Monday, September 27, 2010

It's The Effort That Counts

There was a job fair held at exhibition centre last Saturday. I didn't expect to nail anything there but just went to "see life". There were less job-hunters than we had thought but you could still see long queues in front of popular companies, say banks. After wandering in the exhibition hall for almost 1 hour, me and my friends decided to have fun in bingo hall.:P

"It's a season of sending zillions (or not so much) of resumes and getting no response." That's what I said on twitter the other day. Well, I did exaggerate a little bit because I actually got two interviews, though they all ended up "sorry...wish you a bright future". But I'm still willing to talk about it.^^

The first one was Bosch. I read their want AD of an English coach intern. My major is Chinese, but I didn't think my English is any worse than students (what an innocent girl :P). So I was bold enough to send my resume. The HR manager replied me instantly and told me they preferred a student of English major and with experience. But he said that there was a vacancy of administration assistant intern and suggested me going for a interview for that position. Friends told me that "administration assistant" meaned that you had to do miscellaneous errands, but I figured that there was no hurt in trying and met the HR manager.

The manager looked young and was gracious. Instead of informing me of resume there, he printed it out for me. I saw some marks on it which means he'd literally read it hehe. Afterwards, he wrote me an email and said that media related job was more suitable for me. REALLY? Or it was just one of those ways to reject people politely. I do think I was being a little too "Shuo" at the interview. Maybe I should've acted more tactfully. Thanks Bosch! It was my first official interview.

I figured that if I sent my resumes to common companies instead of educational institutions, they could barely be sifed through concerning my major. As I mentioned, I major in Chinese language and somewhat trained to be a teacher. So I was very excited when I got an interview at Maersk, another 500 Fortune Company. I was mostly excited about place I would be interviewed at - Diwang Tower, used to be the tallest construction (second to Saige). Well, a few foreign friends think Diwang is hideous but I have sentimental feeling for it because I witnessed the whole process of its soaring up while Shenzhen was less developed.

However, who would've thought that the interview lasted for more than 3 hours, including 1 hour for written tests. The written tests included two part, logic test and personality assessment. After that we were asked to write an English article according to given setting.

The logic test mainly consisted of syllogism assessment, patterns inference and calculation. I skipped all the calculating questions. Time was limited. I couldn't finish them all anyways.:P As for the personality assessment, we were given a lot of adjectives describing characteristic. First we were asked to
pick out the ones in line with your personality, as far as you were concerned. Then we picked out the adjectives that we thought we were like in other people's minds. The options were the same but we were not allowed to turn to the previous page to review our previous answers.

A guy who took the tests with me told me afterward that when picking out the adjectives for other people's minds, the less the better, because the more you chose, the more shortcomings you had. Writing an English article was a piece of cake. At last we handed in our answer sheets and resumes. The staff told us to stay where we were and the result would come out in 10 minutes.

10 minutes later, three of us were eliminated. There left six persons and I was one of them. The same staff came in and handed out a piece of paper to each of us. She asked us to draw three pictures of our past, present and future in 10 minutes, then explain them in English to the HR manager.

I always was a poor painter, so I only draw some simply "abstract" patterns using lines and circles. Other candidates all drew better than me but I don't think they explained their drawing very well because of their nonproficiency of oral English. And yes, I found that most candidates could speak English very well if they had happened to memorize the sentences, but couldn't pull it off if given new situations.

Later the HR manager divided us six into two groups and gave us different topics to talk about. Everyone got the chance to speak, only in turn. After over three hours, we were free to leave. Whatever the outcome, the whole interview process was fun. It's the effort that counts.^^

I took the following picture before I left. Just in case you don't know, Hong Kong was beckoning you in this picture.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Memory of Lijiang

I didn't write many posts about my trip in Yunnan, because I wasn't organized enough to that. Well, I'm still not. But last night I caught up with the interesting guy I met in Lijiang, and recalled the days there. During my trip to Yunnan, I visited Lijiang for twice. I didn't explore that much for the first time because I had to prepare for Shangri-La. But fortunately, I got a second chance and made full use of it.

For visiting Luguhu Lake, I decided to join in one of those two-days travelling groups when I was Kunming. But just before our departure to Luguhu Lake, the manager of the agency told me that there was a landslide on the way to Luguhu Lake, so he couldn't take the risk. Instead, he offered me free accommodation of three days in a hotel located in Lijiang Ancient Town. Well, I was really tired out after the long journey to Shangri-La and they offered a cool compensation, so that's why I got to stay in Lijiang for another three days.
When I dragged my suitcase to the entrance of the ancient town, a girl sent from the hotel came and showed me the way. She seemed young and dressed in special national costume. She told me she was from Naxi minority and worked at the hotel I'd live in. She was shy but spoke good Putonghua. She even insisted on carrying the suitcase for me.
The hotel is called 丽江水岸(Sunny Riverside). There I met that cool guy I mentioned, because he was the owner. He is called 雪狼(Snow Wolf). This hotel is well-decorated (and luxury). As you may know, hotels located in Lijiang ancient town are all special. But this one is still eye-catching - the house, including everything in it were made of solid wood. It's in line with local conditions there as Lijiang is rather dry. There's no way a wooden house like that can survive in Shenzhen.

Snow Wolf showed me the ancient town in his way and treated me to different restaurants and bars. As he said, he wanted to show me the real and best Lijiang so that I wouldn't feel sorry for missing out Luguhu Lake. I think the local government should honor him as a freedom of the city.

I didn't regard Snow Wolf "cool" merely because of his generousness, but of his personality and his way of living. He's my parents' age which you could barely tell. He once served in the special forces and was still of strong physique. Not like those new-riches in China, he's public-spirited. As one of the leaders of some NGO, he helped found a primary school for orphans. I got to meet other members and they all turned out to be hiking freaks.^^

The five pictures above are how the ancient town looks in early morning. Lijiang in daytime is just like any other busy commercial streets, filled with travellers. Night life there could also be nasty and hardcore but thanks to Snow Wolf, I went to some tasteful bars. There I met talented musicians, talked about music with then and even sang a little, without drinking any alcohol. I loved it! You don't have to know each other's name or phone numbers and you won't even meet again, but you're no strangers at the moment. I told to myself that "I'm so gonna come back again".

Snow Wolf sounds like a figure in those chivalrous stories. And more than one friend asked me why was Snow Wolf so nice? What did he want for return? It's a question I once asked myself, but got no answer. Guess there're more nice and cool people than we thought and that's what travelling for.

"Get out of here. This land is cursed. Living here day after day, you think it's the center of the world." - "Cinema Paradiso"

Saturday, September 18, 2010


It's still a personal blog, right?

Currently I have plenty of time at my own disposal since I have no more classes and my internship will only take six weeks in October. But things are as easy as it seems. I'm on the edge of graduation which means I'll become a job hunter soon. It's said that "毕业即失业" (graduation amounts to unemployment) which is true. But it's also true that people around me, despite unsatisfied, all have something to busy with. Yes, as long as you're willing to struggle and sweat, you'll find a way. Mom always tells me that "船到桥头自然直" (cross the bridge when you come to it), but it's a little too Taoist.^^

I'm trying to come into my own over the past few months. I haven't really talked about it but something in my life has changed since mom has a new marriage. Yes,it undoubtedly is a great thing from all aspects. I want her to be happy from the bottom of my heart. But deep down, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me, when a man holds your mom's hand and he's not your father (although it'd be weirder if it were), let alone he even moving in. It's been a long time since my parents split up so I really need time to be re-accustomed to be under the same roof with another guy. Well, he seems a very honest and reserved guy and treats mom very well, so I didn't reveal my feelings but kept everything to myself.

I should harshly reflect on myself too. I was the one who told her not to dwell on the old time and encouraged her to "go back on track in the dating world". But once she found someone and pulled off a new marriage, I become the one who pick on it. Mom worried that her remarriage would have a negative impact on me, so she didn't really consider it when I was younger... Alas, would I be put down as a selfish daughter? Nevertheless, all I have to do now is adjust my attitude. Hope that mom feels all her sacrifice was worth it.

The usual sensible and exuberant Shuo never leaves, but she also plays the baby act from time to time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back from Blogger's Block

FYI, I haven't blogged in English for a long while. As you may recognize later, my English is quite rusty now. :P


This time last year, I was in Beijing. After that I visited Shanghai, Nanjing and my hometown Lianyungang. It sounds like a crazy vacation. But just a few days ago, I came back from Yunnan. I feel lucky to get the chance to explore this much. My trip to Yunnan lasted more than two weeks and I left my footprints in Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La and Sipsongpannna.

Travelling in Yunnan could easily wear you out, because transferring between different cities usually take you 5-8 hours (either by train or coach). Before I set foot on Yunnan, people kept telling me that Yunnan was "ruined" and commercialized by the local government. I thought I was well prepared to deal with it, but still encountered several unpleasant situations in Yunnan. But good thing that all this effort really paid off when I got to the marvelous natural landscapes.

After 24 hours on the train, I arrived in Kunming. But later I took another train to Dali, without staying over night. Dali is called Dali Bai Nationality Autonomous Prefecture in full name. As its name says, it's run by people of Bai minority. But in Yunnan, few local minority people do business. So the business industry there is mostly dominated by people of Han nationality or those "Hanifized' native people.

(Erhai, Dali)

After crashing Dali, I headed for Lijiang which is a must-go in Yunnan.That was my first time visiting Lijiang, later I went back and stayed for three days. Lijiang is famous for its ancient town and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The latter one is undoubtedly worth visiting.

(Lijiang Ancient Town)

(Jade Dragon Snow Mountain)

Shangri-La belongs to Yunnan but it also lies in the Tibet zone. I was worried about getting AHAD but I only got a little headache and that was all. But I didn't explore too much there except the Pudacuo National Park.

(Pudacuo National Park)

I'm under the impression that Sipsongpannna was boring too me. Maybe it's because the weather there is similar to it in Shenzhen. Plus I didn't meet any interesting people there.