A Travellerspoint blog

Busy busy bee!

So these next few weeks will be insane - they will go by so fast, and then we will be on a flight back to the US! Crazy right? I can't believe I have been in China for more than 4 months!!! AAAAHHH!!! The time went by sooooo fast!!! :( Oh well, "all good things must come to an end." I will have plenty of fun things to do in the future - especially since I hope my hospitality career lands me in Europe!! I have big plans for myself, as we all should!

Anyways...I kind of got off in a tangent there!! Lol. Let's see what is in my schedule for the next few weeks:

Today, November 4 - English Club presentation for all of hotel (there are 1,010 employees in the hotel...they better not all be at my presentation!) with Melissa, Kyle and Elizabeth (the presentation is on The Big Apple, aka NYC, and hotels, restaurants and just facts.

November 6 - Hotel party - where the staff gets to hang out with some important guests (only long-term guests...I think you have to have stayed at the hotel for at least 5 months..one of the guests invited has been here for 5 years!) Anyways we will go on a boat ride with the guests...it should be interesting to see how fun it will be..
November 7 - Last Chinese lesson! Also Dr. Cai and Ghiselli come to the hotel! Aaahhh pressure!! Also hopefully if the Drs. come late in the evening we will go to a dinner with a friend of my parents (Rudi Von Meister mentioned previously in another post)
November 8 - I might present to Dr. Cai and Dr. Ghiselli today!!
November 9 - I might present to Dr. Cai and Dr. Ghiselli today! I definitely present to the concierge department today!
November 13 - Final exams!!!! Starting at 1.30 pm!
November 18 - Meeting with Jinling Holdings, the company that runs all the Jinling affiliated hotels in China
November 19 - Graduation ceremony at Nanjing Institute of Tourism and Hospitality
November 21 - Farewell party
November 22 - Goodbye Jinling Hotel! Goodbye Nanjing! I love and miss you all!!! Go to Shanghai to stay over night in a hotel for the flight on the 23rd
November 23 - GOODBYE CHINA!! I promise to come back and visit! XOXO!
November 24 - Welcome back to the United States, home of clean air, proper toilets WITH TOILET PAPER!, and lots of other amenities that some areas of China have fallen short of.
November 25 - THANKSGIVING!! Oh boy, do I love this holiday! What a Welcome Home celebration! Start off the day with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv, possibly watch some football, and to top it off pig out on turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple pie and many more AMERICAN deliciousy goodnesses (and yes I am aware these are not words..lol)!
November 26-30 - sleep, eat, sleep, sleep, sleep, eat, sleep, sleep, sleep, eat..you get the idea.

Well, as you can see I am very busy for the next few weeks! I will try to post a few more posts, however they might be very short! Stay tuned!!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 22:13 Comments (0)

Shanghai

So I have been busy since the last time I posted...

For 3 days, I went to Shanghai with the other 3 girls and Kyle. The girls and I saw some interesting things. On our first night, we went to the World Expo, which is now finished. I guess it will be in Milan in 2015, so if you are in Italy then, go check it out! I graduate in 2012 and I hope to work in Europe, so I might be in Italy during the World Expo! Anyways, the Expo was good. We went to most of South America and Africa. Obviously we visited USA. The girls and I brought our passports, so we bypassed 200 people in line for the USA pavillion. That was fun! The pavillion was interesting.... I didn't really care for it - there were 3 videos to watch, and then just signs of companies that are in the US. The first video was the best - American's trying to say, "Welcome to the USA Pavillion" in Chinese! haha..that was cool to see!
I also went to the Luxembourg pavillion!! I loved it..the motto was essentially that Luxembourg is small, but they do not act in small ways. To welcome you in the pavillion, they had the statue of the Golden Lady. The replica looked exactly like the one in Luxembourg! Check out the pictures I took there!
Other than that, we saw some other countries but nothing too substantial.
I thought the Expo was my favorite part of the trip, though I really enjoyed going to Dragonfly. It is a spa retreat place that is a Chinese chain. I got a 2 hour massage - one hour Chinese Body Massage and one hour Oriental Foot Massage. I felt drunk after the massages! That was how amazing they were! I also ate a fantastic meal at a New Zealand style restaurant. I had Shepherd's Pie, which I have never had before.
Other than the restaurant, the Expo and the massage place, we didn't do much but sleep. However, we did make it to the Shanghai Museum, which was pretty cool. They had a Russian History exhibit, an Indian exhibit, and then many interesting Chinese exhibits. My favorite was the Chinese Minority Nationals Exhibit - so many different types of clothes they wore! Check out the pictures.

Well I was in Shanghai for 3 days, and I wish I had stayed longer. However, now I found out that I will be in Shanghai for one night before we leave! The flight back to the states is in the morning of the 23rd, so we are leaving for Shanghai the 22nd!! Can't wait to see the city again!

Stay tuned for another post in the next few days. I have to leave now....

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 06:07 Comments (0)

1 month left!

So, I am sad to say that I have only about 1 month left at the Jinling Hotel in Nanjing, China. I am going to cry so hard when I leave, because i have met some really amazing people and I have learned so much. I have also had lots of fun traveling around and seeing different sights around China.

The last place I will visit in China is Shanghai. Oddly enough, I have not been there yet, as it is only about an hour away by train! 4 other interns and I are going to Shanghai on Monday for 3 days. We will go around seeing different sights and hopefully go to the Expo, however I have not bought tickets for it yet!! We are staying in a hostel called Mingtown Etour Youth Hostel, which is on People's Square. It looks like an okay hostel, but at least it is cheap, since Shanghai is a lot more expensive than Nanjing and Beijing!

So on Tuesday, the hotel had an Employee Talent Show. 4 departments were involved and performed different talents. There were many interesting acts to watch - belly dancing, butter making, flower arranging, Beijing Opera performance, kungfu, karate, singing, modeling, dancing and more. I actually participated with 2 other interns - Elizabeth and Melissa. We performed, "We are the World" by Michael Jackson with a few other front office people, Jeff, Raymond and Allan. It was a lot of fun to sing and we had lots of fun getting ready for it.
The talent show ran for 3 hours and we were actually the very last act, so we closed the show. It was fun to end the show with such a good song as that!

On Wednesday, there was a front office party for the people who participated in the talent show. We went to a fantastic restaurant in a plaza across from the hotel. It was called Hong Lin, and served Japanese food among with many other international foods. It was delicious! There were 30 people at the dinner and was just a lot of fun hanging out with everyone. The front office director and assistant director were also there with the training director. It was really cool to hang out with them outside of work. They were much more relaxed and a lot of fun to eat and drink with! Lol. I love the management team at the hotel!!

So like I said, next week I am going with the others to Shanghai for a few days. I will post pictures and write about the experience next weekend.

Love from China
An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 22:54 Comments (0)

Project + Concierge, Melissa's Birthday, Nanjing Museum

Hey everyone!

How are you all doing? I am fantastic now! I am almost done with my "independent study!" Well let's see...

Project and Concierge

So as I told you all before, my project is for the concierge department and is to answer the question, "How do they improve the working efficiency of the concierge department?" Well yesterday I presented this to about 10 people concierge department, the Assistant Director of Front Office, Director of Front Office, the Training Department Director, the Purdue interns coordinator, and another director. So, obviously I was extremely nervous! But I was told that my suggestions were fantastic, and that I should start implementing them during the rest of my time in China. One of the suggestions was to make a List of FAQs, so I am going to start making that list. This would be very useful for the department to have.
In Concierge, I usually only stand around, but sometimes I help the foreign guests who come to the counter. I really only make parking coupons and taxi reservations, but yesterday I helped label luggage and take bags to people's rooms. There was a group of 35 British people from a tour group. Their bags came before them, so we had to label the bags with the right room number and then put them on their room. It was actually kind of fun!

Melissa's Birthday

Melissa turned 22 on October 2nd and we went out for it. It was a lot of fun. We went to a few clubs on both Friday and Saturday. We met a few people out from NYC and Boston! That was cool. It is actually surprising how many American's are in Nanjing! Well anyways, the nights were really fun and I am happy she included me in her festivities!

Nanjing Museum

On Sunday, instead of our Chinese class, our teacher took us to visit the Nanjing Museum. It was about 20 minutes away from the hotel and we took the subway to get there. It was boring..there was nothing there. The stuff they had was pretty and all, but there was no history about Nanjing or really anything. They had a brocade area, porcelain area, treasure area, but nothing really stood out for me. We were only there for an hour and then we went back to the hotel and I finished my powerpoint for my presentation

So, Dr. Cai (the man who got me in the program) and Dr. Ghiselli (the HTM dept. dean) come in a few weeks and we will all have to present our topics for them again. I am very nervous about that, because Dr. Cai will be very strict about our projects and will expect a lot more information than the hotel staff expected. We also have to turn our 16 page paper in to him then.

I am planning a Shanghai trip for all of us. We will go down the 25th-27th and visit the Expo and then tour the city. It should be a lot of fun!

Well that is all for now. I am going to post pictures from the Nanjing Museum in a little bit, but I have pictures from other events up now. Go check them out!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 22:52 Comments (0)

Long post continued..

So....

3. YANGZHOU

Two Saturdays ago (the day after the NITH visit), I went to Yangzhou with the training department at the hotel and the other interns. Yangzhou is a city about two hours away to the west of Nanjing. It is really famous for the local food there and is very pretty. It was completely different from Nanjing. It is a city, but right in the middle of the city, there are housing developments. In Nanjing, everyone lives in apartments, but these were actual houses! i thought that was interesting to see.
Well anyways, we got to Yangzhou around 10am and went to a area called "Slender Lake" - it was really a park with a river in it. It was nice to walk around there and not have to see some famous thing in there, like the Yangzhou temple....what I mean is, it was relaxing just to walk around and see some things without having to focus on that one thing for a long time..lol...So we walked around the park for a while and then went to lunch. We went to the Jinling Hotel in Yangzhou (Jinling Holdings has more than 50 hotels throughout China..not sure of the actual number and this was one of them) and had lunch in a private room and then were taken on a tour to see some of their rooms. For lunch we had a 13 course meal!!! All of the portions were small, but I was so full after! It was so good - my favorite course was a bean curd (tofu) soup..I usually do not like this but the way the tofu was cut made it taste delicious.
After lunch and the tour, we went to a pagoda and a garden. Check out the pictures of those.
Overall the day was fun and I really enjoyed going to a new city.

4. PACIFIC BAR AND GRILL

For a week and a half I worked in Pacific Bar and Grill, an Italian restaurant in the Jinling Hotel. The food there is expensive but so good! Gnocchi pesto with green beans = deliciousy goodness!
Working in Pacific was fun but it was boring too..there were never many customers in the restaurant, so we would just have to stand around and wait for some to come. I ended up bringing my book the past few days and just sat in the back when there was nothing for me to do. My job was to set the table, make the bread for the customers and....well that was really all! At least the staff was really nice, otherwise I would have been ready to kill myself! aaahhh!!

5. MY RESEARCH PROJECT

For the internship we each get 12 credits: 2 for internship credit (HTM 302), 6 for Chinese classes, and 4 for an independent study. My independent study was for the concierge department at the hotel. The topic I am doing my project on is: How to improve the working efficiency in the concierge department. It has to be 16-20 pages, of which I have about 11 pages done. Thankfully, it is not due for 2 weeks! lol..We also have to do a 30 minute power point presentation on our research. I am really nervous for that because I have to present to some very important people at the hotel and also Dr. Cai who admitted me to the program! He is going to be very strict with his grading!!!
In my project, I am compiling suggestions for the concierge department for making it better and their work more efficient. Some of the suggestions I have written about were babysitting services, interpreters, buying guidebooks to sell to guests and many others. I also have some information from the former Director of Front Office, Catherine Hua who is currently at Purdue and will be there doing research for the hotel until January; as well as information from the Buffalo Marriott and Hyatt. I think they gave me some good stuff to use for the paper and hope that everyone at the Jinling appreciates the work that I do on this paper! Wish me luck!!!

6. OTHER EVENTS

Yesterday we went back to NITH and made dumplings and spring rolls with some of the tourism and food service students. It was so much fun and everything was delicious! I now know how to make dumplings!! This will definitely come in handy, because when I go back to the states, I will be craving them!
Yesterday was also my first day in concierge where I will be for the next two months, as it is my emphasis for this internship.

Well, finally that is all. Next time, I will only have one post, and I will not wait to write for 2 weeks! Check out the Beijing pictures and other pictures I have taken!

Love from China,

An Bi Liu (Blair Andrews)

Posted by andrewsb 02:32 Comments (0)

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