Recently, we had our family day in Zhuhai. What’s that you may ask? Well, it is a day where we meet up with the Zhuhai host families – including their children – in the park. We wanted to spend time with them and get to know them better. Also, there were some families who have not yet hosted a foreigner and were interested to learn more.
We were very lucky as we had perfect weather; the sun was shining and it was around 30°C. Maybe even a little too warm for what was waiting for us…
First of all we brought all the stuff we needed to the park and marked a big circle on the grass with flour, hung up our IC-flag and put the bottles of water we brought in the shadow. Some visitors of the park stopped wondering what we might be up to, some also took pictures.
While waiting for the families we watched some children and men flying kites. We invited some boys who came by to try out their English skills and join our gathering. And then the first families showed up and the fun began. The children were aged between 3 and 14 but all of them were happy to play some games with us. We played ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’, some other tag-games and animal guessing. I didn’t know that children could run so fast! Unbelievable! We all had a lot of fun and the day ended too fast.
We finished by sitting on blankets on the grass talking with some of the older children about our home countries, hobbies and languages. That was really nice. We were able to communicate well and the children made a lot of effort to speak English.
After that sunny day full of running I was very thankful for a cool shower in the evening and we ate some dumplings, prepared using the flour we didn’t use for the lines in the park. They were really tasty thanks to our cook Li!
See you and 再见，
Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜
Apply now for an internship and join us in Zhuhai, Qingdao or Chendgu.
Since my stay in Zhuhai, I’ve already seen more than one person practising Tai Chi on the streets and in the parks. Even back home in my fitness studio they offer to teach Tai Chi. The word describes two different sites (kind of black and white). “Tai Chi,” the first known written reference appeared in the Book of Changes over 3.000 years ago during the Zhou Dynasty (1100-1221 BC). There it says that “in all changes exists Tai Chi, which causes the two opposites in everything.” Concepts such as attracting, softness/rigidity, formlessness/shape – feminine concepts are associated with yin, while concepts such as substance, repulse, rigidity and the male sex are associated with yang.
In the last month InternChina Zhuhai was invited to a TaiChi lecture with Dr. Paul Lam, who is a world leader in the field of Tai Chi for health improvement. He held a lecture himself in Chinese and English. It was fun, as he tried afterwards to answer all his questions in both languages. Even if though he seemed to be more familiar with English, as he used to be a family physician in Sydney; he was understood by the locals.
Tai Chi itself has two different meanings. It philosophical definition means “the origin of being from which everything emerges”. For Sports it means slow exercise and the smooth flow of movement.
All in all it’s a kind of aerobics from ancient China. Its primary purpose is to strengthen the body forces and health. The flowing movements are intended to raise awareness, imagination and breathing, which should be integrated harmoniously in order to exert a positive effect on body functions. Thus, Tai Chi can play an important role in stress management and in the regulation of your hormones. Dr. Lam told his audience that his program is easy to learn, enjoyable and noticeably improves health.
Dr.Lam and the TaiChi group he brought over, showed us after the lecture how to focus on the interchanging use of falling, rebounding and streaming weight as a source for movement energy.
Many people wonder what distinguishes TaiChi from QiGong. I never thought there is was a huge range of differences between the two forms. TaiChi is generally more complex, while in the meantime Qi Gong is focused only on breathing. Without mentioning their differences, Tai Chi has gained more notoriety than QiGong in the Western world.
When I traveled to China I was only allowed to take a suitcase no heavier than 21 kg with me and a hand luggage of 5 kg. For guys, no problem. For girls, “What the heck am I gonna take with me?? *completely desperate*”. For my trip to Korea last year I took half my closet – which was not a good idea because shopping there is just SO awesome: underground market here (mostly at the metro stations), street market there, shopping e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!
So before I started my journey to China I thought deeply about what to take with me. What is really necessary? What can I buy there? I asked some of my Chinese friends, they told me that shopping is really nice and affordable in China. So I made up my mind and only packed what I really needed. I ended up with exactly 21.2 kg for my suitcase and 5.7 kg for my hand luggage (including my laptop which is exempt from the check-in’s weight restrictions). Still I had a bad feeling about it. What if I forget something? I checked my packing list at least ten times and asked friends to read it through and tell me if they thought I had forgotten anything.
Now I’ve been in Zhuhai for one and a half months and I am glad I didn’t bring more. In the underground market you can find whatever you need, to dress for whatever event; clothes, shoes, underwear, make-up, jewelry, nail polish, accessories… and much more. You can even go for a manicure and pedicure. For food, there are a lot of different restaurants, and if you dare you can get a tattoo. The best thing is, everything is so cheap. <3
So what’s the catch? Actually, there are quite a few catches. But the drawbacks depends on your body measurements etc. The worst catch I guess, is that most clothes they offer are all one size. If you are too tall you will have problems finding fitting clothes. Also often you are not allowed to try on the clothes you intend to purchase. You can only guess if they will fit and if they suit you well. Also having shoe size 40 (EU)/9 (US) or bigger as a woman it may be hard to find fitting shoes. A final catch is that you usually cannot pay by credit card in the underground or on the street market, cash is king.
The worst catch for me? Too much choice! I could spend days and hundreds of Euros in these shops. Last weekend I spent around three hours in the Zhuhai underground market – close to the Macau border. Because of my company I was forced to keep it to a minimum. I ended up with 5 new dresses, a pair of shoes, 2 trousers and just a bit less than 500 RMB poorer (58 EUR/80 USD). Yes, girls, already feeling the need to jump off your chair and come over?
In the end I will eventually have another problem, I guess… How will I ever be able to take all those clothes back home with me? Well, I did some thinking about that and my solution is: I will have to fly business class, as I’m allowed double the amount of luggage and having a comfortable seat on the plane. Sounds good to me. I could also just buy another suitcase, but … after saving so much money shopping here I think it is okay to spend some more on the flight. 😀
Oh, one more thing. Don’t forget to find yourself a suitable shopping mate. Nothing is better than spending a day in the underground together: clothes hunting, bargaining with broken Chinese-English, giggling about strange people and gossiping, sipping coffee, eating sushi, going for manicures or pedicures (or both), and afterwards going to the Spa to relax from the exhausting day to feel fresh again. Ready to enjoy the nightlife in your new clothes.
I think I need to go shopping again next weekend. Writing this blog made me hungry for more…
See you and 再见，
Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜
Last month I was lucky enough to visit our office in Zhuhai and also enjoy the Chinese host family experience with Sunny Sui, our customer relations manager in Zhuhai.
From the moment I stepped off the plane I was greeted by the Guangdong – ‘let’s get down to business’ attitude. As I stepped on board the airport bus I was immediately drawn into an interrogation by half of the bus – now my Chinese is okay – but when I am being bombarded by a bus full of Tiger Mama’s (mothers who have ridiculously high standards for the Children’s future and are extremely committed to ensuring their future success) and a grandfather with a quick mind and a head full of questions I started to crack under the pressure.
– Where are you from?
– What’s your name?
– Who do you work for?
– How much money do you make?
– How big is your apartment?
– Do you like Chinese girls?
– Can my son work in your office? (Guangdong specific)
Now these questions are quite normal in China and my answers to these questions are well rehearsed. It was when they saw the wine (a gift) in my bag – a big discussion started about the quality and after a good 10 minutes of discussing, it passed their approval. This is the type of discussion that I used to think was unbelievably rude but now I know it is part of the colourful Chinese life – where things considered impolite to discuss in the West are fair game in China. I really love moments like this in China as it reminds me of the time when I was first in China, my eyes were opened to a completely different way of interacting and thinking. This is key to making China interesting and at times is still bizarre even after 2 years.
Anecdotes aside, Zhuhai is lovely – I highly recommend it for anyone visiting China and indeed for an internship. The feeling of being beside the sea and surrounded by Palm Trees is certainly something I would not get sick of! I also enjoyed getting a seat on the bus (this is very rare in Chengdu) I also liked, despite its smaller population, how Zhuhai business moves fast and the meetings I attended were straight to the point and there is a desire to “get things done”. In Chengdu the business culture is much slower and meetings can last hours rather than minutes and it is also impolite to talk too much business at the first meeting. Since I can talk for Britain this is no problem, but I also liked the straight-talking Guangdong way of doing things.
I also loved my homestay experience with Sunny, every evening after work we could pop into the wet (seafood) market and buy a wide variety of fish and seafood straight off the boat! Sunny is a great cook and the food was delicious – I really enjoyed the fact she introduced me to her friends and I got a real great insight to her way of life in Zhuhai – which involves lots of Cycling and outside activities!
It was also great to spend time with all the team in Zhuhai – find great places for lunch and enjoy a weekend trip and a few beers with the Zhuhai interns. It was really interesting to see how their life in China differs from the interns I have welcomed to Chengdu!
I would like to thank the whole Zhuhai team for looking after me whilst I was in Zhuhai. So many memories including: sweet pork / crab hot pot / hangover Trekking / Getting lost on a mountain / friendly shop assistants / best breakfast in China / weird “hot springs” / crazy tour guides / new friends / learning / sharing of ideas.
So Zhuhai or Chengdu? Well, you could choose both? Zhuhai has weather and natural scenery which is unrivalled in China as well as being close to many of the larger cities. Chengdu on the other hand offers the chance to experience one of the fastest growing cities in China, and one which is both laid back whilst at the same time speeding towards being one of the most important cities in China.
Apply now for an internship in Qingdao, Zhuhai, Chengdu or maybe you would like to do two internships in two of the cities and experience the different lifestyles of both.
Wow, another week just passed by. Time flies! Unbelievable! I finally found my routine in the office and work is becoming more fun but I still learn more and more new things. On Friday for example we visited some companies. First time for me, wearing business clothes and having fun while being serious. Having put the first fear aside it was exciting to enter this unknown territory. Guess we all grow up after all.
Last weekend we went on a trip to Xinfeng about which Jenny told you in her latest blog. It was an interesting weekend, during which I got the chance to get to know the other interns that went with us a little better and also learned a little more about myself. I feel like it has been a week where I have learned more about myself. I will not tell you too much about the detailed program as Jenny will do that in her blog on Thursday – so don’t miss that one. 😉 But I still want to tell you about some things I experienced.
Starting with Friday evening on which we went to a restaurant near our apartment: As so often, the menu was written in Chinese and I just asked the waiter which of the dishes does not have meat in them. He pointed at some and I chose blindly one of them. What I got were noodles in a peanut sauce. They were delicious! So, I had them again yesterday.
The next morning we started our trip to Xinfeng. First stop was Sakura Valley where all the cherry trees were in bloom and then we headed to the hot springs to recover from the day.
Sunday morning I began with my favorite Chinese breakfast: 肠粉 (cháng fěn). It is made of rice flour, egg, salad and some soy-like sauce. I love it!
Then we headed towards the mountain which we wanted to climb. On the way there we already passed many tree covered green mountains. The one we went to had its peak covered in clouds. After we got off the bus and took some group pictures with some random Chinese people we started our hike.
The nature was breathtaking beautiful – all green and small rivers making their way around huge rocks. From everywhere you heard waterfalls rushing down the mountain and had an awesome view over other mountains and the landscape around them.
This scenery made me and my co-hikers hungry for more so we decided to go for the peak. We noticed that 1,400 meters is pretty high for a mountain that does not have any steps to help us climb it. On our way we met three other crazy people who had the peak as their goal.
As it became more slippery and steeper the higher we got, we had to use roots and trees as a help – surprisingly no one tripped. When the mist from the clouds got so thick that we could not see into the distance, we started expecting the peak to show up around every corner but we were let down every time. Just when we thought we were the last ones on that climb we met a group of Chinese women who then told us it was one more hour to reach the top. As we were all totally exhausted and it was time to get back to the bus we gave up on the peak and made our way downhill. This was partly more difficult than the way up. But with some helping hands of another Chinese hiking group we finally made it to the stairs. From there it was just an easy walk back down to the bus.
This trip was a really awesome experience. It had everything from fascinating nature at the foot of the mountain to a thrilling hike in the upper part.
On the drive back to Zhuhai everybody was sleeping on the bus because we were so tired.
It was a really nice weekend.
Until next time!
See you and 再见，
Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜
Apply now for an intership and join us in the activities organised by us!
Many of the interns come to Zhuhai or in general to China, to do their internship. Sometimes it’s part of their studies or they have just graduated and want to go out to gain some work experience in the real business world. However, why should you go to China for your first ever work experience? You are young, inexperienced and want to see the world – doing an internship in China, you can save time and do these two things together.
Will you have time to experience China while doing a full-time internship? Yes of course, you will have the weekends, the governmental holidays and of course, some days you can take off from work. 🙂
Zhuhai is located in the south of China – that means the weather is very nice all year round. Summers are really hot and humid, winters are mild so you only need to have a thin jacket. Many outdoor activities can be done all year round. I usually go running along the seaside, called Loversroad – but in summer I usually stay inside as it gets really hot. 🙂
For those hot days, InternChina organizes weekend trips to one of the 146 islands all around Zhuhai. So you can refresh yourself in the cool sea, have some really good fresh grilled seafood and a really good time together with your friends here in China. If we stayed in the city we would usually chill at the Jida Beach in Zhuhai or go shopping in the cool underground market. Every Friday we spend the evening on the office building rooftop, drinking beer and enjoying the start of the weekend.
When it starts getting cooler, you can be more active outside, start to play badminton as well as volleyball outside in the courtyards or at the beach. You can go to one of the four nature parks we have here in Zhuhai. We also have some mountains right in-between the city so hiking fans are very welcomed.
Further away from the city center we have the paintballing place – to get into the competitive spirit and to let go your anger about everything you will have on your mind. If you are done with that and found yourself again- you can go to one of the hot-springs resorts to relax and get prepared for the following workdays. The hot springs are small pools with hot water flavored with coffee, flowers, tea or some crazy stuff like beer or wine.
For the weekdays and after work-activities you will find many KTVs, places where you can go go-karting, bowling and also skating. You can go for a massage or get your nails done (which is really cheap here in china) and you can do many other things where you only need an evening to do it.
For those who want to see and learn more about the Chinese culture, Zhuhai has it’s own Zhuhai History Museum and a porcelain museum. You can also go to the parks to practice Tai-Chi or watch the old people do this and see them concentrate very hard. By the way Tai-Chi is not as simple as it looks – it is hard work, believe me. Once, we also went to a traditional artist to learn the Chinese Calligraphy, a very traditional kind of Chinese Art.
For long weekends we plan trips to places that are interesting in the South China area, we went to Guilin (the mountains you can see on the 20RMB note) http://internchina.com/internchina-trip-to-yangshuo/, the place of the famous “Penis-mountain” called Dan Xia Park (http://internchina.com/ic-trip-to-dan-xia-park/ ) and to Fujian with the huge Hakka Houses (http://internchina.com/fujian-trip/).
During Christmas and New Year, I took some time off work to fly to Beijijng and Shanghai, so I also saw the most famous parts of China. I went to the great wall, the Forbidden City and the hutongs, I went to the Bund and shopping in those huge fake-markets.
So you see, half a year in China doing an internship you will still have enough time to see many parts of China and to learn more about the country, people and culture.
If you want to join me and the others pushing our careers AND experience a total different world then apply now.
As I was a member of the CPAZ since 2007, CPAZ is a NGO, this NGO started eight years ago in Zhuhai and was officially registered in 2010. The organization is a social, non-profit group organization which provides public welfare and charity services for the public and social development through Education. It was formed and run voluntarily by people from all walks of life who care for, love and support the charity and humanitarian aid. Mission: the organization devotes itself to the development of charity and public welfare in Zhuhai City, and also organizes and establishes an optimistic public welfare team to work on these projects. This is done through carrying out humanitarian activities such as promoting Education and providing the necessary logistics or finance so as to assure that all have access to Education. This is possible through organized events, projects and programs directed to assist socially vulnerable groups.
As I am one of the longest volunteers and organizer there, I am used to going to charity events all the time, such as going to visit schools, visit families, charity sales etc.
The 7th art auction took place on Saturday, December 7. The auction included donations of artworks which consisted of calligraphy, paintings, selected teapots, jade elements and other mechanical pieces of art. All proceeds raised will be donated to of Dr. Cui Zimo’s charity project, “The Blue Angel Education foundation”. I went there to volunteer for the whole afternoon, we raised 235,400 RMB from the Auction which is great as this will be used to help lots of kids’ education.
In September, InternChina had the Come Together charity event. As I was very familiar with this NGO, we decided to corporate with CPAZ to give out the money to the kids’ education. This year Come Together team won one of the best partners in 2013. We were invited by CPAZ for the 3rd annual dinner on Sunday, December 8th, it was a great chance to meet many nice people. They also had an auction during the dinner, the best part was the auction of a second hand bike, the first person paid 5000 RMB, but he donated it to the auction again, someone then paid 6000 RMB to get it and then donated it again and again, in the end the bike got almost 30,000 RMB donation. All the money will go to help a family, this family has 2 Haemophilia children and the dad had passed away 5 years ago. During the dinner, we got almost 60,000 RMB donation in total.
I also got “ the best volunteer in 2013” award that night, I will try my best to do more volunteer work when I have time as it brings me lots of happiness when doing it , and it’s my honor to help people within my ability.
If you want to take part in some volunteering with the InternChina’s staff, don’t hesitate to apply now!
As I was studying one year in Guangzhou before my internship at InternChina I was pretty excited about organizing the trip to Guangzhou. I wanted to show everyone the city where I spent the last year in China.
We were a nice group of 12 people. We left Zhuhai on a Friday evening after work. We took the super-convenient high speed train to Guangzhou, which takes around one hour (one way 70 RMB). From the Guangzhou South Railway Station it was about 30 minutes to our hostel by metro.
We dropped our stuff off in the hostel and went to the BBQ nearby for dinner. It was a really relaxed evening. We were talking and drinking till late into the night.
On Saturday morning we met again for breakfast together and to do some sightseeing. I took the interns first to the Yuexiu Park. In the Park we found some rides, it was like a little amusement park. We had some fun on the rides, and after that we even rented some boats to row around the lake. Despite all the bumping into each other and terrible rowing skills, thankfully no people or boats were capsized or harmed.
In the Yuexiu Park there is also the Guangzhou Museum, where we learned a little about Guangzhou city’s history.
After the Yuexiu Park we went to the Liwan Lake Park. It is a beautiful park with Chinese architecture, a lot of lakes and a beautiful night scenery. It was nice to walk around, take pictures and chill a bit.
Having been on our feet all day, everyone was pretty exhausted by the evening, but as we only had one weekend in Guangzhou, I wanted to follow my plan strictly! So after the parks, I gave everyone some time to get ready before we set out for the night.
I booked a table in a Teppanyaki Restaurant. Teppanyaki is Japanese and you get a big table with your personal cook, who will prepare the food in front of you. It is one of my favorite restaurants because the food is just amazing!!! You pay 168 RMB and you can drink and eat what you want for 2 hours. We ordered A CRAZY AMOUNT OF FOOD!!!!!! We had steaks, sushi, different kinds of seafood, different desserts, a lot of Sake (Japanese Alcohol), beers, wine and so on. CRAZY!!! By the end we were fairly drunk, including our cook who was happily drinking with us. For most of the people it was the first time Teppanyaki so it was a very nice experience.
After the Teppanyaki we went to a nice Club in Guangzhou. We were dancing and having fun! We had an amazing night!
The next day we met at noon to have some Dim Sum. Guangzhou is famous for its Dim Sum, which is Cantonese food. We went to the Guangzhou Restaurant chain, a famous restaurant with many branches around Guangzhou. After the brunch, we did not have anything planned, so everyone got some free time. Some went to the Gaungzhou Fake Market (where you can buy just EVERYTHING!) and some went to the famous Walking Street in Guangzhou for shopping.
We took the train back on Sunday evening. While we chatted about the trip, most agreed that the best part was probably the Teppanyaki, and the interns asked me when we could go back to Guangzhou. After that I was happy that my trip was pretty successful and everyone had a great time.