Last weekend home

Awards Dinner 2017:

This year the awards dinner was in Terrytown, NY. My mom and I were both invited! I started working with her over the summer so I got an invite to this black tie event! They had a Great Gatsby theme and it was fun to get all dressed up! As you can see below I was the belle of the ball with that red dress! I saw it and immediately knew it was the one!

Visiting my best friend:

I spent the rest of the weekend in Connecticut with my best friend! We caught up, hung out, went shopping, ate amazing breakfast sandwiches and had a girls night out! It was so nice to get to see her before I had to come back to China. I miss her! We don’t live in the same place in the US let alone when I’m in China all the time. It was a great last weekend home! So happy I was able to do both of these things!

Until next time,

~Alexis

Dissertation Survey

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been working hard on my dissertation and it is a lot more work than I thought. I have so much to do! I plan on visiting Yunnan and seeing the coffee fields and farmers. I am even going to talk to someone at the Nestle office there! It’s very exciting!

I was hoping some of you could take my survey. It’s very short, less than 10 questions! It would be a great help!

https://www.surveyrock.com/ts/TKQ66F

Thanks guys!

~Alexis

Hello, Hola, 你好 (nihao), Bonjour…

I’m multilingual!

Let’s see what I can post in all these languages. Obviously I post in English so thats A-ok, I should and totally can post in Spanish and it would be good for me to practice, my Chinese is getting better and that would be cool to post in Chinese, and my French is ehhh I try but Duolingo only goes so far but I have a ton of frenchie friends!

Sooo what’s happened since Thanksgiving? Hmm. Well I still had Chinese class, still had my job, and was still working on my thesis and teaching English. So that was a lot I have to admit. Too much really. I quit my English jobs. I won’t be taking Chinese class anymore. So that leaves me working on my thesis which is due at the end of April sometime. I still have my job and that’s about all I’m gonna do. I need to graduate so that’s the most important thing right now.

I did have a big surprise for Christmas. I asked my work for the time off and magically they agreed! Soooo I bought my own ticket home for Christmas for like 7 weeks! Crazy I know! The best part is my mom didn’t know A THING!!! She thought I was coming home the 9th of January. That was a hard surprise to keep! I worked it all out: bought my ticket, told our awesome travel agent to keep the secret, packed and got all the Christmas presents, and even came up with a story as to why I wouldn’t talk to my mom for like a day haha and arranged for a family friend to pick me up from the airport and had them invite my mom to dinner to get “Chinese food” It was perfect! The day went off without a hitch thankfully! You all know that usually something happens but this time I had nothing woohoo! And my mom was so surprised and happy! She cried! It was the best surprise ever! Money can’t buy that kind of feeling. Being home for Christmas is something a lot of people take for granted but until you can’t actually be home for Christmas because of whatever reason like living in a communist country that doesn’t celebrate the holiday you don’t realize how special it is.

I have the best friends in China though. Chiara, Flo and Max planned out a surprise Christmas dinner for me and it was a amazing! There was Foie Gras (duck liver) and it was actually really good! We put it on bread with sea salt! And then we had a pasta bake with eggplant and other vegetables with sauce and homemade bread! YUMMALICIOUS! We had a good meal, drank wine, and talked for hours. It was a perfect Christmas. (Even if it was December 17th!!) And not only that Flo helped me clean my whole apartment before I left so it was clean and agreed to check on it for me!

So I’ve been home for 6 weeks now I can’t believe it! I leave next Thursday to go back to Chongqing and back to reality. It was a nice break though to be home and to get to eat all the foods I can’t eat in China and to see my friends and family. I even drove down to Virginia which is 9 hours away to see someone! And this weekend I’ll be driving 4 hours to Connecticut to see my best friend!! This Friday is also the awards dinner! Last year was at Yankee Stadium and this year it’s in Terrytown. Not as cool I know but it has to be really expensive to rent out Yankee Stadium. So after the dinner, I’l be going to hang out with my best friend for the weekend. Then back home and getting ready to leave!

I’ll try to post using my multilingual skills and keep you updated.

~Alexis

Surprising my mom Video:

Thanksgiving was a Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving was fun. I hosted Friendsgiving at my apt. I made a lot of food! I made pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, baked apples, a chicken stuffed with chestnuts, mushrooms, and onions in a cream sauce,  and made real whipped cream by hand. There was bread, Mexican soup, curry veggies, and spicy pork and potatoes. There were 3 Americans, 4 French, and one Chinese. It was a good group of people and the food was sooo good! I miss food! I mean I love spicy so much that I love when my lips tingle from the spicy but I miss good food that’s not spicy and homemade!

Thanksgiving is a special holiday because it’s about being thankful what you have and appreciating it, especially family and friends because without them life wouldn’t be what it is! And I know better than most that I need to be thankful. I have had so many amazing experiences and opportunities but they have taken me away from home and away from the country. I miss out on a lot of things and I especially miss out on time with my mom and friends. I’ve missed 3 Thanksgivings, 1 Christmas and so far 3 Easters and 3 Birthdays at home. (soon to  be 4 Easters and Birthday) The things we have are great and they help make our lived easier or make us happy or just because but people and time are the 2 most precious things we have and a lot of time we take them for granted because we think I always have more time or the person will always be around but that’s not true. Remember to be thankful and to remember the people in your life that you love and that love you!

~Alexis

 

Ireland with my mom

I can’t believe I went to Ireland back in May!!! That’s so crazy! Let’s start the story… you know me well enough by now to know something happened!

I started on May 10th, 2016. I was flying from Chongqing to Beijing to London to Shannon. Well I get to the Chongqing Airport and check in with no problem. I get through security and see that my flight has been cancelled. So I had to go collect my luggage and then try to figure out what to do and how to get to Shannon. I ended up having to call the people of Air China to book another flight (which was on them) but the problem was that I wasn’t going to make it for my flight from London to Shannon. And the next flight wasn’t until the morning. So I got on the next flight Beijing and missed my original flight to London. I got on the next flight to London and of course missed my flight to Shannon.

So I arrive at London Heathrow and there was a guy waiting for me to give me a hotel and bus voucher. He was from Air Canada because they are an affiliate of Air China and Air China wasn’t there anymore I don’t know. But of course they lost my luggage and so I just had my carryon. I get on the bus and get to the hotel and try to check in. The hotel didn’t have a reservation for me and nothing from the airline AND they had no open rooms available. So it’s like 11pm and I walked in the rain down the street of hotels and they were all sold out. I arrived at the last one thinking ok if they don’t have anything I’m just going back to the airport because I’m over today. But thankfully they did have room. It was expensive though, 189 British Pounds! For anyone that doesn’t know, the British Pound is muchhh stronger than the Dollar so it was really like over $300 for the night :O

I get back to the airport and explain the situation but guess what? Air China doesn’t start work until 3pm… I won’t be there because it’s 7am and I’ll be in Shannon. So the best they could do was leave a note and I could check on my way back or call them. So I do that and check to see if they know where my luggage is but no such luck. I gave them my email and they places we would be staying on what days. So off to Shannon I go and I arrive an hour or two after my mom so she waited for me at the airport. It was so nice to see here again after like 3 months. We went outside and got a taxi to the hotel.

We went out to explore and get me some clothes since I had none. We had a great lunch at the little restaurant across from the hotel. So we ended up in Limerick to go shopping and they had a Primark!! or Penny’s is the British name I guess! I got a bunch of clothes to live for the week. Then we went to a salon and we got our hair washed and straightened. It was really nice.

They next day my mom’s whole company came. The reason we went to Ireland was that she won the trip through work. She works with Aflac and we had 4 days touring Ireland. My mom and I had 5 because we arrived early. I’ll give you the highlights and then add the pictures below because come pictures are so much better. (maybe my next post will be a video post!)

So that day we went to the Cliff’s of Moher and continued on to Kilarney. The 3rd day we went on a tour of the ring of Kerry which is very beautiful but the roads are extremely winding like a snake. So that wasn’t the best but still it was nice. And there was a guy with a baby fox, a baby deer and baby goat that were adorable! Everyone took pictures holding them!!! The 4th day we went to the Blarney Stone and made our way to Dublin. There was a team dinner that my mom’s boss paid for at a very nice restaurant within walking distance. Then we all went out for drinks. It was fun! The 5th day we were in Dublin and walking around seeing some of the sights. I had to leave that day so I also had to buy a suitcase because my luggage never showed up and they didn’t even know where it was.

Saying goodbye is always sad but I was going to see my mom in June so it wasn’t back at all. I was actually home on June 7th so less than a month! So I get back to London and they found my luggage and it was in Beijing so I told them not to send it to London because I was returning to Beijing and Chongqing. And of course there was no one from Air China yet again. So I couldn’t do anything about my hotel situation. I arrive in Chongqing after no problems on the way home and of course my luggage isn’t there but on it’s way to London. SMH!!!! I fill out a form at the airport and head home.

I get my luggage 3 days later and it was delivered to my apt. I called Air China about the hotel and lost luggage but they told me I  had to email someone. I email them and they said I had to go to the airport. I gave up after that because 1. it should not be that hard, and 2. apparently no one has the authority to do anything. The people at the airport have none, you can’t even buy a ticket there, the people at the Beijing headquarters do but maybe I wasn’t talking to the right people I don’t know but they really need a better system. I will eventually write Air China a very long and disappointed as well as angry letter about this whole situation because of their stupidity I probably lost over $700. That is a lot of money for something that was not my fault in any way.

ANYWAY, it was a good trip and I really enjoyed Ireland. Here are the pics and these are just a fraction of all the pictures I took!

~Alexis

My life this semester

Since I got back from the wedding my life has been crazy! I argued with the International Student Office and theChinese Class office for 2 weeks. Finally, after some deliberation they came to the conclusion that we could have 20% off because we are already students and even though our 89,000RMB a year tuition is paid for, it goes to the School of Economics not for Chinese classes. So anyway I’ve been going to Chinese class every day for 2 months.

I have also been trying to attend events or lectures about business because to graduate I need to attend 5 and write 500 words on each lecture. I also, teach some English on the side to have money to pay for my apartment since I don’t have a roommate anymore. I have two English jobs at the moment.

I also got a big girl job doing international marketing with a company that does smart lighting. I really enjoy it. I do a lot of proof reading and correcting in English but I’m also involved in budget planning and looking for lighting exhibitions internationally. I may even go to one or two! And on top of that, I have to write my Master’s thesis that has to be 70 pages. My Chinese advisor and I don’t see eye to eye. He wants to talk politics in China and is crazy with a capitol C-R-A-Z-Y! Everyone knows that China is not the place to talk politics.

So my plate has been overflowing lately with every thing. I haven’t been writing on my blog because of it. I finally have a little time so I’m writing and getting everyone up to date. I am quitting one of my English jobs or only doing it when they need someone to cover. And then next semester I won’t be doing the other one and unfortunately I won’t be attending Chinese class. I have to get a private tutor and practice with people at work and as much as I can because I just don’t have the time and I want to keep my big girl job. So if I don’t have my English jobs or Chinese class I can work in the morning and have the afternoon for my thesis. I’m thinking of applying to just study Chinese next year as a backup. I may stay at my job full-time if I continue to like it and they pay me well. Or I could really work on my Chinese. Either way, I could be in Chongqing another year or so after I graduate. We shall see what the future brings.

~ Alexis

Texas Wedding

I went to my oldest friends wedding. Jimmy and I have been friends since the 8th grade when he dated my best friend at the time. And he actually lived like 2 miles down the road from me so we went on late night Walmart runs, driving all over the county trying to find Mcflurry’s at McDonald’s after midnight, SUSHI all the time, like we could eat 7 rolls just the two of us, going to see the movies, and running the boilermaker. Jimmy and I have gone in separate directions since then, since I travel the globe and he flies F16s for the Air Force. But we’ve stayed friends over the years and Jimmy has always been a good friend. When we were younger and best friends Jimmy was like family and he still is to this day. I’m so happy he found a keeper and that they are so happy together. It was written all over their faces. I got a shout out at the reception for being the person who travelled the furthest even Jimmy. He’s in S Korea and I’ve got him beat by like thousands of miles I think… yup I just looked it up 1,295 miles further for me. I had a 15.5 hour flight and then a 2.5 hour flight while he had a 13 hr flight lucky bastard.

Texas was amazing! I loved it there actually. I would move there. I’m glad I was able to go and that I not only saw him get married and I met some great people but I bought real Texas Cowboy Boots! (2 pairs) And I went to my first ever NFL game to see my team the Dallas Cowboys vs the Chicago Bears and the Cowboys won!!! It was only 5 days in Texas but it was worth the long flights and exhaustion. I got to see my mom which is always great and it was a nice break from China even though I’d only been here a month.

I’ll be home soon! They don’t celebrate Christmas or New Year’s here but Chinese New Year. So in January I’ll be home for a month! Woohoo!

More posts to come… Life has been getting in the way with work and school while trying to write my Master’s thesis.

~Alexis