A lot has happened. I have not neglected to post, but I have not had a chance for a long time. I feel like today is a good time to do it, because I have a lot of time now (I quit my internship - I’ll explain later) and I came back from my trip to Guilin. Also, I feel down because a crap ton of shitty things have happened to me today.
Today….I really wish I just did not get out of bed. It just kept getting worse and worse. Actually, it has been the last two days that have been super duper shitty on me. I will explain starting yesterday.
I had to go to work for nine hours, because it was my second makeup day. I woke up early and did my morning routine. It took a little while, because I could not get up. Waking up at 7:30 in the morning doesn’t seem so hard in the beginning, but I’ve been doing it for the entire trip in Guilin. I walked to 85 degrees and got my coffee. I took the subway which was super crowded. You have to shove your way in and you’re packed like sardines. At work they had me enter in recipes in the database and do facebook promotions, because I am a marketing and sales intern. I got an hour lunch break and I went out to explore the area. I found this little store that sold girly stuff. I bought those velcro bow pads for myself and a couple of other friends. They were only 2 yuan a piece, a lot cheaper than what they sell on ebay. They work decently well too. I also got the lip balm that smells like apple and is round. The outside has a penguin on it. Later that night I went back to get waterproof eyeliner.
When I got back from lunch the day was going super slowly. I don’t know how I survived another five hours, but I managed to. I went on facebook a lot of the time to look at pictures of people on their trips. The shocking thing was that I emailed the HR lady about how I would get my pay and when it would be and she said it was a mistake. I had no pay. Working in China means a lot of miscommunication and sometimes shady dealings. She called me and told me she would come back tomorrow to explain everything and she had some stuff for me to sign. I spent the rest of the day feeling like crap. I would not be earning money. I told my supervisor and she said that working in China has some irregular problems that pop up. Yes. Being told you are paid on the offer letter and then suddenly saying it was a mistake is an irregular mistake that you would not find in the U.S.
On the walk home I was really confused. I felt like I’ve been hit in the head. I walked across the street to the ATM where I took out some money. It wasn’t till I got back from CoCo curry with my dinner that I realized I never took out my card from the ATM. Then I was in freak out mode. I ran across the street to a bank (not the same one, but the same company) and it was closed. I called the company and thank god they had English speakers there who helped me close my account temporarily. I felt a lot better then. In China they don’t have that annoying beeping sound that the ATM makes when your card is in the machine. They just eat the card in 13 seconds if there is no action. I also have texts sent to me every time I do a transaction so I knew that no one took out money. I visited my friends’ apt and vented to them on my shitty day and gave them the bow pads.
I ate curry, drank carbonated alcohol, and watched a sitcom. It made me feel a lot better.
Then fast forward to this morning. I woke up at 7am and did my routine, finished eating the left over curry, and then I headed outside. I got coffee at 85 degrees, this time hot because it was a cold day. I kept spilling it every two seconds when I was walking. The cup was constructed poorly and it was pretty full (slow coffee drinker here) so my shirt was stained once again. The subway was even more packed than the day before. It was amazing how many people actually can fit into a train. Next, I went to the bank. There were 15 people ahead of me in line, but I managed to get to talk to someone in twenty minutes. They gave me my card once I showed them my ID. The bank service here is pretty fast and good. Then I went to starbucks to get coffee, because I threw my old one away. It kept spilling so I got angry. This time while I was heading back to work I spilled the coffee all over the floor outside of a convenient store. I was so sad, because I rarely spend money on starbucks in shanghai. It’s very expensive here compared to the NW.
At work I felt weird. Yesterdays events made me feel less motivated. The HR lady was downstairs waiting for me, but she didn’t see me so she spent an hour waiting extra. I don’t feel bad. She made me give up an internship under false pretenses to get this one. Downstairs she explained how it was not her fault she didn’t proof read the offer she sent me and that I should have asked more questions about it when a salary popped up. I explained to her that at the internship they had a paper that stated interns get a certain amount for working X number of hours. However, she continued to argue. I got fed up with it and just told my supervisor I quit. I didn’t feel comfortable working for a company that was so misleading. She told me to think it over for a week. I left.
On the way home I got noodles from the Taiwanese noodle place. I had to go upstairs to get money since they don’t accept card. The people looked at me funny, because they thought I didn’t even have 23 yuan in cash. I blew it all on coffee peeps. Upstairs my roommate clogged the toilet. I went downstairs and told them to bring more water and someone to fix the toilet. I got my food from the noodle place and toilet paper. My bug bites are acting up. I didn’t have them till yesterday when I got bit 6 times on the back of my thighs and calves from work.
I took a shower, put on a sheet mask, and watched sitcoms. It cheered me up. Then I saw two mean comments on facebook on my profile picture. Yes I am almost 21. I should not be so effected by facebook. It’s really what middle school kids do. But it still hurts when your best friend and some random guy makes shitty comments on your appearance. I am pretty sensitive on how I look. Like any young woman I can sometimes be insecure. I’m sure not everyone is 100% confident. So when I see stuff like that posted to where everyone else can see I feel shocked and hurt. This is compounded by two days of bad shit happening to me. On any other day I wouldn’t care as much.
Best friend situation: I don’t know if I should keep being friends with her. It’s not because of a comment. Like I’ve been friends with her since I was 12 years old. That is like 9 years of friendship. Almost 2 years of middle school, 4 years of high school, and 3 years of college. In those 9 years the latter half has not been smooth sailing. People grow apart and change. That’s what we did. But we are both in denial about it. We are connected by the same friend group that we still hang out with during summers. And I know her parents pretty well. It’s just that in particular the last 3 years almost every time I see her we are in some sort of argument. Bad feelings linger long after I’m with her. I’ve been contemplating ending our friendship for about 2 years now. I know it would have repercussions on the friends we are connected with and I don’t want people do choose sides are feel awkward. It’s not that I hate her. I just don’t want to be close anymore. I would not mind being an acquaintance.
I emailed the people from my first Internship telling them that I did not have time anymore because of school. Total lie. It’s because I got an internship that paid. They sent me an email back, but I’m afraid to read it because I feel so bad. I know I shouldn’t have done so, but I need to earn money in Shanghai. I’ve been earning money every semester that I have been in college. I have terrible spending habits that need to be supported.
I’m in Film class right now.
This day has to be one of my longest days in Shanghai. I had fun though, for the most part.
The day started off with me waking up at 7:51am. I had my alarm set for 8:30am, but I think I was really excited to get my hair done or something. I got myself up, turned off my alarm, and did my morning routine. My hair was put up in a pony tail, I wore my Loft ruffled blouse with jean shorts from Nordys. I took a cardigan and slacks in a bag just in case I wanted to be more formal for my internship later that day. For shoes, I wore my Oxford wedges and paired it with pink socks. If you’re imagining a mismatched strange looking outfit, it was. But at that time I didn’t think it looked too bad.
I got to the salon early and walked to the convenient store and got some bread with mystery crab meat inside. I also got a “Miranda” which is Fanta basically. When I walked back the salon was open. It’s called Elvis Salon. For some reason, only guys work there. I asked them in my broken Chinese how much a straight perm would cost and they showed me a menu. It cost 480 yuan for the Japanese perm. I agreed. Then they put the black cloak like thing around me and started putting the smelly white chemical stuff on my hair.
The man doing my hair reminded me of Shorry from Mighty Mouse. Although, he was younger and better looking. Afterwards, he put a circular heating machine and the ring rotated around my head emitting heat. It looked like an alien space shape scanning me. I was looking at Japanese magazines during the process. He then washed my hair and proceeded to dry it then straighten it. This process took the longest. He was straightening it to be super duper straight. Then more chemicals and one more washing. The person who cut my hair was different. He was much friendlier and looked a bit like Junho from 2PM. I don’t know why I’m comparing people to Kpop celebrities. But he cut some of my split ends off after he dried my hair and then cut my bangs a little.
When I went to pay it turned out to be 390 yuan. I guess they discount it from the prices listed in the menu/price book for some reason. The debit card machine wasn’t working so I had to run across the street and take out money. It surprised me that they trusted me enough to let me do that. I had all my things with me so I could have made a run for it if I was that kind of person. I handed them the money and caught a taxi to my internship.
My internship was interesting. They have a building in the craziest place. It looks like some Chinese village, but it is only one subway ride away from Zhongshan Park. I got off and called the lady for directions. When I finally got to the place, the house was nicer than the surrounding houses, but still pretty shitty looking. The inside is really nice though. I was surprised at the different. I met everyone thing and then got my own desk and computer set up. It was really boring over there. The only reason I took the internship was because I didn’t think I could last without incoming money. I spend money a lot…like I’m very bad at saving. During college I always have a job, because I like being able to spend money on the stuff I want without my parents judging me.
Now I just have to email my old internship and tell them I don’t want to stay with them…eh…
I came home from the subway and changed, then I went to my friends’ place and ordered burgers with them. The burgers were pretty pricey at 40 yuan, but they tasted pretty authentic. Like they weren’t the crappy fast food burgers, but burgers just below red robins or applebees. I went back downstairs to my room and got ready and went back up. We were going to a birthday party. Except once I got to the party I realized how much I hated parties. It wasn’t a sudden realization, but sometimes I forget. I don’t like mingling with strangers and I don’t like drinking in front of other people. I’m very self conscious about my Asian glow. I went after five minutes. I washed off my makeup and then feel asleep watching Golden Fishery. I am a very boring person. My biggest form of entertainment is shopping (ie spending money). Hence, I need a job.
Okay. I need to be better at keeping up with this. Have you noticed that each time the number of days increase? I seem to cram in the days. it’s not that I’m lazy. I’m just busy. Maybe I’m a little bit of both. Most of the days actually don’t matter. Friday was eventful though.
On Friday I got up and went to my Chinese class. Usually we don’t have class on Fridays but we had to do a makeup day. For Chinese we went on a field trip to a Chinese restaurant. This was considered to be lucky since other classes had to go to Chinese dorms or far away to the Bund. I think I would have liked to go to the Bund though. At the restaurant he made us go through the menu and he read us the menu. I guess this is suppose to justify the lesson. The food was okay. Shanghai food is not as good as food from Chinese restaurants in America. I know this sounds crazy, but for me it’s true.
I got on the bus with several people and we rode the 67 back to the apartments. At the apartment I dressed up for my internship and left. I found the place pretty easily. The internship place is huge. They have an entire building and there are tons of cubicles. It was kind of depressing thinking about being stuck in one of those cubicles. I left in less than an hour after they introduced me to everyone and told me what I will probably be doing. I actually got another offer from Fields and they said they would pay me. Unfortunately, they never got back to me after I asked them for more info.
I went to my film class. We saw an really boring movie about the class struggle in China during the 1930s. Then we surprised our friend for her birthday party. It wasn’t that fun until we went to the KTV. The night went pretty well.
I would write about the other days like today but there isn’t much to write about. I have watched way too many episodes of Chinese Paladin though. Oh and the rash on my face is healing! Yay.
I find it interesting that I’m doing these “daily” posts in blocks now. It shows how truly lazy I am getting. Things seem pretty mundane that I can group three days together without really missing anything. I find that kind of sad.
So today is Wednesday. Let’s see. Monday I took my Chinese test. It was not that hard. There were some people who found it extremely difficult, but I thought it was okay. I think I was over confident, because I ended up getting an A- on it. I know that is really good, but I thought I would get like a A+, because everything seemed pretty straight forward. It turns out I messed up a lot on the easiest section. All I had to do was read the passage and match the words into the blank spaces. I missed like 5 points alone in that one section. The other sections that were considered a lot harder like writing sentences I did fine. I must check my work from now on.
There wasn’t much that happened on Monday and Tuesday. I bought a present for a friend, because it was her birthday. It was one of those My Beauty Diary face masks. They are pretty affordable compared to how much they sell it for in the states. She seemed pretty happy with it.
Today I woke up extra early and rode the early bus to school. I needed to print out my insurance card. The rash I have on the side of my face was finally annoying me to the point that I decided to do something about it. Every time I would stare at the mirror it would bother me so much. I made an appointment Tuesday night and I decided to go after class on Wednesday. I went to school and scanned all my stuff for the Storage thing I had to do a week ago. Apparently, they’re renovating my storage area and they needed to get my permission to move all my crap. I told the guy I would sign it and email it back to him and I totally forgot about it till he sent me another letter.
So after lunch, we had the seminar class again. This time the speaker was a lot more interesting. He was a young lawyer who graduated from NYU law and he talked about Chinese labor. A lot of stuff he said was interesting, but some of it went over my head. I think he’s one of those really smart people who makes references to smart things and doesn’t realize that the majority of people never saw or read any of his references. But overall, he was really interesting. I felt like I learned a lot about how Chinese society works. It seems like the Chinese government isn’t as scary as it first appears.
I left really fast and got on a taxi. I showed the taxi driver the address, but he still didn’t know where it was. I had to call the lady from the doctor’s office and ask her to tell the taxi driver the directions. We arrived at the clinic and at first I was really surprised at the appearance. It was all white and it looked kind of like an old church. The inside was much nicer. I wouldn’t say it was up to par with the doctor’s office back at home, but it was almost the same. The Chinese people kept talking to me in Chinese like I knew what they were saying. The doctor gave me cream and told me to use it for seven days. If it didn’t work then I have to come back and try another cream or I might have to go to the dermatologist.
To save money I came home by subway instead of taxi. I think I’m getting pretty good now. However, I still have some trouble with the stops. I got off too early and I had to walk. When I got off I got a pop sickle and I started eating it. I guess I was in a hurry to finish it, because I shoved the whole thing in my mouth and at that moment this guy riding on his bicycle was staring at me with his mouth open. Hm… I wonder what he was thinking. *Sarcasm*
Anyways, then I stopped by Cloud9 and got a burger and then an ice coffee from 85 degrees. Here I am back at home. I need to do so much work…
Being in Shanghai has so many ups and downs. Some days I feel great and hopeful and some other days I feel like nothing is going right. I could really use some emotional stability right now.
This morning I awoke at around 8:30am. The curtains were tightly pulled together, but small cracks of light pulled through from the center and the edges. I wanted to sleep for a while longer, but my body never had a snooze button. I pulled myself out of bed and cleaned myself up. Then I called my parents like I do every morning. It’s a funny thing being in Shanghai. I would go through a week before even thinking about calling them in New York, but something about being in another country makes me miss my parents more. They told me they bought shoes for me and that I should check my email to see the pictures they sent. The shoes were wedges, black, suede, and a four inch hidden heel. Not many parents would buy their daughter shoes like these, especially if the shoes were never asked for. I think in a way my shopaholic nature was passed down from my dad. He shops more than any man I know and he genuinely enjoys it.
I asked them, “aren’t these too high?” My dad passively told me, “You’re short, short people need to wear heels.” Thanks dad. Too think about, I don’t think I’ve worn flats out since I was a freshmen in high school. Ever since my sophomore year (the year I discovered wedges) I’ve been wearing heels ever since. I know I will pay the price when I get older, but being 5’1 and not wearing heels is unthinkable to me.
After my phone call with them I went to the near by bakery and got their “KaoZhenKaFei” it was roasted hazelnut coffee. Ice coffee of course, it’s way too hot for hot coffee. I also got two pork steamed buns from the stand by my apt. Then I went to the mall to return my top. Returning clothes in China is a funny thing. They make you go through lots of paper work and make you wait by the side while the manager comes. The customers behind you will glare at you. Shanghai people aren’t too different from New Yorkers. If you make them wait, they won’t be too happy. Even if they don’t have anything urgent it’s the idea of waiting that doesn’t rub them the right way.
It’s amazing to me that a large, massive mall like Cloud 9 carries such terrible selection of women’s clothing. I want to make it a point to visit Nanjing Lu (the Soho of Shanghai). However, I can’t buy anything as I instituted a shopping ban on myself. I bought a blue shirt button up shirt from American Eagle this morning. I have the shirt in white and I love it. It’s actually a perfect fit. Then I bought shoes this afternoon, because I’ve been wearing the same sandals for the past 16 days. Then I bought a pair of jean shorts. God…I have such a big problem. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
I decided to start putting dates on these postings, because I can’t keep track of which days are which anymore.
On Friday, I got up early and frantically dressed up. I was suppose to dress in very professional clothing. My clothes are relatively formal for the most part. I mean my favorite places to shop are the Loft and J.Crew. Hence, you can guess finding office wear would not be hard for me. But surprisingly it was. I just picked out a blouse from the Loft and paired it with a grey cardigan from the Gap. Then I wore some random black slacks that were way too short for me when I wore my black heels underneath. All in all though I think I looked pretty pro. I got down and met some people and shared a ride with them to the school.
My resume almost didn’t print so I started freaking out, but this guy was nice enough to print them for me so I was saved. Now I really hate the interview process. I hate acting like someone who I am not. Honestly, I just want an internship so I can put it on my resume for law school. However, you can’t say that straight off the bat. You have to say how you’re super interested in their company and the field and how you think you are the best candidate. It’s like prostitution in some sick twisted way. You have to sell yourself. I hate doing that. In the end I did four interviews and I got a email back from two of them offering me the internship. Well one offered it to me straight off the bat and the other one wanted me to come to another interview.
These internships aren’t paid. Eh…I need money. I’ve been spending like crazy. I found a pretty cool store called Urban Renewal that sells pretty clothes. And I bought a clubbing jacket there. Need to save money.
On Saturday, I went out with the girls to Cloud 9 and we browsed. I didn’t buy anything, because of my insistence of saving money, but we did get hot pot which was expensive.
I realized I need to start taking pictures and putting them up. I haven’t really been good about that.
Crap! I totally forgot to post. These last couple of days for me have been such a crazy blur. I don’t know how the time has gone by. It’s impossible for me to go in depth about what happened, because I forgot so much of the little details, hence I’ll summarize.
In the mornings I usually grab coffee or breakfast with my roommate at Starbucks. I really need to stop doing that, because it is so expensive. Then I head out to the shuttle/school bus with her at 10am. I switched my language class to the later one, because the earlier one was too easy for me. This is great, because now I have a couple of friends in my class and I’m not the only one that can pronounce words correctly. I thought about taking Intermediate 1, but that was way too much work. To be honest I think my real level is Intermediate 1, but I’m still learning a lot from Beginner 2.
At lunch I go out with my friends to the school cafeteria. I go to the Korean stand every day. I has pretty good food even though it doesn’t taste like Korean food. Then I either go home or I take a class about Contemporary China. This is a class everyone in our program has to take. Sometimes (Mondays and Thursdays) I have a class which starts at 5pm and ends at 8pm. This is terrible since I have to go home in the dark.
Some interesting things this week:
- I was told that I look like the Asian Selena Gomez at lunch by three people.
- I gave an old lady 10 yuan as she was eating food from the trash (really sad to see). It reminds you of how unfortunate some people are.
- I’m dropping my journalism class, because I hate the schedule.
- I am going to try and get an internship.