A Travellerspoint blog

Long post continued..

Hey, sorry about that - I didn't really feel like writing anymore of the blog last night...so now I am continuing!

2. BEIJING TRIP CONTINUED

So also on Sunday when we visited the Great Wall and saw the kungfu show, I also went to eat Peking Duck with my parents and Kyle. We went to this cute restaurant and the food was so good! We ate duck, corn pancake things, beef and many more things..So good!
We also went out that night...the club scene in Bejing is completely different than the one in Nanjing - Nanjing is so much better!

Monday --- We went to see Tianenman Square, Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. I liked the Summer Palace best because it was really pretty and was more a girl's home than a guy's home (the empress lives in the Summer Palace while the emperor lives in the Forbidden City). In the middle of the palace was a big lake - we took a dragon boat ride through it - lots of fun!
After the tours were done with for the day, my mom and I went to yet another market and we bought more clothes for me! I missed shopping with my mommy! We then went to my mom's hotel and had dinner with my dad - their hotel was in the french district, so naturally I had french food: Crouque Monsieur! It was soo good but the best one I have ever had was in Rockefeller Center in NYC, surprisingly not one of the ones I have had in Paris!

Tuesday --- We visited the Temple of Heavens and took a tour through the Hutongs - this is an interesting area in Beijing. If you look at my pictures, you will see a couple of doors with interesting marks on them. Each family in the Hutongs is classified by marks on their doors. Sticks stick out of the door and depending on how many there are, the better the family is. The highest number is 4 and the lowest is 0. Also the level of the stoop determines the class too - the higher the stoop, the better the family is. One other thing we heard is that if are certain designs on the doors, then that means someone important lives there - one of the pictures shows a shape on the door and that means a military official lives there. There is your lesson for the day!
After the tours this day, what did I do? I went back to Silk Street and bought about 15 other things!! I really love shopping, and having amazing discounts is awesome!!
Well anyways, we all got on a train back to Nanjing at 9.30pm. This time, the train was really nice and we had tv's on each of our beds! So, the other girls and I all watched a couple movies on the way back and then slept. We got back to Nanjing at around 5.30am.
The rest of that day, I just hung out, slept and worked on my paper.
I had a lot of fun in Beijing and hope to go back again someday.

3. NITH VISIT

On Friday, the other interns and I went to visit the Nanjing Institute of Tourism and Hospitality. We went for a little party - it was to celebrate Mid-Autumn Day which was going to be September 22. We went and the students had prepared songs for us - they sang some songs in English for us and were actually pretty good. We ate food and played games and then visited one of the dorms to see where the students lived - 4 boys in one room with mosquito nets covering their beds. They also had a private bathroom and it was disgusting! Sink, toilet and shower - the shower was in between the sink and toilet..it was just the floor, so everything in the room would get wet from there! Well anyways it was a fun trip, and we promised the students that the next time we saw them we would perform Chinese songs for them...we shall see if that comes through!

Sorry to do this again, but I am going to continue tomorrow - I have to work on some more of my research project now.

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 03:51 Comments (0)

Long post!

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't written in a long time! I have been so busy with Beijing, work, my research paper, activities planned by the hotel..

Topics of this post:
1. Reception
2. Parents visit/Beijing
3. NITH visit/Yangzhou
4. Pacific Bar and Grill
5. My research project
6. Other events

1. RECEPTION

So I was in reception for 2 weeks. I really liked working there - all of the people I worked with were so friendly and very helpful. I pretty much just walked around the front office area, filing bills for people's rooms, and making keys for different rooms. I was never too busy, but it was still a lot of fun working with everyone. My trainers were Raymond, Jeff, Jasper, Cathy and Peter - I liked working with each of them, but I think I learned the most from Raymond. I miss working in reception, but tomorrow I start working in concierge, so I will be right next to the reception desk! Also, I have decided that I really want to work in reception after college - I wanted this since 6th grade, but had never worked in a hotel, so I am glad I liked it so much!

2. PARENTS VISIT/BEIJING

My parents came to visit me in Nanjing and then we went to Beijing for a few days. They arrived in Nanjing on Monday, September 6. I was so happy to see them! My mom had a suitcase for me - food and clothes! She brought Mac+Cheese, peanut butter, popcorn, twizzlers, and candy corn! Well, I was also happy to see them because I missed them, though bringing me candy made me a little more excited! lol....well anyways we did a lot of stuff while they were in Nanjing. We went to dinner the first night with my dad's friend and we had an awesome dinner at an authentic Chinese restaurant around the Confucius Temple (an area in Nanjing with tons of restaurants and shops, and one temple). We also went to the Presidential Palace, Ming Wall, Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, and a few other places that I hadn't been to! That Thursday, my parents and I were invited to a lunch in the hotel with two prominent people at the Jinling - the Director of Training and the Front Office Director. We had an 8 course meal with lots of variety - bean curd soup. crab soup, fruit, salted duck, and many more foods. After the lunch, my mom and I went to get massages - we got a shiatsu massage and a foot massage for only 168RMB each! So cheap!! Also on Thursday, my mom took me to go get fake nails - they stayed on for 2 days and then started falling off - I am going to wait to get them again until I get back to the states - there I will be able to get proper acrylics.
On Friday night, I left for Beijing with the other 5 interns - we went on a 10 hour train ride in a sleeper train. Surprisingly, I slept very well! The four girls were in a car together and then Kyle and Jared were in 2 different cars. We got to Beijing South Railway Station around 11am on Saturday. We then went to the hostel that we stayed at for 3 nights - what was our taxi? A guys car - we paid him 90 RMB to take us to the hostel - he was actually very nice! I know this was definitely not good to do, but we got there safely!
The hostel we stayed at was called The Forbidden City Hostel - it was about a 5 minute walk to Tianenman Square and the Forbidden City, so a very good location. We got 3 rooms for 6 people and for 3 nights - they were so cheap! After getting to the hostel, we had lunch in their little cafe and then went shopping. We all went to Silk Street Market - a big place that sells fake everything! I bought so much there - Uggs, flats, Adidas clothes, Abercrombie clothes, purses! It was one of those places where you can bargain, so when I got my Uggs, the sales person started at 500 and I only paid 110 (about 15 dollars for very good quality..believe me I checked!) After shopping, the girls and I went to an acrobatic show (check out my pics from that). It was really good and very different from any acrobat show I have seen before! Everyone was so flexible!!!
On Sunday, the interns and my parents (who had arrived Saturday also) started our 3-day tour throughout the city of Beijing. We met my parents at their hotel (a really cute boutique hotel with awesome rooms!) and then went to the Great Wall. We went to a special part of the wall called Mutianyu - there were not a lot of people at this part so it was really nice to go there without crowds. We spent about 3 hours there walking along the wall and I really wanted to spend more time there! I know it's just a wall, but I love to hike so it wad really cool to walk up it!
After visiting the Great Wall, a few of us went to a Kungfu show - it was interesting...weird story and more ballet than kungfu. I am glad I saw it in China rather than the US!

Well I will continue my post later. Bye!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 05:49 Comments (0)

Post 9

0 °C

Hey everyone!

How are you all? I am doing great! I love it here at the hotel and in China in general. I can't believe that I have been here for more than 2 months now. The time has flown by so fast! I am not ready for the internship to be over soon, even though I still have 3 months left.

So, let's see. This past week I was in the housekeeping center for 2 days, and then laundry for 3 days. Even though the housekeeping center is an important thing for a hotel to have, i think it is pointless for us interns to be in there for 2 whole days. All we do is watch the lady answer phones, and maybe if she is busy, we can pick one up and say "Ni hao, qing chao deng" (Hello, just a moment please) and then we had the phone to her. I think that maybe we should be in there for only a few hours to fully understand what the process is for the housekeeping center. Tomorrow, the other interns and I have a meeting with the training department about our progress this past month, and I am going to give them suggestions for making the time in the housekeeping center shorter.

Laundry was completely different than the housekeeping center. It was fun and easy. Fun - my trainer, Alice, was really nice and cool and she really likes what she does for her job, so that made me have more fun. It was easy, because I would start work at 8.30 am and then have a break from 11-1pm and then go back to work until 2.30pm. I loved that so much! The process for the laundry department was: pick up laundry from guest rooms, sort clothes, label clothes, fold clothes, put in bags, deliver to guest rooms. Well, I had a good time down in the laundry department.

On Saturday, the other interns and I went to a coworker's house for dinner. Raymond Du has had interns over every year since her first started working at the hotel, 4 years ago. Well, we met him at 1912 and then walked to his house. His mom had cooked the meal for us and we ate salted duck, lots of pork and leek dumplings, beef, broccoli, and tomato + egg soup. Everything was delicious!

Sunday morning, after a late night, I went to a dumpling place with some people. It was a Muslim place, so we had beef fried dumplings (as opposed to pork), and wonton soup. The food was amazing! I hope to go there again, or somewhere like it.

Yesterday, I started working in reception. I was trained by Jeff, though he is not my main trainer. Yesterday and today, I mostly checked keys and watched the receptionists work. So far, I really like the work. I have always wanted to work at the front desk in a hotel, but have never had any experience, but so far so good!

Next Monday, my parents will come to Nanjing. I am really excited to see them. It is weird because when I am at school, I usually do not miss them, but here I do! They will be here until Saturday, when they leave for Beijing. I am going with them to Beijing, as are all the other interns. The 6 of us will leave Friday night on a train, and my parents will leave Saturday morning on a plane.
In Beijing, we will all go on a 3-day private tour of the city. We will see the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Forbidden City and many other attractions. I hope we are able to go see the Olympic stadium!
The interns and I are staying at a hostel very close to the Forbidden City. That area is supposed to be nice and have lots of stuff for us to do there!

I am really looking forward to the trip and to seeing my parents. Well, I am going to sign off now.

Love,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 01:58 Archived in China Tagged living abroad Comments (1)

Post 8 - 20 on 20!

semi-overcast 34 °C

So as you all should know my birthday was on Friday August 20 and I turned 20, so it was my Golden Birthday!

I had a lot of fun this weekend celebrating it, but I will write about that in a little bit - have to backtrack to the beginning of last week - what do the words bed, vacuum, toilet, and one week have in common?

Well, you guessed it, I was cleaning rooms this past week. I'll start off by saying that I really liked my trainer, Crystal Chen, who has been working in the housekeeping department for 2 years.

Monday was my first day of housekeeping - I had heard it was really hard but I figured it wouldn't be as bad as what Melissa, Jared and Elizabeth said. What I realized is that they made it sound easy! Throughout the week, I had to clean 1 room then 2 and so on. I also had to do a Hygiene Plan, which is essentially deep cleaning a room - you clean the floorboards, the edge of the carpet, under the bed, and even the wallpaper! It was a pain in the butt to do all this!

2 things I learned from this past week - I cannot make a bed properly to save a life, and that I never want to be a housekeeper ever - unless it is in my own house. Crystal kept informing me of how long I was taking to clean each room - usually around 1.5 hours. This was in checkout rooms. In those rooms, you have to change the sheets on the bed and change the cover, which was the hardest part for me. You also have to fully clean the bathroom, but that was the easy part. For rooms that were occupied, you also fully clean the bathroom, but you do not have to change the sheets or the cover, only to make the bed look nice. I was happy to do the occupied rooms, and they only took me around 45 minutes! Such a difference between the occupied rooms and check-out rooms!

On my last day, my birthday, i was thinking of calling off work, but in the end of the day, I was glad I didn't call off.
I walked into the housekeeping center Friday morning, half expecting everyone to burst into "Happy Birthday" Chinese style, but no, everyone was just acting normal, which made me feel kind of sad.
I told my trainer later that it was my birthday and asked if I actually had to clean 5 rooms and do a hygiene plan. She called the housekeeping manager and was told that unfortunately i did have to do all that. So, I went and cleaned 4 rooms (all occupied thankfully!), and then went to go do a hygiene plan. Crystal told me that she would help me with the room, so I was happy about that. Unfortunately she pretty much did nothing and left me to do all the work.
Right when I was finishing up the work, she comes in and tells me we have to go clean the last room. So, we go down to the 26th floor and go to one of the rooms. The assistant manager opens the door and looks pissed off when he sees me. He proceeds to accuse me of not cleaning the guests room properly, and saying that they had to change because the bed sucked. I walked in and looked at the bed - it looked perfect! So what was going on??
A group of women came out of the bathroom pushing a big cart of food on it!!! I was so relieved that I wasn't going to be punished for anything! So anyways, the housekeeping staff had a little party for me - we had a giant, delicious cake, dragon fruit, bananas, mints, and grapes. They also gave me flowers, and a boquet of pink roses that my mom ordered for me! I felt so spoiled by everyone!

On Saturday, the other interns and I went out as we had a test on Saturday afternoon, so we couldn't go out Friday - we were all really nervous for it.
Anyways, we went to Secco, a delicious German restaurant where I had Weiner Schnitzel and Spezi. Elizabeth also asked the owner of they could make me a cake, so we had cake there too.
Later that night, I went out with my roommate and a few other people and we had a lot of fun!
It was an awesome birthday weekend, and to top it off - it was in China!!!

Yesterday and today I was in the housekeeping center, where I sat and watched a lady answer phones for 9 hours each day. So. Much. Fun.......

Tomorrow I am going to the laundry department and will be there until Friday - everyone says it's a lot of fun so I hope it is!

Well that was my week! Hope you enjoyed this post! I will write again probably Sunday.

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 02:43 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

Post 7

Hello everyone...

So interesting week. I have lots to tell. GRO stuff, tour of Nanjing, hospital trip.

GRO INFORMATION

So I will be done with GRO (Guest Relations Office) on Sunday. I have had a lot of fun working with the girls in GRO - Michelle, Niki, Nancy, Jenny..they were a lot of fun.
In GRO, we are in charge of greeting the VIPs, checking them in, making sure they are settled in, and then help them with anything they need. We also do courtesy calls, open safes for people who can't open them themselves, celebrate guest's birthdays, and lots of other things.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the President of Tanzania. It was so cool! Nancy and I had to go up to his room and take him down to a banquet. We also brought him back to his room after the banquet was finished. So, technically I only said , "Good evening sir", "Have a good night sir" and "This way sir", but I was just so happy to be talking to a President!
I have also met other interesting people during my two weeks in GRO, but none as important as the President.

TOUR OF NANJING

On Sunday, the Training department took all of us on a tour of different places throughout Nanjing. We left the hotel at around 7am and got back around 5pm, so I was extremely exhausted after that!
We started out the day at a temple for women. It was really pretty and was high up on a hill so you could see the taller buildings of Nanjing from where we were. We lit prayer candle things and followed the steps of what the Chinese people were doing - bow to North, South, East and West - I am not sure what it was supposed to do, but it was interesting anyways!
We also walked on a wall that was extremely old. In the olden days, it was a separation between Nanjing and Ningbo. Now, the wall is still there but the cities were combined and it is all Nanjing now.
The men temple was similar to the women's, but had some scary statues in it - they are in my photo box for my blog.
We also saw Dr. Sun Yat Sen's Mausoleum. It was interesting to see pictures about who he was and what he did for China. As I believe I have said before, right outside of my window is a statue of Dr. Sun, so I thought it was really cool to go see who he was.
We also went to see 3 shows at a cultural center an hour outside of Nanjing. They were really good - we saw a Ming Dynasty wedding show, a lion show and a Kung fu show. The lion show was the best - 12 people dressed as 6 lions, dancing and shaking their butts at as. There were 'lily pad' type things over the water that the 'lions' jumped on too - it was really cool to watch. Check out my pictures!
For lunch we ate at an authentic Chinese restaurant - pretty much like the one I wrote about previously - after going to KTV one night. The food was really good and the company was even better.

HOSPITAL TRIP

Yesterday around 8pm I started coughing and then ran to the bathroom where I proceeded to throw up a couple times. This all happened while I was at work. After I was let off work, I went to my room and threw up some more. I finally went to the clinic in the hotel, and the doctor said I didn't have a fever but she could sense something was wrong with me. I was told to go to the hospital if I felt worse later. Then, I went back to my room and had some more issues, which made me finally go to the hospital
At the hospital, I got a blood test, an ECG and then sat in a room with 30 other people hooked up to an IV for 3 hours. It came down to this - I probably had food poisoning. I say 'probably' because the doctor never came out and said what he thought I had, so I am just going with that assumption.

So I start housekeeping on Monday and I have heard that is is really hard. I am not looking forward to it, but I have to do it so I guess I will have to bear and grin it. At least, it is only for a week, then I go to the housekeeping center and I just sit and answer phones, and then to laundry, which is going to be easy too.

Well I hope you enjoyed my blog post and the new pictures that I put up! I will post next week, most likely Saturday or Sunday, so I can tell you about how my birthday went! (I turn 20 on 20!!!)..lol..

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 22:20 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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