It’s been a while since I’ve written a post specifically regarding life updates, and I figured I should probably do so ASAP before more things pile up. As much as I like writing more general, “revelation”-like posts, I admit I do miss this kind of blogging, in which I write more plainly about the exciting (and not-so-exciting) developments in my life.
I guess the best way to organize this is chronologically, and since I feel like most of October haven’t been recorded yet, let’s do an October update! (Thank goodness for photos and Swarm, or how else would I recall anything in my life).
Actually, the end of September was quite exciting and worth briefly mentioning—I went to the top of Canton Tower (where most locals haven’t even gone), wined and dined with the executive chef of the French chef (we’re, like, basically best friends), and stayed until 1 a.m. doing a shooting for our upcoming cooking series, for which I may be flying to Shanghai for a “business trip.” OK, that is REALLY exciting, but that last bit is still in its beginning stages, so stay tuned!
At the end of September, I also managed to get two free tickets to a piano and cello performance at the Guangzhou Opera House, another spot my relatives say they haven’t even been to.
I went to dine with some new foreigner friends at a shitty Mexican restaurant, but at least the waitress said I looked like a star (probably thanks to my slightly scandalous open-back white tank top I was wearing), to which I responded I am actually going to be on TV.
And now for October. I discovered that a huge, rather quiet park is within walking distance to my apartment. Perfect for running before taking the No. 189 bus to the gym, where I’ve been religiously taking spinning classes.
I discovered the wonders of WeChat Wallet, although so far I’ve only used it to receive 40 RMB red envelope from a local friend, which I’ve used only to buy Gong Cha milk tea and pay her back 10 RMB for a cool dreamcatcher from Nepal she bought while interning at a recent expo. Yes, I specifically remember having a good dream the first night I used it.
One of my managers bought tickets for Madonna in HK in February. So I’m going with him and another coworker. Naturally, I’ve been studying M’s Rebel Heart album on my daily commutes.
While on one of my post-work free afternoon adventuring, I discovered a bakery that sells this crazy good green French bread-bun-thing stuffed with red beans. Not long afterward, I managed to find a different French bakery that sells it, after briefly meeting the first person I would interview on camera in an artsy district of Guangzhou.
I interviewed my first guest on camera in an artsy district of Guangzhou.
It was cool.
Two days before that, I made my first professional on-camera appearance (for my Instagram followers, those pics from before were just auditions)—on a show called, “China Sports Weekly.” Anyone who actually knows me, feel free to laugh uncontrollably because I still have no idea what the fuck I’m doing reporting on the enigmatic world of sports.
The weekend before this craziness, my mom returned to China. (Wow, #sorrynotsorry, if you haven’t noticed by now, I’m not bothering with transitions, flow—or even order, it seems).
She was my Amazon Prime mule, bringing all my splurge goodies in two overweight suitcases. Thanks, mommy.
We went to have dinner with some rich family friends, where I tried snake for the first time. And apparently some unbelievably expensive abalone (like, tens of thousands of RMB worth). The snake…actually wasn’t bad.
I joined my coworkers to do man-on-the-street interviews for a WeChat video about blind dating and ended up interviewing two dogs on the street (because single men in China are also called dogs?). Anyway, I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe and had the time of my life, despite being outside literally from day to night doing these interviews.
I went to the largest trade fair in China (and probably the world), widely known as the Canton Fair. I paid 100 RMB for my badge, only to realize later that OF COURSE I have connections here that could have gotten me in for free. I ended up going alone, because the foreigner friend whom I had planned to meet up with arrived literally several hours later. #whatever
I had my nerdy fun, walking around the huge convention center, taking in all the gadgets and stuff I didn’t or couldn’t buy but liked gawking at and asking questions about, simply out of both curiosity and nostalgia for my Consumer Electronics Show days in Vegas. Oh, and I walked outside to what others treated as a smoking area, but I went and basked in the glory of the sunlight spilling through the breathtaking architecture framing the city skyline.
Life can be both unreal and beautiful like that.
I designed a business proposal through an online software I found through Googling, “free Adobe InDesign alternatives.” It turned out so well that we’ve already used it to contact potential partners, and my manager has given me the reigns on that Shanghai trip. #whatislife
I made 1,500 RMB CASH on a random voiceover job my boss found. I was taken to a sketchy, run-down building by two strange men to a dirty office to record a 10-minute voiceover for a propaganda video. I’m not kidding. This is the actual epitome of #CHINA.
That same day, I went to the 99th floor of the Four Seasons, shook hands with the executive chef and chef de cuisine, and am now looking forward to our second shooting for our cooking series back at this gorgeous hotel, whose interior reminds me of Dubai’s seven-star Burj Al-Arab hotel.
Had the chance to check out the newly renovated White Swan Hotel on Shamian Island, where I had dim sum and literally a buffet immediately afterward in the same hotel because my aunt insisted we join her to use her meal vouchers she had bought earlier (difference is not having to pay 15% service charge with vouchers). Buffet was definitely not worth the several hundred RMB (even if I hadn’t just eaten dim sum in the floor above).
My cousin took me to my first-ever professional soccer game. Not even in China but, like, ever. Didn’t understand shit, but I considered it my way of studying for that show about sports or whatever I’m hosting.
I returned to the Kui Yuan Gallery after my on-camera interview for an artsy photoshoot with an intern, since I somehow missed out before. They came out pretty nice.
I realized the night before October 30 that the last time I had left the country was August 30. And with my tourist visa, that means I literally had to leave the country the next day. Commence frantic scramble to text my cousin to get the next train tickets to HK. I couldn’t stop laughing at my pathetic situation, which was during a dinner with my mom’s friends inside a nice-ass private dining room of a supposedly amazing restaurant facing the Pearl River. (I thought the food was okay).
The next morning at 7, my mom and I departed for Shenzhen, because return tickets from HK were sold out and crossing at Shenzhen through Luohu apparently counts.
While at border control, I essentially got detained for being one-day past the 60 days (forgot August’s 31 days), only to be let go with a warning this time. Otherwise it’s 500 RMB per day.
Instead of leaving immediately as thought, my mom’s HK friend coincidentally just arrived in Shenzhen, as well. So we had amazingly yummy dim sum inside my first fake market since Shanghai. Of course, afterward, we walked around to find my Halloween costume for the night. Despite hardly bargaining (partly due to need to rush home), I got a beautiful black and yellow qipao. That night upon returning, I met up with my coworker, bringing my cousin and a family friend because my mom really wanted an opportunity to set them up and this was it. I think it worked.
The party itself was at Li Club at the Marriott in Tianhe district. Being noobs, we went around 9 to what of course ended up being an empty club until around 11 or midnight. I got scarily realistic bloody makeup done on my arm.
And free drinks.
The next day, my mom left, and I did nothing all day until I forced myself to go the supermarket for water before meeting my foreigner friends at a house party for Halloween, part two, where I met a Saudi Arabian who claims his two friends were killed last year in his country, one for being gay and one for having “relations” with a woman.
So that’s most of my life so far.
Feel free to comment with your thoughts, because I’m sick of no one commenting while I’m obsessively checking for blog views and clicks.
Because if all this doesn’t prompt any comments, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WILL.
Stay tuned, my lovely readers. ❤