An American Girl in Beijing: Day 9, Jin Hai Lake take 2

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Today was a very full day. The morning began with breakfast at the hotel and work at the dining table on the 16th floor (not quite the penthouse).

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In the afternoon we grabbed a quick bite to eat (note to self: never grab a hamburger from a Chinese bakery…) and packed up for our second trip to Jin Hai Lake. While traveling we were informed that there would be a design meeting on Wednesday and that we needed to prepare a presentation… (Great!)

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The fog was so dense you could hardly see the lake! After being greeted in the lobby we started working on our presentation in the large conference room on the top floor of the hotel.

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We walked to the banquet hall, hardly able to see a few feet in front of us due to the fog (thankfully we had a guide to lead the way!). We had a traditional Chinese feast accompanied with wine followed by coffee in the hotel bowling alley (that’s right! A bowling alley right next to the lobby overlooking the lake, when its visible).

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I continued my work from my room, tomorrow the presentation will need to be translated before we head back to Beijing for my first design meeting with the Riverside Group…

-hlj

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An American Girl in Beijing: Playing Catch-Up

As predicted, procrastination prevails and I have fallen behind on my posts… I blame both my work (this is a business trip after all) and the fascinating book series I flew through; The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose. (I blame my sister because the first was a Christmas gift! The others were of course purchased from iBooks… )

Since my trip is quickly coming to an end I better catch-up and document all of the wonderful and exciting thing I have seen and done!

Look forward to the bombardment!

-hlj

An American Girl in Beijing: Day 8, Monday Movie

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Lesson Learned: Expect the Unexpected.

This morning I came into the office prepared to work and found a film crew set up throughout the Riverside Beijing complex. With the Chinese New Year fast approaching the company is preparing for their end of the year party by doing some propaganda videos and photographs of the current and future projects.

As soon as I sat down to start working, I was approached by Jeiting and the director asking if it was ok to film me working at my desk. (Wait you mean you don’t want to film the fashionista sleeping at her desk?). And so both Robbin and I sat typing away while the director shot around us.

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We were the last to leave the office, and headed straight to dinner. We went to the “village” which is fast becoming my favorite night spot. We ate at La Pizza an authentic Italian pizzeria owned and operated by a gentleman from Napoli. The pizza was fantastic and reminded me of Nerone in Florence. The owner brought us complimentary limoncello, which was sweet and the perfect finish for my meal! I will definitely be coming back to this spot!

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-hlj

An American Girl in Beijing: Day 7, Snow on Sunday

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Today was truly a day of rest! I woke up to see snow falling and decided to just explore the neighborhood around he hotel. I found a few good convenient stores, a leather store, some salons, and I even found a Walmart!!

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The day was quiet and we grabbed a local dinner at the Chinese BBQ down the street. It was interesting to say the least! No one spoke any English, and we weren’t trusted to cook our own meats and vegetables! Tofuya on National Boulevard in Los Angeles was definitely better!

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-hlj

An American Girl in Beijing: Day 6, the Great Wall

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When I was little, architecture was not my first choice of what I wanted to be when I grew up… I wanted to be an adventurer, an explorer, a world traveler (a female Indiana Jones… Searching for long lost treasures from ancient civilizations). Today I was that explorer, hiking the Great Wall. It was truly majestic. I don’t believe that I could do it justice in words, so come exploring with me through my pictures…

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The hike was both exhilarating and exhausting. Back in Beijing I ate a large, rich lunch at Lets Seafood and got some macaroons for dessert.

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Later in the evening we met up one of Hillary and Robbin’s good friends, Neil Strum, an entertainment lawyer that is also doing business in the city. We went to a Thai restaurant just around the corner from the hotel. Delicious!

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I can feel my calves aching already… Totally worth it! I think tomorrow is going to be a day of rest!

-hlj

An American Girl in Beijing: Day 5

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At the offices today I had the opportunity to explore more of the building. It consists of a series of interconnected single story structures with central public courtyards. It is built in a traditional style, with local grey stone, painted wood and clay tile roofs. I particularly love the courtyard outside the conference rooms, with a natural stone patterned floor.

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Lunch at the clubhouse proved interesting with steamed lotus root and frog with vegetables (tastes like chicken…). It was a fitting Friday lunch.

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It is a quiet Friday night, Peking duck for dinner and a good book. I need my rest for tomorrow’s excursion… The Great Wall!

-hlj

An American Girl in Beijing: Day 4

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I spent the day working in the temporary office that was set up for us by our client, the “Chairman”; gathering and sorting files and information for all of Jin Hai Lake. One thing I like bout this office is the new wide screen monitors! Can I pack those up and take them back to Cali?

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During an afternoon lull I was fortunate enough to find a Starbucks near the office (located conveniently in an outlet mall…. Hmmmm, interesting)!!

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At the end of the day one of the designers mentioned that he was attending an art exhibition in the 798 Art District. Robbin, Jeiting and myself decided to go exploring. We went to an exhibit entitled “ON|OFF”, which displayed a variety of work by contemporary artists based in Beijing. The galleries closed earlier than we thought and we were unable to see any of the other exhibits. The district is filled with warehouse style galleries… I hope I will be able to make it back while I am here to continue my art explorations…

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I finish my night with some fresh sushi… A California roll sounds just right!

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-hlj