I got struck with a fever yesterday so I was bedridden most of the day. Not much going on today for me but I did watch a lot of TV and read the newspaper as to not be totally out of the loop. I looked at Mtv China and the awards show was on. There were a lot of boy and girl bands similar to those in the US. There is a lot more music on this Mtv then back at home which was a pleasant surprise. While reading the paper I learned their was a bomb threat on the MTR. This was a hoax of course but precautionary measures were taken, the police arrived and the man was arrested. Hong Kong is also allowing more promotional deals to those who use the MTR frequently. Riders will receive free credits once a certain fare is obtained. The locals aren’t to happy about this stating not many people spend a lot each week using the MTR. Only time will tell to see if this is a profitable venture.
I felt better towards the night, so I friend and I went out to the ladies market. I haggled my way in to a new pair of blue flats, 4 Hong Kong influenced magnets, a jeweled elephant, and a wall hanging all for about 3 American dollars! I am excited to have scored such amazing deals.
Visited 1000 Buddhas monastery—A long winding pathway of sculpted Buddhas. There were old men pretending to be Buddhist monks selling trinkets at the beginning of he monastery. Real Buddhist Monks won’t ask you for money. This men were literally begging for our money, kind of took away from the meaning behind a monastery–but I guess you have to make it in this world anyway that you can.
Visited the Hong Kong heritage museum learned about Roman Tan- an iconic popstar of the Hong Kong music scene. Born in baise guanxi china in 1945
The first Hong Kong artist to perform at the Royal Albert hall in London and the Lincoln center in NYC
Passed away at 57
Up until the 1970s western pop was the norm in Hong Kong — Tran had the look (looked like Beatles) to make it big
I also saw a job posting for a waitress in the Soho shopping district. One of the requirements was that you had to be fluent in English. This shows the huge tourist destination Hong Kong is.
Soho is a long winding road full of shops and restaurants serving food from all over the world. I had never seen streets so narrow and full; people were literally hanging out into the traffic at the restaurants
The men from this area are the most fashionable men I have seen–Adidas is KING here
People from the street trying to sell products will literally push a flyer in your face. This is not a good sales tactic in my opinion I do not like being pushed to buy something.
The Chinese put a lo of emphasis on sanitation-the handrails at the MTR are constantly cleaned and in some of the restrooms there is a tenant who cleans up after each person leaves. Disinfection stations all over the place.
The SOGO area is teaming with people trying to score a deal–it is Thankful Week-an annual sale were merchants mark their goods to insane levels. It is also SOGO’s 27th anniversary.
Visited Blanc De Chine-the first international Chinese luxury brand in the world
Simplicity serenity harmony functionality purity — their core values
Dao – their style of clothing “the way” where simplicity meets functionality at Blanc De Chine
Professor Chou took us on a retail tour of Harbor City mall– the largest mall in Hong Kong.
-A lot of local brands
-Lane Crawford a very popular store
-Imagin X source in all the luxury brands
So today we went to fossil east– the sourcing side for the company in Asia. A learned a lot about fossils supply chain, product development and design, their leather goods, marketing strategies for the Asia-Pacific area (this includes Australia) I also learned a lot about the appeal industry as a whole– from consumer behavior to emerging markets (Australia, the Swedish influence on Hong Kong)
Earlier in the day we did a cultural activity and visited the Mang Cok flower market. This place was amazing there were floral shops, nurseries, bouquet shops, garden shops, ad even an area were you could purchase birds. My mom loves I to garden so I made sure to take lots of pics. After the flower market we went to a local temple where people can worship and get their fortunes.
Today I ate at a restaurant in the mall and noticed Hong Kong Automatically add a service charge – 10%
Also, Stay on the right sides on the escalator if you don’t wanna get ran over
Overalls and chunky shoes Are EVERYWHERE this is a trend in Hong Kong
We have to find our way back from the mall to our hotel using the MTR this is a very fast paced area people hopping in an out of the train must be ready and alert so you catch the right route of the train we stopped at a another mall on the way– the MTR uses a system with whats called an octopus card you load you mr card with money and use that to get around– the trains run back and forth and you hop on where you need to go
I noticed the train stations are full of outdoor advertising
Talked to a professor from Hong Kong she said the wine industry was huge due to no taxes– also the drug market is growing — big in the secondary schools
HK residents aren’t buying the luxury goods… Tourists and mainland china people are
The difference between mainland and HK China gets smaller and smaller much more apparent earlier on
The Plane Ride
On the plane I was sitting next to an older Asian man and a young Asian family with a young son. I noticed immediately that the older man wore a surgeons mask throughout the flight. Dr. Knight, the faculty advisor for this trip had told us earlier that many Asian citizens wear these masks due to the SARS outbreak It was really interesting to see this in action and not even be in the area. I did notice that only the older man wore the mask, the younger couple did not. Maybe this is a cultural phenom based on the region you are from or raised? I believe the younger couple was born in America but of Asian descent. The older man has more than likely lived in the Asian area for a long period of time. Nonetheless, he was very pleasant to be around and even helped me to fasten my seat belt. The younger family and I shared laughs the whole trip. I learned they were traveling to Vietnam. I am glad had the opportunity to sit in the midst of 2 different generations.
On my flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong, the experience was very different. I have never been on an international plane before and everything was written in Japanese first, American second. The airline attendants were very friendly and spoke to me in Japanese! the stewardesses outfits were very fitting for their occupation. I like the plane better it Had more space than the American Airline flight and the hospitality couldn’t be beat. This was also the first time I had eaten food that I had never seen nor heard of before. I had seafood curry, flan, and some light purple noodles with Soba sauce. I wasn’t sure how to eat the noodles and soba sauce so I watched the girl next to me since she was from Japan. I wasn’t a big fan of the noddles, but it didn’t hurt to give it a shot! I managed to spill my apple juice, but the staff and my seating buddy were quick to get the situation resolved– I still had wet pants though 😦
I have been blessed with the opportunity to study abroad! We leave in a week [flying out of DFW] and today we had a pre departure meeting/session. It was very long, but very informative and needed to ensure we all have a safe, fun, and enriching experience.
In my experience abroad I:
-Will visit textile mills, apparel production factories, and critical points in the supply chain.
-Visit a variety of apparel outlets, from night markets to luxury retailers
-Increase my knowledge of international Merchandising strategies and opportunities
-A living and learning community
The first thing we did was right a short paragraph on what our impression of China was. Now, the only knowledge I really have of China is what I see plastered in the media and I’m sure it is not an accurate view. I have a preconceived notion of short people crowding the city streets munching on sushi and rice.
The next thing we did was watch a documentary on China which I thoroughly enjoyed. It chronicled the lives of 4 Chinese individuals. One was a little girl training to take part in the Olympic games and the other was a family man from Beijing who worked in Shanghai to support his young family. The third was an urban Chinese woman trying to find her way amongst the thousands of other “Urban Chinese Women” in hopes of landing a career. She ended up getting what is known as double eyelid surgery to look more western. The movie also spoke of a Chinese female police officer, desperate to find middle ground between the tradition of the female role and her own happiness in a male dominated society.
This documentary was very interesting in that it told personal truths about the happenings in the country while still being educational. I learned that in Mongolia it is tradition to partake in horseback riding and that all Chinese can read and write the same unique characters, regardless of their background. I also learned about China’s one child policy and the huge importance of martial arts to the people.
We also watched a short documentary called “Mardi Gras, Made in China”. This movie told the story of how the beads thrown at the New Orleans Mardi Gras are made. They are produced in huge factories in China by children workers who live on the premises. They are payed .10 cents an hour and work up to 15 hours a day. The movie showed 2 completely different parallels of a simple chain of beads. In China, these beads are the only way for these children to provide for their family. They have no other choice but to work hard. Back in New Orleans these beads have virtually no value. The people on the streets have no idea how hard 12 year old girls and boys worked to produce them. They are oblivious to the fact that a child put in long hours only to have their work thrown around on the dirty street.
We learned how essential China is to the supply chain and that it’s economy will soon surpass that of America’s
My Study Abroad Polo!
That’s all for this post, I will be back on Sunday when I board the plane!