North America, Asia · 39 Days · 56 Moments · May 2017

Mariah's adventure in China

24 June 2017

Daily Reflection CC 5 Shanghai Tourism is responsible for preserving culture in the Chinese context because it has helped to lend importance to the culture. Tourism increases the interest of Chinese culture for people all around the world. The marketing and advertising of the culture as well as attractions that China has come to offer allows the country to create a tax that is used to preserve the culture. Entrance fees to these amazing cultural destinations also is used to pay for the upkeep and the salaries of those who work there. So overall tourism helps to pay for the preservation of culture as well as spark interest of the culture with citizens of the world.
Daily Reflection CC FINAL MEAL Today I ate Pizza Hut and McDonalds, and I ate at them because others wanted to. Overall the food i chose was basic, a new orleans pizza and fruit tea at Pizza hut and chicken nuggets at McDonalds. What I find interesting is the way we ordered. Even though it wasn't mandatory we still ordered our food family style taking into consideration what everyone wanted and deciding on what flavor of pizza fit us then sharing.
Daily Response DM Shanghai 5 Destinations on the west west side of China are less developed and 'westernized' then those in the east. The destinations there are often in harder to modernize because of the rough living terrain. The ratio of people living in the large amount of land is much lower, that is per meter the ratio of people in Beijing in comparison is much higher. The cost of bringing modern technology to these destinations is currently seen as too high to be worth it. But different incentive strategies are being looked for in order to have companies invest in order to draw tourists to the destination.
Daily Review DM Shanghai - Beijing: This city project a historic image with all of its famous sites and rich history. - Xi'an: A calmer more ancient city, the architecture and places we went projected a vision of the past. - Suzhou: The water city of China with its beautiful boat roads. - Hangzhou: Projects a theatrical view as our show on westlake as well as silk is something that is very predominant there. - Shanghai: This was definitely given a money image. Shanghai is the financial capitol of the country as well as it contains the famous nanjing road so it produces an image of economy and money.

21 June 2017

Shanghai Daily Review DM #2 Based on your travel experience so far, what types of recommendations could you make to destination stakeholders to manage tourist behavior? - I definitely would recommend to have an authority presence throughout the destinations. It is very interesting you could always tell if there was more security of police around a destination because of visitors actions. The Pearl Museum for example there was security getting in but there was none throughout the exhibits. This led to people climbing over the chains and hanging all over the exhibits. The Shanghai Museum was the exact opposite though there was a heavy authority presence and signage that cautioned against the inclination to cause mischief or to touch any of the exhibits.
Journi Shanghai day #1 CM discuss the historical relationship between Suzhou and Shanghai in terms of commerce, education, or other context. Jeff spoke in detail about how many people who live in Suzhou work in Shanghai during the week such as himself. The cost of living in Shanghai is sky high here in Shanghai but there are job opportunities so it is seen as advantageous to not choose to actually live here but to acquire a job here. Also Jeff spoke about how living in Shanghai is the 'Chinese Dream' but 6 million people moved back to their homes from Shanghai last year because they realized it to be a nightmare. Finding work in order to sustain their family is impossible when coming from rural places with little to no technology skills.
Shanghai Daily Reflection DM 1 My first impression of Shanghai has been its another version of New York. Its very populated, high skyscrapers and a lot of the buildings because of the frequent use have a somewhat worn down look to them. This is just simply because of the sheer amount of people who frequency of use of the places. Definitely i had an interesting experiences so far with the elevators so far. The first elevator in the lunch restaurant did not quite want to open once we got to the fourth floor for a few moments and it was quite entertaining. The elevator at the hotel also doesn't stop closing if it hits you as I learned it will continue to close. I have been to New York several times as well as growing up around DC the heavily busy areas is something that I am used to. So in a way Shanghai honestly doesn't feel like I am even away from home.
CC please choose an impressionable art/craft which you have seen throughout our time in China and describe how you felt about it. An impressionable art that I have seen throughout our time in China was painting. There was a man on the Muslim street market and he was selling the traditional style Chinese landscape paintings. The unique thing about him was that he was painting these beautiful landscapes using his hands. That is to say he was painting without a brush using his fingers to beautifully make the landscapes using watered down ink. Watching something so beautiful be made with their hands was moving to me because when i asked him how he learned he said he simply did.

19 June 2017

Suzhou CC Daily Reflection 1 I think the differences in how Westerners and the Chinese spend time with friends is interesting. In the Chinese culture out is about annoying the moment and the people you see with. You don't have to be don't anything but sitting in a nice garden dining tea. Westerners tend to pack their times with friends doing stuff to pass the time and have the mentality that time spent just relaxing is time wasted. Personally in the last few days I have been experiencing fatigue and a general not feeling well. The long hours of the day combined with exposure to things that my body want used to did overcome me at a certain point and make me take time to rest. My remedy for it has been hydration and slowly moving forward. Understanding my body and what it can take is important, and understanding what my body its telling me is key. So for the rest of the trip i plan too listen to my body while also trying to keep up with the group.

18 June 2017

Suzhou DM Daily Reflection 1 Tourism effects all parts of life from the people you meet, money in the local economy, education such as the convenient location of Rosen College in Orlando and more. The list for all the possible ways Tourism effects the world around us is endless but I will name a few. First the Holiday Inn we are currently residing in, it was put up because Suzhou has had an increase in tourism and needs updated lodging to satisfy today's customers. The local economy is most likely benefitting greatly because of the location of the hotels next to the Aeon Mall which hosts several brands of products. The education of those in Suzhou will probably alter to include more English classes in order to meet the influx of Western tourists. From there the web of cause and effect continues to weave to places we cant even begin to think of.

17 June 2017

Hangzhou WuZhen Daily Reflection DM 5 what were some intangible tourism products that enhanced your experience at WuZhen today? There were definitely some intangible products that enhanced my experience in WuZhen, one specifically was the multiple museums today. The history that was shared and expressed is something that I can't grab or taste or buy and bring home with me. The multiple museums were a tool that was used to enhance not only my knowledge of what was contained in the shops surrounding this town but also to help you understand the development. Without the creation of the different items that were in the museums such as beds and cloth dyes then the experience of truly underatanding the culture would be lost and it'd be just another place to buy souvenirs. Another was the boat ride we took down the street, getting to see the village from that point of view in the same type of way that was used back then definitely helped to stage the area.
Hongzhou DM Daily Reflection 5 Some instances of long-term orientation with the universities we saw and visited were in the placement of fields of study in university's themselves. The Chinese people at the end of their high school career take the most important test of their lives. It is two days long with two two-and-a-half hour long sessions each day. This test determines what field you should go into and study and whether or not you are even allowed to pursue a college degree. From there they don't waste time doing general education studies they immediately start the long track to becoming a worker in their field being very goal oriented in order to being in the work force. Another thing I observed was the meeting of the students themselves they did not view it as a one and done deal but instead as the beginning of a long relationship as they are looking towards the future with their actions.

16 June 2017

Hongzhou CC Daily Reflection 4 Part 2 An every day example would be I'm the military, when a soldier of lower rank art the security gates too all bases had a current or retired soldier or higher rank come by they immediately have to give respect and solute them. They don't even deserve to be applied back and they accept that because of their lower rank.
Hongzhou CC Daily Reflection 4 Part 1 My examples are from other experiences that I've had on study abroad seeing as I wasn't present during the Zhejiang trip. An example of culture protocol that I have come to experience since we have arrived in China is in the hospitality field. All of us who work in the hospitality field know that we are in a way on a lower level then our guests and we accept that. If anything we try to enforce it by going out of our way to assist our guests but i can honestly say that has nothing on the hospitality I have observed here. Here I was trying to carry my plate over to the server in order to clear it. For the server it was a large matter for them they apologized profusely multiple times even though I told them it wasn't important. It was also present when we visited XISU. The students didn't make a move without approval of their professors and Dean even though we are urging them to.
Hongzhou DM Daily Reflection 4 -Though I did not attend the presentation at the University I have studied the subject of smart hotels to some degree and can give you my opinion based on what I've researched. Smart hotels are a great way to efficiently treat each guest at a certain quality level and can make the transaction a lot smoother. Checking in via your phone for example and your phone being your room key saves time on waiting in line to check in and check out. As well as setting preferences prevents there from having the language barrier issue that I have experienced at the hotels here in China. Instead of calling to the front desk and being passed to multiple people due to language barrier smart hotels allow you a more hassle proof experience. The thing I do worry about is the loss of human interaction which i believe is a vital part of hospitality. Instead of getting that smile at the front desk your hitting a button, and that can stale your experience.
Hofstede Dementions Reference Part 2 5. Long-term orientation vs short term - the unequal balance of power is actually what gives life stability, but one should also treat one another as you true to be treated. Long term is very goal oriented, they think in terms of longer distances of time and have shame for their actions when necessary. Short term is more so focused on the here and now or what just happened. Very ego driven and is not so much for valuing long term goals, instantaneous relief. 6. Indulgence versus self-restraint - what can you control when it comes to both your desires and impulses and to what degree.
Hofstede Dementions Explanation Part 1 1. Individualism-collectivism - this talks about peoples preferences whether someone is a 'loner' or enjoys instead being a part of a group. An example of this is I prefer individual projects over group. 2. Uncertainty avoidance - this explains how much people are uncomfortable with the unknown. Some people love surprises and not knowing what is next while others cannot handle the lack of control. 3. Power distance - this is the acceptance or understanding that there are several levels of power that separate different positions. 4. Masculinity-femininity - this is a representation on whether or not you are outgoing or more reserved. Whether or not you're the leader of the group (masculinity) or more of a supporting role (femininity)

15 June 2017

Hangzhou CC Daily Reflection 3 Ancient and modern China has merged in some beautiful ways. For example, buildings and architecture from the past have not been taken down but on the inside they have been completely redesigned and the uses for them have completely changed. There is a Starbucks in the Forbidden City which is astounding, and sort of disbelieving. Its as if we put a Starbucks in Lincoln Memorial, which is something that I couldn't imagine. There are also certain traditions that have continued to translate today but have been modernized with time such as new years and the incorporation of electronics.
Hangzhou DM Daily Reflection 3 Some of the destination marketing practices have been interesting to experience over this trip. The obvious answer is souvenirs, the gathering of items that either symbolize an event or even have on their making a famous landmark is used often. With the development of technology I have also seen the advertisement of local destinations on TV such as Macau in Hong Kong. Billboards in airports seem to be a great way to advertise biggest attractions in the city, and is smart because it is the first thing you see as you enter a destination. Travel is a part of destination management and marketing is incorporated into it often. On the flight from Xi'an to Hangzhou there was a magazine that talked about the great destinations in China and I thought that was a smart idea because we were stuck on the flight for 2 hours and not allowed to use electronics so what else did we have to do but read the marketing.

14 June 2017

Hangzhou DM Daily Reflection 2 Technology experienced across tourism products so far An amazing example of tourism products incorporating the use of technology was in the show we saw tonight. Theatre is something that has been used to tell stories for thousands of years. Over the years the platforms and the tools used to show information has evolved continuously. In the show we witnessed tonight we watched platforms be moved by remote control and a lighting and sound system be used all in order to create a show that does attract tourism. In the museums projects of the daily life of people of Hangzhou is something we got the pleasure of watching. Movies are a technology that has long sense been present but now we have QR codes that are present in the museums that lead us to sites with even more information instead of giving handouts since we are more likely to keep our phones then a piece of paper.
Hangzhou CC Daily Reflection 2 Social beliefs discussed by Dr. Bing 1. Chopsticks - Dr. Bing spoke about the use of chopsticks and how they cannot be placed into rice sitting up. This is because it is similar to how incense is burned when honoring death. 2. Fan - Fans should not be given as a gift to others unless you are trying to distqnce youraelf from them. The fan symbolizes drawing away from them or severing ties.
Hangzhou CC Daily Reflection 1 compare the cuisines of Beijing and Xian (i.e. style, cooking methods, proteins, vegetables, etc) There was a big difference in meal styles when it came to the two different cities. First was the presence of fruit, even though Xi'an was famous for apples I didn't see them to be very present in the meals that we were served. While in Beijing this drink was being highly promoted, a fruit tea that was delicious. The dumplings are a lot more detailed in beautiful in Xi'an though. The ones that had duck were shaped like birds on the outside it was such an interesting thing to see. Beijing didn't seem to take as much care with the presentation and how the food looked when it was being served, which told me Xi'an cared more about first impressions. Also the different methods of cooking has changed with the cities, when we visited Xi'an the Muslim street gave the opportunity to watch foods be prepared which was so interesting.
Hangzhou DM Daily Reflection 1 In contrast with Beijing and Xian, what is your first impression of Hangzhou. My first impression of Hongzhou was the developed buildings. The area in which we were staying is surrounded by these big skyscrapers and shaped in these interesting styles. I took a photo this morning of a building as we drove past that I have come back and included in order to give an idea of the unique architecture that is being used in the new part of Hongzhou and how innovative the architects must be in order to make such a peculiar shape work. In Xi'an the older architecture while extremely beautiful wasn't built as high inside the wall. Beijing seemed more uniform then Hongzhou. Here the design seems to have a spirit to it that is not in anyway better but definitely different then what I felt when I went to Xi'an, Beijing, and even Hong Kong.

12 June 2017

Xi'an CC Daily Reflection 4 CC what did you observe or learn during the cultural university exchange at XISU? I definitely observed a system of respect and authority. The students at the university did not do anything without the authority of their professors. Even when they walked in they waited until they were told to be seated. Several of the students were shy and withdrawn and seemed careful when speaking. When time for the photos came i noticed that there seemed to be great importance about where and who was sitting in the front and we honestly didn't care. We tried suggesting a way to move people in closer and none of the XISU students tried to imitate without permission. I actually had to gently nudge some of the students who were too short to the front because they thought they should be behind us.
Xi'an DM Daily Reflection 4 Why is the Muslim street a "must see" attraction for both domestic and foreign visitors? The Muslim street was a must see for both foreign and domestic travelers for several reasons. First was the history and influence of Chinese culture and Muslim faith and how they have blended and interacted. Another reason was the food. On this street we got a good look at how all of these local dishes that we have enjoyed somewhere along our trip was prepared. Getting to see as food was made and ground up and watching ice cream be rolled up and seeing people rhythmically pound away at doughs without even looking down shows how ingrained this process is in the creators. Bartering was also an experience in itself because we spent a lot of time going back and forth and it really was a test of will at times. It almost felt like it was a test of face as well and whether you would remain strong or allow others to bully you into purchasing what they want you to at their price.
Xi'an DM Daily Reflection 3 My most challenging food experience so far has honesty been limiting myself. I am someone who loves food. Being in a foreign environment and in a country where I have the opportunity to try other foods it is hard to hold myself back when all of these foods are placed in front of me. The food in the dishes that are placed in front of me are saturated with so many flavors and they instantly attract me to them. But because of my allergies I constantly have to keep myself from just starting to eat. I often find myself asking what was the dish prepared with or having people at my table try things, only to be disappointed when it contains something I can't eat. As much as I love food I don't wish to spoil the trip by eating something that causes me to break out an epi-pen. Otherwise besides resisting temptation I've been good food wise, I even at fish eyes, which by the way weren't that bad.

11 June 2017

Xi'an DM Daily Reflection 3 My most memorable experience in Xi'an was the gold goose park. Throughout lur journey in China we have been visiting so many green places but that park was sos peaceful it was amazing. Honestly when I went into the park I wasn't in the best of moods, I was tired and grouchy. But then all of the sudden when we started walking thorough the park I felt at peace. All the things that was making me upset or grouchy just faded away. I was calm and just enjoying the beautiful view around me. There were some sale products that helped me to be able to cheer up as well. As soon as I walk in I saw a stand with beautiful flower crown, and fun little souvenirs. At first I didn't get it, until I ran into another stall with it and I couldn't resist. I felt like a princess, enjoying the view around me and then i got to watch soldiers on horses ride past me looking regal which made me want to take an Asian photo like they had up as displays/carts.

10 June 2017

Xi'an DM Daily Reflection 1 Chinese hospitality has a lot of little characteristics that you might at first not notice but are very meaningful. For example not everyone in the hospitality industry here can speak English but they still try to understand and will work with you no matter how frustrating it must be in order to help you. Another characteristic I noticed was that people consistently check on you to make sure you are happy and have everything you need. If you happen to need something they don't have on hand they will try to move heaven and earth to help like with Nikki for example. She did so much to accommodate Anne and I that it was overwhelming how much she cared and she saw it was nothing just what she should do. Or Dr. Wei's father sending us apples which were so beautifully wrapped just as a welcome to China gift.
Xi'an CC Daily Reflection 7 I believe we gave face to our hosts in several ways. Especially during the meal time. Dr. Mejia informed us when we arrived to the club/spa/restaurant that the way we were supposed to eat the meal was different then we had in the past. In a show of respect towards the chef and establishment we slowly picked food off of the lazy suzan and ate it instead doing a sort of buffet style where we pile our plates. This showed our respect for the time and effort that was put into making meals for us. We also showed Dr. Wei and her father face by talking in low tones and continuing to not be loud or outgoing Americans instead showing respect to the boss and chef. This is good because Dr. Wei or her father could lose face for simply knowing us or bringing us if we had.

9 June 2017

Beijing to Xi'an DM Daily Reflection 6 Beijing did good in marketing to western travelers in several ways. The first is through visual aids such as signs or posters of the item you are looking for. As for marketing toward Beijing as a place to visit I think that they did a good job of showing their hospitality during the Olympics a few years ago. Ever since then Beijing has become somewhat of a hotspot for travelers to visit. In a lot of marketing techniques they use the fact that the Olympics so they know how to help others from different cultures. Something that Beijing could benefit from is more advertisement or focus on the disabled community. There seem to have been a lot of updates made through out Beijing that have evolved with the times so instead of a person who is disabled not being able to go they instead have escalators, elevators, and people who will push you in a wheelchair.
Beijing to Xi'an CC Daily Reflection 6 Provide evidence of collectivism -An example of collectivism is shown in the place setting of tables before people have even arrived at restaurants. The tables are always preset with multiple sets of silverware and place mats because in this culture it is seen as abnormal to eat a meal alone. This being a real meal not a fast food choice. In my time here and in Hong Kong I have seen in total two occasions where people were sitting alone. Meals seem to have a groups mentality attached which is shown also in the way food is placed on a lazy suzan so that people in the meal can be shared. The assumption is that food is going to be shared by multiple people during a meal.
Beijing Cc daily reflection 5 One cultural behavior i have noticed that I didn't know before now was the handing of items with two hands. In America we just exchange things using one hand no problem unless the package was too big. Multiple times when I have exchanged money when purchasing items it has been handed to me with both hands. The first few times I took items I was handed I took it with my left hand if it was free and I noticed I received strange looks. This made me recall the class meetings where we were told that it is customary to take and hand things to others with both hands as a sign of respect. Now i try to catch myself as I go to automatically go to grab something with one hand and instead take it with two and thank them always to show my gratitude of the culture and people.
Beijing DM Daily Reflection 5 My interaction with my peers during this travel affected my experience in a positive way. I was anxious when I decided to go on this trip honestly. I didn't know if my health could stand it, and I didn't see how with all my disabilities I would even be allowed on the trip. But being roommates with Jeanne and Anne has made me so comfortable and not ashamed when I couldn't keep up or was in pain. They made it clear it was okay for me to not me like every other 22 year old. As I have gotten to know the others on this trip I have found myself not only happy about the fact that I made it to China but also in the fact that my experiences with people have made wonderful memories, such as relaxing by the pool, making goofy faces when we were tired or just laughing at the craziness of it all.

7 June 2017

Beijing DM Daily Reflection 4 First, I will mention the thing i personally collect which is key chains. Key chains are something that are very cheap to make and can travel around the world, personally I bought aq key chain with a picture of the Great Wall of China on it, which I will take back with me to the states and show my family and friends along with the other keychains I have bought and tie them to exciting stories that will interest others in wanting to go. Art is another big one, as different types of art have different styles and these styles usually reflect the origin or region of the artist. The circulation of art around the world and bringing back photos and that draws us to destinations because photos are nice but people like to experience things foe themselves. Its interesting how one person bringing back tourism products can effect others plans to travel, for example my parents now want to visit China.
Beijing CC Reflection 4 Being on the Great Wall of China meant more then words can describe to me, though I'll try. Sitting 500 meters up on the wall looking at the beautiful mountains and the winding wall around me was something i could only dream of. I had a different childhood then many of the people on this trip, I've been told so much of all the things I can't do because of my health my whole life. Doctors constantly warned my parents about the quality of life I would have, and in many ways I feel I have held them back from doing things because they worry about me. The unstoppable feeling I felt on that wall is something that is life changing. Looking around I saw the world full of potential and for once I didn't feel that it was out of my grasp. No matter my disabilities they don't have to hold me back I just have to have strength to keep moving forward to accomplish my dream. Also it made me grateful for my friends and family for believing I could do this, even when I didn't.
Day 9 Beijing The Great Wall I just was on the great wall of China! Took the cable car up 500meters. I tried for a moment to go the rest of the 300meters but the stairs were so steep and uneven i gave up after 5 steps... We got a delicious peach flavored popsicles and Anne and I just chilled that the 500meter point. Jeanne made it about another 200meters! Now remember this is meters high people not distance, i can walk 800 meters this was full out climbing that for most steps i wpuld have basically been doing lunges. Dr. Wei and Andrea got to the top! I took amazing photos. Just being here an seeing all this is amazing. I never thought id be able to do this is my life. Like i never thought id be healthy enough or have this opportunity! Thank you guys for telling me I could. And thank you Anne for sticking it out with me! We did it!!! Now off to a Jade museum/restaurant for lunch and then the Summer Palace!
Oh my gosh Dr. Wei's father sent us a present of apples! Look how beautifully they are packaged!! Apples are famous in Dr. Wei's home town of Xi'an and this is from an elegant shop that only sells apples!! So excited to eat it!
Just got breakfast with my fyrriend Ploy and others. I was running late because I was sore getting up this morning, boy my ankles are swollen. Wearing the compression socks last might definitely helped though or I would be in big trouble. We are currently on our two hour drive to the great wall of China! Took a photo of a building that they apparently call the pants building but its used for cctv!

6 June 2017

Beijing DM Daily Reflection 3 In terms of education, there are a few approaches you could take in order to improve destination management. First, doing field studies of successful destinations. Marketing is a large part of growing your clientele, knowing how to catch the attention of a certain group you feel you are not hitting. Educating your future managers about how to keep up with the younger generation and keep their attention, while also not turning off your older clientele is important. During my time here so far I have seen mire older tourists then young, and that may be because they dont know how amazing China is or they dont know where to begin in planning a trip. Cost is also an important factor, often if deals for tourism and such arent advertised then the younger generation will assume it is too expensives.
Beijing CC Reflection 3 The thing that i learned during our trip to the university was about traditional chinese medicine (TCM). Dr. Lei did an amazing job explaining the history of the development of TCM in current time, such as the development of the cure for malaria. I learned this because of my personal history with medicine. I take multiple medications every day and they have side effects that come along with them. Even looking at television today you will see advertisements for medicine and at the end they will say quickly in a low tone all of the severe reactions that are possible such as organ failure and more. The thought of being able to choose to take a tea that doesn't run the risk of making my kidneys fail is something I would be very interested in. Also the fact that doctors want to see you a week later to monitor you shows the dedication of doctors that is present here where I have frequently found missing in american culture.
Beijing Cuisine reflection day 2 The meals were very different in that the quality was a lot higher and the food very much more fresh. The way the food was cooked wasn't greasy as is often present you eat american Chinese food. For example friend noodles in america leave grease stains on your plate where here it is lacking that fatty taste. Also the flavors are more subdued when it comes to food. As Americans we commonly east overly salted overly sweet food. That hasn't been present in our diets here. Also as someone who has a sensitive digestive system as long as I don't eat anything I'm allergic to I've been feeling great. Personally I like the amount of vegetable to meat ratio in these meals, in America we constantly eat these huge pieces of meat and have little portions of vegetables next to it. The lazy suzan approach is also very useful because it allows you to eat so many different types of food in one meal and you can focus on what you like and others can do the same.

5 June 2017

Beijing DM reflection day 2 There were several stakeholders that we interacted with during today's activities. Between the business owners, citizens, and the government they all are one of the countries major stakeholders. We interacted at first with many shop owners in the district, they are stakeholders because they effect the economy with their gains from tourism and shopping. Also citizens like the ones whose home we visited are affected greatly by an increase in tourism because like he mentioned all of the shops and bars are loud and annoying to him. They work together though to bring in a large amount of tourists and to educate them about their complicated history. The truly interesting thing is that even with the little annoyances that some people find overall everyone who we've spoken to is pleased that China has opened it borders to the world. The government plays a role in this too because they are the ones who are making the final decisions to allow this growth to occur.

4 June 2017

Beijing Destination Daily Reflection #1 Jeanne and I's flight was delayed while waiting to go from Hong Kong to Beijing and we waited to ride with two of our group mates to the hotel. Currently, we are on the way to the hotel and I can definitely say everyone in the car was a little shocked by the driving skills of those on the road. I had heard in the past that the road lines are always driven on as we would in America but it was interesting to actually be in a car as it drove straddling two lanes. Our car by far wasn't the only one doing it either and yet I have yet to see a single accident so far where in America they are around every corner. Its amazing how such a high population density place has good traffic flow. Also I believe this would be interesting in marketing to potential clients, if you could compare the accident rates in the United States and some other countries to China, I think the results would astound us.
Beijing Cuisine Daily Reflection #1 My first impression of China is limited because of arriving late to the Republic of China from Hong Kong but there is something I definitely think this photo represents. In America when they give you a packet of butter its usually plain looking, nothing remarkable. This packet of butter shows that even on a flight that the Chinese culture cares about presentation and hospitality towards their guests. The flight from Hong Kong to Beijing was only three hours and for domestic flights they wouldn't bother to serve a meal, expecting you to get it from the airport instead. But this fascinating culture cares about every interaction that will help you form an impression of their culture, even down to their butter.
Jeanne and I are finally on the plane to Beijing. Running behind but we will be there soon enough! Haha my butter was so unique i had to take a photo.

2 June 2017

I've had in Hong Kong. There was a bug in my juice! By the way my suitcase tore so i went around for like 3 hours after the aquarium looking for a place that sold luggage. I finally gave up and went to bed though i before i forget i got fidget spinner! Anyone wanna guess the design?
Day 5 Hong Kong Oceanside Park Aquarium I got to choose the activity today and i love aquariums so i chose a highly recommended one and i saw they said it was a theme park too but i just thought there were a few fish based rides. No. This was a HUGE theme park ON A MOUNTAIN. The shops and the aquarium were on one side and then we took a cable car OVER THE MOUNTAIN, as in up and down the mountain i went in this small little bulb with Jeanne to the other side. I did okay with the height though i think i only freaked out a little bit. I took a video of the whole ride there and back. You'll have to. Check it out once i post it and tell me if i managed to stay calm. Of course the first ride Jeanne and i took was the rapids and we were soaked and i was wearing white pants haha i didn't dry until that night. We also saw a dolphin show and sharks which Jeanne loved. Sadly we had a disappointing moment, Neptune' Restaurant which is supposed to be world class was bad. First and only bad food...
Day 4 Hong Kong Hong Kong Disney. A lot more photos to come. I have my pink bow on and I love it!! Though people on the metro we're definitely staring at me. I dont know if its cause I look so foreign or because of the bow. I just have to say its crazy hot here. I was sweating really bad it was muggy. It was crazy though cause we didn't wait longer then 5 min for every ride we did. I got sleepy pretty quick though I think that was from the heat. I got a few souviners for people and myself!
I was these. Why does so much bave chocolate in it?!?!?

1 June 2017

First meal in Hong Kong and it was sooo good. I love the squid.

31 May 2017

On the flight. Arriving in Hong Kong. That flight was intense I definitely advise those about to do the flight to bring: compression socks motion sickness pills Movies on phone or tablet Headphones Gum Leg cramp pills (sold anywhere) A sweater A charging cord (our seats had usb and power cord plug) Snacks Toothbrush/paste And thats all i can think of right now. But overall the biggest thing i want to emphasize is drink water. They offer it a lot on the plane but also get some at the airport and a sandwich too cause the gap between meals was pretty big. Don't worry about having to use the bathroom often its not a big deal and get up at least once ever couple hours and stretch in the back of the plane. The best way i remembered to do this was at the end of every movie get up walk around and take a bathroom break as on long flights its easy to lock up your legs, get dehydrated, cramp up, and more. Because i stayed hydrated and chose good times to nap i wasn't exhausted the next day.
Day 2&3 Toronto - Hong Kong We got breakfast at the Best Western Hotel and took shuttle to the airport. Going through security was surprisingly easy. My god those seats on the plane were small though. I had accidentall checked my compression socks in my suitcase like an idiot so i took a second and bought some. 32 d**n dollars later.... I very smartly forgot to put them on before i got on the plane. So in that tiny cramped seat i had to wiggle them on. Wow the guy sitting next to me wasn't pleased about that. I had to keep getting up and stretching my legs and i felt so bad i know i must have been driving Jeanne crazy. And i kept losing my pen! Overall i was just a mess so i took my medicine and went to sleep. The flight attendant was so nice by the way when they ran out of chicken meals and i couldn't eat the beef she gave me hers and said it was a leftover from first class. But when i got up to stretch after i saw the flight attendants eating the same meal on the same type of plate.
Arrived safely in Canada! Had a moment of craziness when we realized we had booked a hotel in Vancouver and not Toronto but Jeanne was amazing and fixed it! It felt so nice to rest in a bed before we got on the plane to Hong Kong! I also in the airport got my last "American Meal" as I like to call it, because I doubt I'll be eating a lot of chicken salad in Asia.

30 May 2017

Day 1 Orlando - Toronto Sooo in typical me fashion I was late getting out of the house to catch my flight but its okay I got to the airport about the same time as Jeanne. I got a wheelchair which was nice! Jeanne was amazing and got me burger king and then i just rode 3 hours to Toronto!
Saying goodbye to Shelly before i leave. We spent the day together with her beautiful baby at Typhoon Lagoon and were super creative in keeping EJ dry when she was asleep in the baby tube in the lazy river. And Tim was awesome and let us collapse as soon as we got back and watched EJ and got me chicken strips. Overall an awesome send off!

16 May 2017

First pre-china meeting with the class!!! I'm so excited!! Talking about apps to use, safety, food, culture competence, and more! I leave in 14 days to Hong Kong!