains only go once a day here and we were not able to make that one because it got off from Shenzhen. Change of plans!
Then we decided to go to Zaoqing, one of the places where the train stopped and which looked kinda nice. Nature, temples, mountains, the real deal. But.. the train was fully booked! We were so disappointed because we finally knew were we wanted to go and it was 'only' 6 hours away, but now we couldn't. Finally we just asked the lady which wasn't fully booked, which was Ghangzhou, a huge city with 20 million inhabitants. There goes the plan of exploring the real China! But we booked it, as adventurous as we are.
Next stop: immigration tower to get a visa. It was already 3 o'clock and the immigration service closes at 5. I left my passport at home so we had to go home first and then race to HK island to find were we had to go. What a stress! We had to fill in many forms, I had to take pictures because I forget these and we had to wait in line. Time was passing by but we managed to get it! Afterwards we felt so stressed, we had to relax with some shopping. So we went to forever 21, stayed there for a hour or so. Tried on the whole store, but only bought a pants. What a day, what a day!
However, I feel really grown up now because I arranged everything myself. My mom and dad would be so proud of me! Although I will probably not see any Chinese nature next week, I can say that I'm going to China!
HI, my name is Roy. Michael, my boss, left me with this weird people because he's going to mainland China for one week. We live in the same building but I've never seen this girls before and after Michael pick me up, I will never will again I hope. So, I was walking around all day in the apartment, exploring my new environment. They gave me food, I was even allowed to lay down on the couch. I began to like it here. In the evening the redhead and curly one went to bed. I was left there with this blonde cat hater since the bulgarian was under the shower. I decided to go into the kitchen to look around a bit. This is when IT happened..
Apparently there was a mouse trap behind the fridge, which I couldn't see since it was a carton with very,very,very sticky glue on it. I got stuck to my hair so I started running around like crazy since I wanted it to get it off. The cat hater didn't dare to take it of me, I think she was scared that I would hurt her which I probably would've done. She started screaming for Tirsa, who was already half asleep but did came to look why that blonde person screamed so loud. It felt horrible when they took it off me. It felt like a full body wax and let me tell you that it DID NOT felt nice.
After that thing was off me I was sticky allover so I started to lick it off. Well, it didn't tasted that good. Everybody was following me were I went, which was really annoying. I just wanted to get this shit off of me! It was already 1 o'clock at night by this time and I really wanted to go to bed. In the end two others brought me to the fed's where I got stressed out because they decided to cut the glue out of my hair. I got back at 4 in the morning.
I wasn't even here for 12 hours and look how I look now! Since I'm so insecure now I decided to hide under the couch all day and I will only come out if I'm hungry. Pff, still 6 more days to go. Can't wait until my boss is coming to save me from this crazy people. Wish me luck!!
We went to Dragon-i to meet some Chinese friends of Nina. They booked a table and the drinks just kept on coming. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do anything the rest of the weekend, but friday was gooooood. Just take a look at the pictures, they speak for themselves! XO
Today we had a museum trip planned for the afternoon. We went with all of our Chinese teachers to the museum of art at Tsim Tsa Tsui. There was a Andy Warhol exhibition which was quite nice but unfortunately I really don't like museums that much. We were there at 3 o'clock and I think I left at 4 or something. But at least I can say that I have seen it. I think my parents are proud of me! I even have my own Warhol picture now.
Afterwards I went home with Nina. We were both very tired and I woke up a bit cranky because I'm a bit annoyed with everything and everyone. Think this will happen more often. Waking up for school everyday is not making me that happy, plus the fact that everybody walks sooooo slow here so we have to leave the house early in order to get to school in time. (I HATE MORNINGS!) I also have to get used to the fact that I am now living with many other people in a building and have no privacy at all. Since I don't have brothers or sisters this is quite hard for me but I will get used to it. Tomorrow I will be happy again!
What did made me happy was my mark for the first quiz we got back yesterday. I think I have a little Chinese inside of me since I managed it to score 35.6 out of 40 points. Also the oral exam went quite well. On friday we will get the marks, so let's see how that worked out. I'll keep you updated.
I haven't been able to update my blog for the past few days because my parents were in Hong Kong, I had to go to school and in the evenings I really really had to finish watching the last season of gossip girl. Very important of course.
This weekend we started the weekend good at Dragon-i and club Nova. Since the drinks are so expensive here we decided to take some advantage of 'being a women'. (Very bad, we know!) Dragon-i is a really posh club so we were all dressed up nicely and Nina managed it somehow to get us on the guest list. The people who where there were mainly European businessmen with young good looking girls. This is where our mission started.. We danced and talked to the people around us until the waiter came to us with a full bottle of champagne. He told us that it was ours. We were really surprised, from who was the bottle? Apparently it was from a Russian looking guy who had a table at the other side of the bar, which was full of champagne bottles. I guess he could't care less about giving a couple of them away. The weird thing was that we didn't even spoke to the guy or looked at him, not before we got the bottle nor after we drank it. Anyway, mission completed.
After dragon-i we got on to club Nova where Emmy, she lives in the same building as us and she is a professional dancer. She invited us to come to Nova where she was dancing that night. She told the PR that a bunch of dutch models were coming so when we arrived stood at the 'models' table where we could get free drinks all night and with free drinks I don't mean cheap wine but grey goose vodka with redbull or any other mix drink we preferred. I love Hong Kong!
I got home at 4 o'clock, skyped with Jeff and went to sleep since I got picked up early on sunday morning. At 11 Danny and my parents came to pick me up at my apartment. Because the weather was so good we went to Stanley. I really had the feeling like I was on a holiday for one afternoon. From the noisy, crowdy Monkok we arrived within 45 min in the beautiful, quiet Stanley. No Chinese people, no traffic jams, I loved it! We went to Stanley market, which is really a must go to. Here you can find the good fake stuff for a really good price. The people who know me well may be really surprised if I say that I didn't bought jewelry or clothes that day. Instead I bough a oil painting of HK central. I saw it and I just had to have it. The price started at 800 dollars which is 80 euro but since I love to bargain you understand that I didn't agreed. I got it for 350 dollars (35 euro). I think that the lady cursed me after that but i couldn't care less, I had my painting! Afterwards we had a really nice lunch at the Stanley boulevard and in the evening we went to the Peking Garden which is famous for it's Peking duck. Since my father's birthday is next week but I'm not with him then, we celebrated it there.
It was such a nice weekend with nice weather and a lot of good dinners. But all good things come to an end. My parents fly to Holland tonight so tomorrow my student budget goes in again. Instead of duck and lobster I will now eat noodles, soup and sushi from 6 euro which is also very nice.
My parents are also in Hong Kong now and today we decided to go with our Chinese friends, Danny and James, for dinner. We decided to eat some seafood. When we arrived in Lei Yue Mun (Kowloon), there was a fish market which so many different kinds of fish, I didn't even know there were so many!! I thought it was a market but in between the stands there were little restaurants. We went to Kui Kee Restaurant which is famous for it's good seafood. Oh boy, and it was good!!
James asked me which fish I liked. Since I love seafood I started a list with the ones I love the most. Shrimps, lobster, tiger prawns, coquilles, white fish.. I thought we would order two different ones but James ordered all of them! I had never ate so much fish in my life but I never had such a good dinner as well. If some of you have the chance to go to Hong Kong, this restaurant is definitely a must go to. Here are some pictures of tonight:
what to eat!?
little crabby and some scallops with really weird stuff growing out of them!
Today we had our first mandarin quiz. The listening part was a bit confusing since everything sounds the same for me but I think I passed the test! At 12.30 class finished and we decided to got to the big buddha. We went there with the cableway which took us about 25 min. After 20 minutes the big buddha came into my sight, I didn't looked that big but when I was standing on the platform it actually was really big! There was also a temple which we visited. Here are some pictures of today:
I've been to school for one week already and we learned a lot! I know know how the greet somebody in mandarin, ask if their busy and where they come from. However, I don't think I'm able to speak it fluently it's quite cool when I recognize some of the Chinese characters while walking on the streets. On the pictures you can see my Chinese name: Ài Shā. Ai stands for Aimée because it has the same pronunciation and Shā means beautiful. It's a nice name but it doesn't really make sense since they already made the name before the saw me. We also had lunch with our teachers at the canteen of PolyU which you can see on the last photo. They were really happy that we asked them to eat lunch with them, so cute!
Now I have to study again because we have our first quiz tomorrow. Which is kind of nerve wracking since the Chinese characters are really difficult. Hope I will do well tomorrow! XO
We decided to go to all kinds of markets since we are in the market area. First we went to the goldfish market then we went on to the garment market, flower market and bird garden. After a nice lunch of dim sum Nina decided to go home because she's jet-lagged. Tirsa, Ellie and I went on with visiting the markets. We went on to the flea market which is really crappy actually with all kind of Chinese souvenirs like buddha's and lucky coins but is nice to see. Afterwards we bought a lot of fruits and veggies because we are going to cook at home tonight.
Yesterday we slept till late because we went out on Saturday to Botelón and club PLAY. Botelón is some kind of gathering between all kinds of people. You don't have to pay anything, you only have to bring a bottle of wine and start talking to meet others! We went to HK central but we couldn't find the amfitheatre where Botelón was. After a lot of walking we finally found it. We met Portuguese, German, French and Italian people. It was really nice! Afterwards we went to PLAY for some dancing.
So since we got home at 6 in the morning and went to bed at 7 or so, we slept till late on saturday. At 4 in the afternoon we finally got out of the house to the market near Prince edward station. It's actually a market where they sell very poor quality shoes and clothes but it looks really nice since everything is literally copied from the big fashion brands. Everybody who know me, knows that I loooove shopping. Well, on the markets it's a bit difficult for me because they only sell clothes in size 25-26 and shoes till size 39. I can't even remember when I had that size, it's that long ago! I saw a lot of nice things which I wanted to buy but I couldn't because I didn't fit them. The only thing I bought was bananas. Not good for my mood, however it is good for my wallet!
Last night we didn't do anything because we were still tired of the night before. Nina had arrived also so we decided to stay at home. After eating sushi, AGAIN, we all watched another movie/serie on our laptops with our earphones in. How social!
Today we're all in a cultural mood however we still didn't decided what to do yet. So I will take a shower now and I will keep you updated what we've done today! XO