Continuing the Chinese New Year Celebration – China Letter II.

This is the second letter that I sent to family and friends back in the states when I lived in China.

(approximate date written:  February 2007 ~ 7 years ago)

Another update on my life in China….  

Work is going well.  This past week I trained the door girls and guest relations officers on new procedures for guest arrival.  Mainly the objective is to help them with their English.  They teach me Mandarin, and my vocabulary is growing, slowly but surely.  Today I told a gentleman (in Mandarin) to have a nice day as he was leaving, and he smiled at me and said something back.  I asked my friend Jessica what he had said and she told me he thought I spoke Mandarin very well.  If he only knew….  

Saturday afternoon I went to La0 Jian, a major shopping district in Shenzhen, with my friend Jane from work.  We rode the subway there, and it was much cleaner than any of the subways that I have been on in America.  The shopping district was absolutely crazy.  I have never seen so many people in my entire life.  

Shopping District

Lao Jian Shopping District


Our showers are in the bathroom (duh), but they are not the typical shower.  There are no shower walls or curtains or anything.  The shower head is hooked to the wall and you take a shower right in the middle of the bathroom.  

All of the Chinese people who work at the hotel have an English name that they use at work.  There are some really interesting names that people have chosen to go by: Elvis, Echo, Snow, John Wayne (he also answers to ‘the Duke’), Sweetie, Pepsi (who chose that name because she is ‘sparkly and bubbly’)…. 

Amy Pepsi Amy

Pepsi (she IS sparkly and bubbly!) became a good friend to Amy and me.

Riding in a car in Shenzhen is seriously the most terrifying experience of my entire life. Lane lines are merely suggestions.  

I feel really tall here.  When wearing heels, I am taller than a lot of the men.  

Shenzhen has a population of around 10 million.  It is a very new city and not a good representation (so I’ve been told) of what China is like.  Twenty five years ago, Shenzhen was a small farming community.  

Shenzhen at night

View from the top of the tallest building in Shenzhen

The hotel and my apartment are located in a section of Shenzhen called OCT (Overseas ChineseTown).  OCT is a major company which owns the entire district, including the hotel and my apartment complex.  They are my employer.  InterContinental Hotels Group manages the property.  


A distant view of the hotel I worked at (the ship in front was a bar that did not fully open until 2008 – hence the construction and scaffolding)

My new favorite thing about China is how cheap massages are.  Yesterday, I got a foot massage for an hour and a regular massage for an hour for 76 RMB, which is the equivalent of less than $10 USD.  Needless to say, that’s going to become a weekly thing. 

Until next time!

It’s fun for me to look back at these letters and pictures; it brings back a lot of good memories.

Do you enjoy looking back on old letters or journals that you wrote years ago? 


5 thoughts on “Continuing the Chinese New Year Celebration – China Letter II.

  1. Aww,nostalgia! I was a bit of an emo kid in high school. I wrote gobs of poetry, which I still have and I’m in the process of writing them all down in a book. I also keep old emails, like the ones Michael wrote to me before we were even official. Those make my heart sing. :)

  2. Ahh! One of my best friends in China was named Cola! It’s funny because I got so used to her going by that name that I honestly didn’t think much of it. But it’s so true about the names. I had a George Washington ask to marry me once. That was a fun time… ;)

    Also, I was 5’6 at age 13 so I was definitely taller than pretty much everyone when I was there. I grew two inches over the next couple of years so by the time I moved to the States I felt like I was towering over everyone, haha! That was one nice thing about moving to the States – I finally wasn’t the tallest one in the room. ;) Though I’m still taller than most girls here, but that’s beside the point. :P

    And yes, I love looking back on old journals! I’ve kept a journal since I was 8 so I love looking back and seeing exactly what I was doing in different years. And I keep a box of encouraging letters I’ve received over the years that I love going through as well. :)

  3. I remember when Justin and I first moved to China, I wanted to buy some things for our little apartment to make it feel more like home (especially since it was so empty and sparse)! We went to a store that was something like a department store, and I searched for the usual things for our bathroom–mirror (our bathroom had NO mirror–how ridiculous!), bathroom rugs, shower curtain, shower curtain rod, etc. I found one tiny plastic mirror with suction cups (that always fell off the wall–I ended up just propping it on the sink and not really using it) and a blue plastic shower curtain. And that was it. We ended up using little stick-on Hello Kitty hooks to hang the shower curtain to the walls of the bathroom because they didn’t have a shower curtain rod (at least not a normal suspension rod–they had one that came with a lot of hardware and needed to be bolted into the wall somehow). I eventually figured out that there were no bathroom rugs because any rugs on the bathroom floor would get soaked! We ended up getting a small rug to set outside the bathroom door and we used it to dry our shower shoes on. So many things in China are different!

    We also heard quite a few ridiculous names. Justin and I took Mandarin lessons with one of the English teachers at our college, and on the first day of our lessons, our supervisor texted us to say, “Children will meet you in room 214 at 3:00.” We were like, “Children? Who are these children meeting up with us? I thought we were getting lessons from a teacher?” It turns out “Children” was the name of the teacher. She chose that name because she likes working with children. :-)

  4. oh my gosh… can you imagine a company in the States owning land and naming the town after the company? That’d be ridic. Of course it’ll probably happen in like ten years, just like allllll of the sports stadiums getting renamed (stupid if you ask me!)

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