A Travellerspoint blog

Post 6 - One month done!!

sunny 32 °C

So I have been in China for a month already! I am sad that the days are going by so fast! It already seems like such a long time has gone, but thankfully I still have 4 months left!

Tonight is going to be my last night at Jin's Cafe and I am sad and happy to leave. I am sad because I have made some good friends with my coworkers and will not be able to see them everyday on a personal level, though i will be eating at Jin's for the next 4 months, which is good! Most of the girls I have become friends with are the hostesses at the restaurant. Michelle gan, Melinda, Stella and Lara - I'm going to miss working with them!
I am happy to leave Jin's Cafe, because most of the days have been very repetitive for me - I go in and set the coffee spoons (for the morning shift), then hostess or serve for a while. After that I would retreat to the back area and clean hundreds of spoons, knives and forks that people have been eating off of. Later, I would proceed to fold about 200 napkins in a specific way that all the restaurants here use. I don't mind doing all of this, but at least let me sit and fold the napkins - we are usually never busy around that time and I have to stand at the hot bar, sweating through my work jacket folding 200 napkins!

Well on Sunday, I start my first shift of GRO (Guest Relations Office) and I am really looking forward to that!! In GRO, you greet the VIP guests at the hotel (there are 4 levels - 1 being the highest) and you would show them to their room and get them whatever you want. Also you have to talk to guests and get suggestions from them for how to make their stay more comfortable - pretty much you stalk guests and interrogate them! It should be fun to do this - hard, but I would get to meet some guests! Finally get to use the business cards the hotel prepared for each of us!

This past week has been pretty fun - On Tuesday night there was a reception party that i went to. About 25 people attended and we all went to a Korean BBQ place for dinner. It was absolutely delicious! We sat at 2 long tables, where at each end there was a stove in the middle where you grill your own meat. I had bacon, steak, fried rice, cold noodle soup, sushi, and lots of other foods - so good!! The place is actually just down the street from the hotel, so I will be going there again!

Last Friday, a group of us went to KTV and then to eat. I am in love with KTV! It is so much fun! You get a private room with 3 mikes in it and a big screen tv with a small monitor where you choose your songs to sing. Thankfully they have both English and Chinese songs. I think this might be a weekly or bi-monthly activity for all of us!
After KTV we went down the street to an authentic Chinese meal at a cool restaurant. There were 8 of us and we sat at a big round table with a lazy susan in the middle of it. We ordered a few things from the menu and then got up to get whatever else we wanted - they had different kiosks where you can choose whatever you want and they will bring it to your table. It was so much fun! we had dumplings, bean curd, Chinese fried dough, soups, chicken wings, spare ribs, and lots of other foods. Everyone is spoiling us so much here with food and it is awesome! I have tried so many different types of food here! However, i have yet to try anything extremely outrageous - no bugs on sticks, snakes or frogs, or animal intestines. Thankfully i have not had any dog - (I love you Huntley and Brinkley..i will not succumb to eating your friends).

Well that is all I have for today! I'll write later! Keep reading my blog!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 07:09 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Post 5 - My trip to Wuxi and other events

So this past Saturday and Sunday were a lot of fun! Ivy Niu came and visited us and we all went out for dinner on Saturday and then we went to Wuxi for the day on Sunday.

Ivy came with her friend from Shenyang and we all went to Pizza Hut for dinner - we meant to go to a steak restaurant, but they were closed for a private party!! It really sucked! This was the first time I had had Pizza Hut in China and it was delicious! I had a stuffed crust pizza with sausages, ham, pepperoni, pineapple, olives, peppers and onions. I loved it so much! Pizza Hut was actually very nice - they had nice art in it and the chairs and tables were so much nicer than the ones in the US - you know what? They also had really a really nice bathroom!!

After Pizza Hut, we all went out to 1912 and had drinks. It was a lot of fun - though i had to get up at 5.30am so I left at around 2am and went to sleep. I set my alarm for 5.30 and was going to get up, take a shower, and get dressed for the day. Unfortunately, Melissa and I slept through the alarm. We were all supposed to meet in the lobby of the hotel at 6.30 but at 6.40 I got a call to the room that woke me up. Melissa and I got ready in 5 minutes and ran downstairs. The others were already on the subway to the train station, which was thankfully right by the hotel. Long story short - we finally got to the train station on time.

We had an hour ride on the train to Wuxi, where we arrived at around 9.00am. We met Sallina Xu (she lives in Wuxi but also goes to Purdue!) and 2 other people who Jared had met previously. Sallina took us to a restaurant for breakfast and we had delicious Wuxi food! I had four dumplings called Saolomentao - they are a delicacy in Wuxi and there was a special way of eating them. They have pork and juice in them, so you bite the bottom and suck the juices out and then dump the pork in the dumpling in vinegar and then eat it - I got 4 of them for 7 yuan (1 dollar). After the restaurant, we went to the lake that is the prominent location in Wuxi - it was called Tihu Lake. We took a boat ride for an hour when we got there and then walked around the lake. The temperature for the day was 36.5C (98F) and it was extremely humid!! We could have filled a bottle each with our sweat! (sorry..I know that's disgusting! lol) After that we went to KTV (karaoke) and we stayed there for a few hours before we had to catch our train back to Nanjing. Melissa and I did a few duets at KTV and our best duet was "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. I love that song!

Well, it was a very fun day in Wuxi and I hope to go there back some time, maybe when my parents are here in September.

I also went out a few times this week and I am going back to 1912 again tonight after my shift at work! I don't work tomorrow, so....lol.

I have started to miss a few things from the US - I miss my friends (Ann Donovan, Juan Sabat and others from Purdue) and I'm missing some of the food from the states too - though the food here is pretty good! The good thing though is that I love it here so much so I am not homesick - I talk to my parents online every week and I am talking to all of you here, so I do not feel like i am alone here - plus I have all of the other interns to talk to!

There are a few things that annoy me here, but I can not speak of them freely on here, so if you really want to know, skype me!! Send me an email or a Facebook message (you should all have my information, otherwise you should not be reading this blog! lol). Unfortunately, I have not been able to write on people's wall on FB but I can see wall posts and messages that i have received. So send me a message on Webmail or FB and I will give you my skype information so we can talk!!

I have to get ready for work now so I will talk to you all later and look for some new pictures soon - they should be up tomorrow!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 23:34 Comments (0)

Post 4 - Week 3

rain 25 °C

Ni hao!

So this week wasn't that bad. I hung out with the other interns on 2 different occasions and I worked a lot too.

I worked pretty much every day this past week and mostly did what I always do - host, fold napkins, and clean silverware. However, one of the days, I served and bused tables from one of the sections. It was really hard work! I think if I ever work in a restaurant I would much rather host than serve. I am still set on working in a hotel, though.

Saturday night we went out to a restaurant and then to the 1912 district to go clubbing. The restaurant we went to was an authentic German restaurant and it was called Paulaner Brauhaus. 3 of us had plates of German sausages that were delicious. The restaurant is definitely a repeater!

On Sunday night, after I worked for 9 hours, we went to some people's apartment for dinner. My dad has some friends who live in Nanjing city, and they invited all of us to their apartment for dinner. It was a lot of fun. We had a full American meal! Fillet mignon, corn on the cob, pork ribs and potato salad! It was really nice just to kick back and talk to other American's, as we have only communicated with each other and Chinese people. I had a lot of fun with them and i am sure the others did too. I hope we get to see the Von Meisters more while we are here!

That pretty much described my week and now i am in my room just hanging out, since I do not work today!

I work tomorrow and everyday except for Friday, so it will be nice to have a break again. On Sunday, I am going to Wuxi with the other interns and Ivy Niu (a friend from Purdue who lives in Shenyang) and we are spending the whole day there. I am really excited to see Ivy and go to Wuxi.

Well that is it for today! I am going to post new pictures up in a little bit, so go check them out!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 20:19 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Post 3a - 2nd week in China

So I just got back from my busy evening plans. I went to go work out and then got a massage. Sydney and I went to a place where they had a deal fora shiatsu massage and foot massage all for 168RMB! It was awesome!

Well to get back to what i was saying earlier:

At NITH, on our tour of the campus we saw some people practicing for a competition that the school and others participate in. One of the students was practicing for the bar tending part of the competition. He made two different drinks: one was a type of martini with some type of mint drink in it. It was delicious! We also saw two others setting two types of tables - Chinese and Western. There was a performance after these things were done: it was a costume show where the students did an interpretive dance and showcased what they knew.
When we got back to the hotel from the school, I went to work for an hour. I shadowed one of the employees and just watched her work and studied what I thought I would be doing for the month.

Saturday was my first day of work and my first Chinese class. The class was from 2-5pm (which it will be every week until I go home) and it was actually a lot of fun. We went in and the teacher presented us all with calligraphy sets. I can't wait to use the pens and write Chinese characters. In the class we practiced tones and syllables. Example: ba can be said 4 different ways. Ni hao means hello and in those 2 words there are 2 different tones. It is confusing, but I am sure I will be able to handle it in a few classes.
Saturday night was my first official day of work. I worked from 6-10 and helped serve section D which is the smoking section. I also learned how to fold napkins in a special way, so I folded about 100 of them. It was kind of boring.

Sunday and Monday I did not have to work and I pretty much slept, ate, and did stuff around my room. I also went to meet Rudi Von Meister, an old coworker of my dad's who works in the World Trade Center (ironic right?) which is right next to the hotel. He gave me a lot of good information for bars in the area and for other places to go visit. He was very helpful.

Tuesday and today I worked and I did pretty much the same thing both days. I was a hostess in the mornings for breakfast and then after I had lunch I went in the kitchen and dried off silverware. I also folded more napkins - today I think I folded about 150 of them!
I have met some really cool girls that I work with. I even exchanged numbers with one and she said she would take me to visit Nanjing sometime when we both are off work. A thing I have noticed here is that everyone looks so young! One of the girls I became friends with is actually 27 years old, but the other one is 21.

Tomorrow I work in the afternoon from 4-midnight. I am not looking forward to it though I am off Friday.

Well, feel free to comment on my blog posts and I hope you enjoyed them! I will hopefully post Sunday or earlier.

Love from China,


Posted by andrewsb 09:30 Comments (1)

Post 3 - 2nd week in China

So I have switched blog sites as you can see. I found out that I would be unable to post pictures of my trip on BlogSpot so I changed to this site.

So this was a busy week for me: I started work, I had a health exam, last day of orientation and my first Chinese 101 class!

Last Wednesday, the other interns and I had to go to the local clinic here to get health exams done. This was to verify that we were okay to stay in the country for 5 months. I was kind of nervous about it, because I guess last year the interns went and some of them fainted after they got blood drawn! Thankfully that did not happen to me or the rest of my class. It was kind of an interesting experience though because I had never gotten an ECG before and that was one of the things they checked. The experience took only about 3 hours, since the place wasn't busy. When we all got back to the hotel, the girls and I went to the mall across the street and bought more shoes! I have purchased about 5 pairs of shoes here so far! Thankfully they are all cute and really cheap!

On Thursday, we had our last day of orientation. It was a good day - we had 4 different speakers come and tell us about their departments. The speakers were the directors of the several different departments throughout the hotel: the Western Food and Beverage Director, the Housekeeping Director, the Guest Relations Office Director, and the Front Office Director). From these speakers, I learned a lot of useful information that will help my work go smoother. I really liked talking to the Western F&B director, because she was very enjoyable and we were just all talking and not just listening with bored expressions.
After the speakers, we went on a tour of the hotel. They showed us the presidential suite (valued at 28000RMB/night, which is $4000/night!), which was absolutely beautiful! There were 2 big bedrooms, each room had a sauna, a jacuzzi and a shower in the bathroom, a big closet for their clothes, a sitting room and a kitchen. The suite is so big that it can be divided into 2 separate suites if the guest wants that. We also visited the executive suite, which also had some of the same amenities as the presidential one, but it was obviously smaller. I am living in a superior room. We also saw the room where we would be given our Chinese instruction, which was in the dungeon - there is the basement where the guests can go, but there are also 2 floors below that. Thankfully it is not bad down there, just obviously completely different from the rest of the hotel.
Also on Thursday, I met my "instructor" for my first work area. I am working in Jin's Cafe, a Chinese and Western style restaurant that serves breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet and a la carte for both lunch and dinner. They make a mean Margharita Pizza! I am in Jin's for the whole month of July.

Friday was also a busy day. We all got our tailored uniforms (mine fits me perfectly..which is why it's tailored..), and we had pictures of us taken in the hotel lobby with Dr. Cai. Dr. Cai is the professor at Purdue who set up this whole internship program. He went to school with one of the older GM's of the hotel and they decided to make the program happen. THANK YOU DR. CAI! Well I got to meet his wife and son and we all went to lunch at Jin's, where I had the buffet finally - it was delicious!
After our lunch the other interns and I were sent out to a car that would take us to the Nanjing Institute of Tourism and Hospitality. We drove for 40 minutes and ended up at this really pretty looking campus. Sharon Fang who coordinated this event met with us and took us to a conference room in the main building of the campus. We were there to meet our Chinese teacher. The Jinling Hotel has a long standing relationship with NITH and has used them to teach the Purdue interns every year since the beginning of the program. We met one of our teachers, along with the president of the institute. The president spoke to us for a bit about how much she loves the Purdue interns and then she left and we were taken on a tour of the campus.

I have to go now - going to go work out - but I will finish posting later!

Posted by andrewsb 03:06 Comments (0)

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