Share Your World – 2013 week 30

Incase any of you lovelies haven’t noticed my shiny new badge on the left hand side of my blog, yes I joined a new blog event hosted on WP called Share Your World. I love the idea of sharing something about me every week by answering a few questions being asked. A nice way for my readers to get to know me better, isn’t it?

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit would you rather be..?

A strawberry, it’s my favourite fruit of them all, reminds me of summer which is also my favourite season!

If you could witness or physically attend any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Medival England or Dynasty China, I’m fascinated by them, would be cool to experience the life in court/ palace during that era. The former is a period I always loved reading about whereas the latter still remains quite mystical to me, having actually been to the forbidden city this summer; I wouldn’t mind to travel back in time to see what life must be like living there? 😛

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

I would like to know what and where I will be in twenty years time, married? kids? ahh one can dream 😉  

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Probably the colour light blue, no other reason than it’s actually one of my favourite colours and the fact it’s a colour of the sky, sea, also make me feel refreshed!

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Summer 2013 – Best Summer Ever.

It’s been so long since I last blogged, my internet connection has been down recently. Here I am finally home getting hold of a computer and proxying through the Chinese Great Fire Wall onto WordPress. If anyone is wondering which VPN I use, I recommend Pandapow!  🙂 I’ve been having such a hectic lifestyle lately; yes, I only have 5 days left in China, therefore I need to see everyone again.

I must admit 2013 summer has been the best one so far!  First, I get to see the good and the bad of Beijing ( our ”lovely” capital city haha! 😉 …to read more about my trip to Beijing, click here )  Then, perhaps the most memorable trip of my holiday got to be my 7 days in Guilin, I loved it there, especially about its great nightlife and scenery!  Recently I travelled to Dandong which is a city in China bordering North Korea, (I plan to write about that soon. ) Oh and not to mention the endless drive to Inner Mongolia that too me a week to get back home.  Overall what can I say?! I would love to do this all over again, sunshine, exploring different culture with the people I love. What more can I ask for? 😉

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Experiencing Beijing – The good & The bad

It’s been so long since I last blogged about my holiday in China. Right now it’s around 30 degrees out, here I am hiding indoor to organise all the pictures I took from my trip to Beijing and ready to share it to you guys, yes the good and the bad!

Being the capital of China, Beijing is pretty famous in the West for its many sights worth to see such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and of course Tiananmen square. One could say that Beijing is probably one of the must visit destination for any foreigner on their trip to China. So, Beijing started with me and my boyfriend getting approached by many black cabs shouting prices offering to take us to our destination soon we stepped outside of the train station. suspicious looking men! So being a native Chinese ( though having never visited Beijing on my own before, I, avoided them like a plague, kept my head down and casually waved them to go away).  Instead, we took the tube which is cheaper and much reliable transportation in Beijing and found our way to the hotel called 7 Days Inn that I pre booked a week ago.

So, did I honestly think that I was about to take a shower and relax in that double room I ‘supposedly’ booked? NO! another trouble found me again?! The girl behind the counter working for the hotel chain told me they didn’t accept foreigners because of their company policy then just ”sorry, you did not read our booking policies.” By this time I was furious, 20 minutes spent on the tube in the heat was all for nothing! As a wannabe Law student, this was clearly unjustified, so I started arguing my way at the reception, voicing my anger and frustration.  Good job I did that, because the staff eventually lost words to say and transferred me and my boyfriend to another branch nearby (we did have to pay for taxi and that branch was located in a run down side street but hey at least we had somewhere to stay!) 

After all this drama, we finally made our way to the Temple of Heaven, Tian Tan Park in Mandarin. We spent a lovely afternoon there right until it closed and then settled for a Beijing Roast Duck near the East gate. Overall, even though our trip didn’t start very pleasantly, but I refuse to let someone else’s mistake to affect my mood. After dinner, me and Joe walked back to a street called happiness Street which Joe gave it a funny nickname ”Misery Lane” .

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Day 2 We got up at 2 am in the morning! CRAZY, I know, but sadly had to be done because the day tour we booked was taking us to see the flag rising at Tiananmen square. As the mini van picked us up from our hotel. From that moment, little did I know that an adventure was about to start! Any experienced traveller would probably know, haha yes, we booked a black tour. But I didn’t realise this until half way through our trip, basically we were dropped off at some run down breakfast place to sign contract. We were not the only one, there were plenty others there too so I didn’t suspect anything at first. It all started when we payed our money which was about 240 yuan ( 24 GBP). The tour guide was of course illegal too, out of every single tour I ever went on across Europe, America, she had by far the most disgusting attitude! ”NO QUESTIONS, NO TALKING WHILST SHE’S TALKING, LISTEN TO WHAT SHE SAYS” In another word we were being led by a dictator for the rest of our trip!  Even though we payed 240 yuan which is way more than others on our tour because we naively thought we were on that so-called VIP trip where all tickets were included in the price we payed for. 6 minutes through our journey, this illegal tour guide began to demand an extra 80 yuan for the bus fee ( apparently she said it isn’t included in the price). All the people on the tour were pretty stupid enough to believe her and gave her the money but not me! Once again, I went all law student on her, finding the contract that I signed along with the travel agency’s advertisement. All she replied back was : call your travel agency!! Pretty rude of her. So I did and argued down the phone again; demanding an explanation. In the end the travel agency stopped answering my phone, probably recognised my number. That’s when I realised they were probably on the same side running this black tour together. Uh- Oh! Around this time, we arrived at the Great Wall so that’s the plus side I guess.

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After climbing the Great Wall for about an hour, this black tour guide began to show her true self. She hardly talked about the sites that we were going to see, rather 2 hours spent on talking about Chinese Jade and boasting about how rich she made since she bought this so-called money god back in the Dynasty time that was made from Jade. Yawn. Then not surprisingly, she took us to a Jade factory, making each one of us to go in to buy Jade, in her words, we can get them at warehouse price really cheap. No thank you I said and made some excuse to stand outside. I have heard stories about when you enter into these shops they won’t let you go ou unless you buy something. After this jade factory, most of the people in our tour began to suspect something was wrong, we were being conned! The tour guide refused to let us know where she was taking us next, a compound after a compound where the sales person trying to get you to spent thousand in their shop. I have to say I did got a little scared, firstly, I didn’t even know where we were at the time, I tried to google locate myself on my phone and searching for any taxi or bus station but found nothing. Thankfully, we arrived at this Wax museum and for the first time I saw bus stops nearby. Starting to plan my escape. As the tour guide making us to queue up in the line at the entrance, I heard a guy from my tour shouting at our tour guide, she argued back as usual. Then next thing, he punched her across the face!! HAHA, no one could believe it!!  Luckily, this was a perfect opportunity forme and Joe to escape. Asked a really nice lady for the direction and wrote down every bus route that I need to take back to Beijing City centre. Phew!

After our great adventure, we took the tube to Tiananmen square and decided we deserved a treat from our hectic day, so we checked out of our hotel from the rundown side street and booked the best hotel in Beijing called the Jade Garden hotel near Wangfujing street, a diplomat suite 😉

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Our Last day in Beijing, we woke up early, packed our bags and headed towards the Forbidden City. It was really close to our hotel. I recommend people to buy a map before entering through the front gate because it is like a maze in the Forbidden City and a map would definitely save time. Oh and don’t forget to get tickets early, the booth opens at 8:30 and we arrived there at half 9, it was madness!

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So that’s my Beijing experience, it was pretty stressful but I get to experience the bad and the good of Beijing, it’s pretty important lesson learnt too, being 18 and realising what society and our world is really about! Please don’t get put off by visiting Beijing from my experience. After all, I did meet so many lovely Beijing people who were really really helpful and I can not be more thankful. For anyone planning to visit China,  recommened you guys to search for different cons at tourist places just to get an idea and preventing these petty scammers ruining your holiday!

 

Tips:

  •  anything they are trying to force on you is a fake, there are so many stories about people spending thousands on these products and turns out to be all fakes! 
  •  for those traveling to Beijing, any guys offering or approached to you first, whatever vehicle they might have ( a car, rickshaw etc) AVOID AVOID! Go and get a taxi that has proper license and that’s got a company headlight on the top!

 

Understanding stress levels

Good morning darlings, recently I read a good article on tackling stress levels, it really transformed my life so I’m sharing it with you guys!

Everyone suffers from stress in varying degrees, but it doesn’t have to be negative. Pressure can be a powerful stimulating motivator, urging us to achieve certain goals in life. But when pressure exceeds out ability to cope then it becomes stress. The important thing is to recognise the different types of stress and to identify nay negative stress before it becomes harmful.

There are three different categories for stress:

Pressure, which is usually a positive stress because its motivating!

Stress from daily annoyances; i.e Delayed flights or computer crashes. They are frustrating but soon forgotten. Everyday stresses like these can often be overome by planning. Simple remedies like choose an outfit the night before or charging your mobile phone regularly.

More serious situations like losing someone or something close to you.

Stress buster
  1. Assess it. Rate the amount of stress you’re feeling on a scale of one to ten. Then rate the importance of that situation on a scale of one to ten, where ten is serious injury or worse. So when you’ve missed a bus, your stress might be a seven when the importance of the situation is really only a two, clearly you’re creating your own unncessary stress.
  2. See the bigger picture. When you’re stressed, picture yourself in 3 months time.
  3. Get a handle on it. If you tink you’ve had a disastrous day, take time to watch the news and discover what real tragedy is.
  4. Slove it. Don’t waste time on the problem – spend time finding the solution. Think expansively rather than narrowly. There are more options thank you think.
  5. Don’t worry. It won’t make it better or worse. Worrying is a habit from childhood and is simply supersitious thinking most of the time.

  Continue reading Understanding stress levels

Half empty? Half full?

Half empty.. Half full? – It is a common expression used to test out one individual’s worldview.  I’ve been wanting to post my thoughts on this topic for a while now. Generally speaking, I class myself as a worrier you know the one who always picture the worst case scenario as a way to alleviate any nasty surprise I might get. This might be ok especially for coping under pressure because often I channel that ”worry” and turn it into a motivation to help me focus. However, this can’t be healthy you know, almost adding unnecessary stress on myself, it’s not fair for my wellbeing.

But since I turned 18, I found that my views began to change, it is fine to be ”half empty”  shows that you are not easily satisfied and seeing the half you don’t have in life will always get you to better yourself to achieve your goal. But after all that would be a really hard process and during that process I think it is necessary to look back to what you have already achieved, y’know the other half that is full. There are so many pessimists in this world I cannot tell you about it! Those with great ambitions but never got the chance to fulfil it that’s when they become miserable. I do admire their scale of ambition but I often wonder why make  life difficult especially their achievements are envied by many.  Perhaps, show a little appreciation for yourself?

So the message being we all need a balance of half full and half empty; one allows us to stay motivated and the other helps us to stay appreciative. In life we all need that healthy balance, after all we only get one life time and you are in total control of how you live your life, so its Happiness vs Misery?  You decide!

Count down to my final exams!

As many of you probably wondering why did I suddenly stop posting regularly, well finally its a week until my exam starts so I’m doing some final brain storming. I promise the updates shall be back to normal starting from the 14th of June that is the date of my last ever exam. Wish me luck darlings!

My VIP Grand Canyon Helicopter tour

I had an amazing opportunity to take a VIP helicopter tour at Grand Canyon, all I want to say is what an experience!!!

Continue reading My VIP Grand Canyon Helicopter tour