DR. SUN YAT SEN & MACAO
So after a lovely night out with the girls last night, I slept in for quite a while. Missed the hotel breakfast so I went out in the street to see what I could find. Luckily enough I found a bakery not to far away from the hotel. They had a lot to choose from but I left with mango pancakes and a coconut bread, both were delicious! Whiteout really having a plan, I strolled down to the harbor. Just by the river bank they have a memorial park of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the revolutionary person who is a little bit of the reason why I’m going to GZ. I’m going to study at his university. It was a very pretty spot and families were playing around in the grass around the big statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. I was thinking by myself, wondering why all of these people were out in the park playing on a Thursday.
I walked by the bank, until I arrived at the Ferry terminal for boats to Macao. I thought for myself, why not? And jumped on the next ferry. It took one hour and it was freezing cold because of the air conditioners. In Macao I could just walk from the terminal into the city. It resembles Las Vegas quite a lot, and looks quite dull in the bright light of day. Although the colonial buildings from the Portuguese era looked very pretty in their bright colors. When I finally got into the city center that’s when I understood it was a public holiday for the Chinese people. A lot of smaller shops were closed and some blocks were all empty of people but when I came into the touristy parts it was totally crowded. People everywhere! After fighting myself through some tight alleys of people I needed a break and found a little Starbucks. It felt silly, but sometimes you just need something familiar and peace. So with a cup of chai latte in my hand I could sit down and relax a little bit.
After the little break I had some new energy and went out in the town again, now the darkness had fallen and the city looked a lot more fancy. Thousands of Chinese people were now accompanied by thousand of led lights. It was like a circus. Fun to see, but felt quite done with Macao and all the people so I decided to go home again. Back at the ferry terminal, the economy class tickets were sold out until 23:00. So if I didn’t want to wait for 3 hours, I had to pay a premium price ticket. This was of course due to the fact that the place was packed with Chinese people on public holiday… It was not a hard decision to make, I paid the double price for a ticket and got to board a ship within 30 min. During the boarding procedure two Dutch guys approached me telling me I looked so confused. They seemed quite nice in the beginning telling me a lot about HK and so on, but when I told them I was going to GZ to study they begun talking a lot of shit about the place and bragged about their fancy banking jobs in HK. Hopefully it wont be as bad as they say, but I cant help but wonder…
FIRST DAY IN HK
My first day in HK has been wonderful. Although very very rainy! I've strolled through the centre lf HK called Central. All the way to the Hongkong Park and then I went all around higher up in the mountain and without looking at the map I was able to find myself home to my hotel. But I can honey tell you I became happy when I saw the massive building with huge text on the side. I don't live in the centre of the city but everything is close by anyways.
It's facinating how fast you adapt to a new place. I've only been here for one day and I already feel quite comfortable. I guess it's only the climate that will take some time to adjust to, after only a minute or two you are all sweaty and you wondering why you bothered taking a shower.
In the evening I met up with two French girls, Laurène and Kelly, for dinner. We went to a Chinese place and tasted three courses together but to be honest, it was the worst meal I've had in a long time. Luckily the company were better. They are super cute both of them and Kelly even have a sister living in HK, the perfect guide! After dinner another student came to see us, Marla from Germany. She was also so sweet and we went to a place called Ce La Vi, a club with a rooftop bar on the top. The view was incredible! So much fun to get to know some fellow students already! Later Kelly's sister came to see us as well and we realized we were in the same age. When I decided to go home Kelly's sister and her friend walked me almost all the way home.
Everything becomes so easy when you travel, you become friends with people in an instant and everywhere you go people are nice and helpful.
Now I have to decide what to do with this day! I've slept too long! Haha, but i needed it. My feet are already soar after all the walking yesterday.
IM FINALLY IN HONG KONG!
The journey to Hongkong was definitely long. The first flight to Doha and I didn't came a long as friends. Although the plane was a brand new Dreamliner and the food was pretty good as well as the entertainment system. I watched the movie Wild with Reese Witherspoon, thought it resembled myself somehow. Heard a lot of good things about this movie but it didn't live up to my expectations. Didn't sleep well, maybe a couple of hours and woke up with a tremendous pain in my neck.
When I finally came to Doha I was so relieved and excited to see something new. It was really cool going down in the dessert just by the sea in the morning. It was a yellow fog over the airport and the sun was glittering on the sea. When I finally got to step out of the plane the heat was instant! Like a sauna! Well inside the airport I was dasseled by the beautiful architecture. Went to buy water and started to wait for next flight.
The flight to Hongkong was longer, but I guess I settled into the mood of the traveler. I listened to a lot of podcasts and played games. Watched the movie Child 44 but it wasn't really worth it. Got a little bit of sleep this time as well, thanks to the forex cushion I got from Trixie. Altogether when I finally came to HK I was so tired and exhausted I just wanted to go to the hotel as fast as possible.
Went to take out money from the machine and didn't realize the numbers was all backwards so I put it the wrong pin tree times in a row without notice. Talk about panic! It was such a relief when j finally saw it and was able to take out some cash. In immigration I missed a document, but after answering some questions and filling in some documents I could pass. Took a taxi to the island, it actually took a while to drive into the city so I got a little worried that the driver was going in the wrong direction. Of course he didn't speak a single word of English. In the last corner he was starting to say a lot of things and I couldn't figure out what, but I guess it was something like we are almost there now. The entrance of the hotel was marvelous! All gold and glitter! Finally here! The room is nice, but I don't know about the promised harbor view. It's pretty many skyscrapes in front of it. But I don't mind.
Now I have had my first breakfast at the hotel. So hungry and it rains a lot so I decided to just go for the easiest way. Pancakes and fruit served the purpose and now I have to decide what to do. Let's find that guide book. Hope they have something prepared for a rainy day like this!
SUN YAT-SEN UNIVERSITY
Some pictures of the campus of Sun Yat-sen University. Looks so beautiful! Really excited to go there now!
The greatest news this season is that Skultuna is launching their most favourite products in copper. Love it! The pots and candleholder gets a new colour, and I can promise you that this will be a success and this years Christmas present.
Two weeks to go! Can hardly understand that I'm about to move to the other side of the world, to a country I've never been to before. New tastes and flavors, another language and culture. An adventure.
I have worked my last day in the store and now I have two weeks to prepare myself and the people around me. Finally got the time to pick up my visa at the visa centre. While waiting I found myself all caught up in the Chinese conversations at the counters. Its truly an amazing language. Can't wait to get to know it better!
Time for a little update about the preparations. I have finally booked hotels in both HK and GZ. This feels so good since it has been something that kept nagging in my mind. First of I booked the hotel in GZ. We are a bunch of students who already got in touch with each other and we decided on a hotel really close to the university for the first week. Hopefully we will manage to find a shared apartment during that time. Feels great that we will all be living in the same place in the beginning so we can hang out and get to know each other.
But before heading into the mainland of China, I will do my own little trip to HK. A little bit of acclimatization before the real adventure can begin. But boy was it hard to find a decent hotel in that city?! I have been searching a lot the last couple of days, and I can tell you there is a lot of hotels to choose from. Although I have never in my life seen so small hotel rooms before. Seems like they could pretty much charge anything for these cubes. When I finally new a little bit more about what and where, I started to read the recommendations, and that’s when I panicked. Ants, cockroaches, dirt, unsafe areas, broken things, un service minded people… well all of a sudden I realised that I had to pay almost the double price in HK to get something clean and safe. I surrendered and booked a hotel my good friend Niklas recommended a couple of weeks ago. It is a well known hotel chain and it is located pretty close to the centre of HK. Could not be better, hopefully.
First picture is from the HK hotel and the second one from GZ, but i guess they have photoshopped them both a lot..
SHIT IS HAPPENING
So because I have ants in my pants
and the prices are just getting higher and higher, I finally booked the ticket. The ticket to China. So excited. My welcome package from the university has not yet arrived, but I might as well book the ticket anyway. Decided to go with Cathy Pacific Airways since they have their major hub in Hongkong and they seem to have pretty good reviews. The journey will take 17h and I need to change plane in Doha, another country I've not yet been to... Well now that is done and that is actually a relief. Time to start preparing!
Since the thoughts about China was still on my mind, I decided to open my Chineasy book. I've always hated to not know everything from the beginning so I will have to really focus now and make sure I have fun with this. Learning a new language is never easy, but I mean, Chineas!? That's so complex! New figures and sounds at the same time. Today I have learned a few basic characters and how you combine them to make new words. Up until now it is pretty fun! ✌️
DAUGHTER OF A GLOBAL TROTTER BUSINESS MAN
One of the upsides of being the daughter of an global trotter business man. We talked about Brands building relationships to their customer today at the seminar. Well, I think EuroBonus have done a great job. This letter made me feel special even tough it is my father who is their real customer! Providing excellent services and better offers to the customer who buy flights most frequently is a really good idea!
The fact that you are able to share your treats to a friend or family is great! Now I will be able to travel to China in a much more comfortable way! 😃
Time to book the tickets!
MY FIRST LINGNAN FRIEND
Today I met up with the other Master student going to Guangzhou and a student from Lingnan University who is currently doing his exchange semester here at Stockholm Business School. After total confusion about what cafeteria we would be at, we found each other and had a lovely chat for a couple of hours. Learned a lot of new things, for instance, how will I survive without Gmail and doing group projects without Google Drive? Apparently there are Chinese alternatives available... Although it doesn't feel right to register a Hotmail account!
The Chinese school might also not be as though as I've heard, casual clothing is common in class and as a student you are allowed to skip a lecture sometimes. Housing still seems like one of the main issues, but my new friend promise to help out. Going to Guangzhou, I'm in for a cultural language challenge, English is not too common outside University. I'll be taking Mandarin courses, but most people speak Cantonese! Even my new friend who is fluent in Mandarin is worried of the difficulty finding a job in the city, since he doesn't understand Cantonese.
A lot of thoughts are running through my head now. Until next time,
After quickly galansing through the great guide of Beijing and Shanghai I realized I really need one of the south of China as well. Found this book about whole China and it will be great for inspirational use. Starting to get a picture of Canton/Guangzhou and I understand that I have to learn some Chinese, otherwise I will be pretty lost. Found this amazing book that will probably teach me a lot. The images and graphics are extraordinary! So excited, want to start learning right away but I will have to leave it for three more weeks. When this semester is over I will jump right into it!
Until next time,
Got this guide book by Jenni the other day, can't wait to start reading, but first time for studying... Master courses doesn't care it's a Swedish holiday! 😅 Shanghai and Bejing are on the top of my list of Chinese cities I want to visit!
THE KNOT OF FRIENDSHIP
Did you know that the Candle Holder The Knot of Friendship by Josef Frank was designed as a symbol for peace and friendship. The first sketch of the candelabra is from 1938, one year before the outbreak of the Second World War. I love my knot so much, it is so beautiful and elegant, although discovering this message of meaning behind it makes it even more beautiful in my eyes. I think that the message is still relevant today.
GUANGZHOU HERE I COME
So finally I can tell you,.. the next semester I will go on exchange to the exotic city of Guangzhou in south China! Had not heard about the place before starting this process, but to give you some short insights, it is a city of 14 million inhabitants and they have historically been very important for international trade. In swedish, the city is usally called Kanton.
I feel super excited about this life changing experience laying ahead of me. I'm really looking forward to explore the amazing architecture, wild nature, historical sites, delicate cuisine, and so much more. If anyone have insights about the GZ or China in general, please feel free to share. Love to get some insight and special tips!
Snart dags för mig att resa iväg på nya äventyr. Tror det bestämt blir dags att liva upp denna blogg igen. Än så länge är inte allt helt klart, trots att min handledare och kontaktperson på skolan säger att det ska väldigt mycket till att någon som blivit nominerad till en utbytesplats inte ska få den. Tydligen har det aldrig hänt under hans tid på jobbet. Låter lovande tycker jag. Idag fick jag kontakt med två studenter, från den skola jag är nominerad till, som just nu befinner sig i Stockholm. Riktigt roligt att få utbyta lite tankar och få råd. Nåja, det här ska nog ordna sig!