Hello, Blog

Travels, opinions and all things I love

Ni Hao, China: Last day of Work!

I’m not going to lie to you, has my internship sparked an interest in marketing? No. has it been close to what it was advertised ? No. Would I do this internship again? Probably – but not for the work experience but for the life experience ( so cheeesey).

However, despite the lack of work , I guess my typing speed and researching interesting topics on Buzzfeed have improved, I can’t blame the company (I can blame CRCC). On my last day of work I was taken out to a southern Chinese restaurant with the whole office, they chose this restaurant because I couldn’t have meat and most the dishes were fish. (Thank You office). It was fun, they often made the effort to speak English and I attempted a bit of poor Chinese. There was all types of fish and vegetables on the table, at points too spicy for me but I powered through, there was one food I didn’t know and after being told it was Frog and asked to try some I couldn’t lose face ( as they say) so I took a chunk of fish and tried to eat it  – most of it was bone but it basically tasted like fish.  when I got back to the office I felt violated by eating frog – never can I look a frog in the eyes again.

I did my final presentation on social media marketing and took some photos with co-workers and that was it-  I also got gifts for the office, it seemed polite to give them gifts considering how nice everyone had been with such a huge language barrier. The end of my internship.- I had 4 days of relaxation. ( CRCC doesn’t actually schedule you any time off between the end of your internship and leaving Beijing but I would recommend you try to take it off – because unless you as an intern are holding the company with all the stapling and awkwardly trying to hide the fact you have no idea what you’re doing, you might as well enjoy Beijing).

Ni Hao, China: The Language

Chinese…
is such a difficult and impressive language, if you are able to go to language
classes it would really help in getting around. Or learning the basics, I can’t
say I’ve been successful, but my co workers and other interns have defiantly  tried
to help.

It can be off putting , but then its naïve of us in the west to assume
that everyone should make the effort to speak English. NO. we should make the
effort to speak a different language. If you’re travelling to china, its best
to try out some Chinese because a) you’ll feel more accomplished if you manage
to use some Chinese successfully and b) it can create some funny
misunderstandings ( I often ask my co worker ‘ how is your baby?’ but it comes
out more like ‘ how are you, baby?’. 

Tip: Take the risk, you will ‘lose face’ and embarrass yourself but ‘yolo’.

Ni Hao, China : Night Market

Before I came to China my friend said ‘ you’re not going to eat’ I was like ‘because it’s not Halal?’ and she was like ‘no they eat weird food’ and I never believed that , until the night market. If you’ve ever woken up thinking ‘hey I’m not sufficiently traumatised’ I suggest you go to the night market. Don’t watch Finding Nemo before hand, because you will see star fish and sea horses on skewers ready to be deep fried. Scorpions? snake? ostrich? lizard? are just some of the things you will see.. or dog? I can’t say I tried anything because something’s, like live scorpions I feel I would prefer if they were not in my throat. Men, do not go too close to the windows because some of the scorpion chefs think it’s hilarious to put a scorpion on you. Guess we can just call it difference of humour.

Also girls, I wouldn’t suggest hugging either ; the snake butchers will also ask for a hug and end up giving you a wet kiss (poor poonam). I suggest you shout ‘Mai Yo’ ( None of That) or ‘ Bu yo Naan Pung Yo’ ( I do not want a boyfriend)

However, it is amazing to see, especially how casually some locals eat the odd creatures. I do recommend a visit, and apparently the scorpion was quiet nice also there is Deep Fried Ice Cream and fresh coconuts as well as caramelised fruit (that I did try).

Tips: be adventurous (but not stupid.. eg. I don’t recommend drinking a drink with dry ice in it)

 

 

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Ni Hao, China : Food!

I love Chinese food, I really do, sweet and sour chicken,  dumplings, sticky rice! But on my trip to China I couldn’t easily access Halal food, so I thought I’d try being a vegetarian for the month. I have up most respect for vegetarians, especially in china, because food tends to be limited to plain rice or steamed vegetables! I visited a lot of local places especially near my work place ( near the art district) which made the most delicious fish, but other than that I felt like I was going to whither away until…

We went to Sanlitun for a friend’s birthday and went to a restaurant called ‘3Some’…

I love this place, mainly because of the giraffes they give you as table numbers, and the fact they have vegetarian burgers. And because; after one month in China YOU NEED A BURGER!  So the concept is that you get to pick 3 mini burgers to have a variety of fillings. CAJUN FISH! was delicious! It also has swings and sofas inside, as well as being able to write on the toilet walls. PLUS the waitresses and boss speak English so makes any queries you have on what’s in your food 100% easier! defiantly recommend!!

Tip: research restaurants before you go, that way if you get lost you can call them.. Sanlitun is a nice area but a bit expensive .. but you gotta treat yourself now and then!!

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Ni Hao, China : Temple of Heaven

Beautiful gardens, and temple, only 35 Yuan to access everything and there’s also the pearl market in front if you have time !

Temple of heaven is definitely one of the more relaxing sights to see, its perfect for a day of lazy sightseeing, it has around 3 main ‘palaces’ and the rest is miles of grass! perfect for relaxing after the mountainous climb of summer palace or the great wall!

Tip: Take Food!!

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Great Wall of China!

Health and safety regulations of China .. they call these things ‘steps’ – when walking up they may fall and hit the person behind you.

Ni Hao, China – The Great Wall

the great wall is well.. great. We are going to ‘walk’ the great wall they said, ‘ yea yea wear sensible footwear and bring water if you want’ they said.  By sensible footwear , we needed hiking boots and unless you’re a camel human who stores water on your body, bring as much water as your back pack can hold! as well as some sugar replenishment because there will be points of this walk in which you feel ‘hey, it might be easier just to jump off and cry’.

We set off to a part of the wall that tourists don’t usually visit, we all started walking up the first peak almost running, however after reaching the top of the first peak , I felt as though my lungs had not been in use for the 20 years I’ve had them and were working overtime. We soon broke up into our pace groups. The remoteness of the wall meant that at times it would feel like no one else was on the entire wall, it was so peaceful and amazing, really hard to put into words.

At first we were complaining about the un-eveness of the steps being different sizes : and no hand rails (the audacity china!)… little did we know that soon we would be walking through vegetation and paths which were only one rock wide. We motivated each other with acoustic performances (yes performances) of Destiny’s child: Survivor ( yup.. I’m a survivor , I’m not gon give up , I’m gonna make it) and of course some Mulan (im gonna make a man out of you).

After 7 peaks and 10 k  , sometimes vertical we reached the end of our hike and had to turn back and walk the 7 peaks again before sunset… no one really warned us about the sunset issue, there was a point walking back when we didn’t know if we would be able to make it back. But what was most important was that : WE MADE IT! it was a ‘finishing a marathon’ kind of moment. hugs where exchanged, photos were taken (and instagrammed), we were at the highest point of the great wall! WE MADE IT!

After doing the 7 peaks all in reverse – we where back to ground level, where everyone was sitting waiting.. I think I crawled the last metre or too because of the trauma my legs had just experienced. (3 days after the trip I wanted to cry every time I walked down stairs or up them – stairs were taunting me – because of my abusive words towards them on the wall)

After the hike, we went for a ‘bonfire’ by that – it was a ‘barbeque’. This was my only problem throughout the trip, no halal means no meat. So I sat down asked if there was any vegetarian options – Yes she said! awesome I thought – CHINA – CUCUMBER AND BREAD is not a meal! needless to say I was ready to cry, and then they brought out some octopus.. I guess I could eat that.. in times of despair I ignored the tentacles and  the fact it kind of looked like it was moving and ate some octopus. it was nice, SO SALTY. I think  I’ll  stick to bread and cucumber next time.

There was also some traditional Chinese poetry/comedy – I didn’t understand it , but it was a lovely atmosphere!

We spent the night in a close by hotel, where our intern group took over a level of the hotel, and no doubt in all our foreign intern glory managed to trash it, with noodles all over the place. (apologies)

We had to wake up for sunrise at 4am, well the sun actually rises at 4am so by the time we got on the bus it was already light. And also, because of the smog its virtually impossible to see sunrise. So the rest of the day was spent sleeping catching up on the lack of sleep we had when you put 40 people on one corridor.

TIP: Must visit! Bring water and be prepared!

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