Update on life…

Hi everyone! I’m finding it hard to think of things to blog at the moment…or to even have the time to write them. Here is just a boring update on life while I think of something interesting to write about!

BIG NEWS! My boyfriend got a job! A real proper actual job that isn’t in a shop or anything. He is getting an actual graduate salary rather than minimum wage. I’m so happy for him! But also slightly annoyed that he got a worse degree than me yet managed to get a decent job before me. His first day is tomorrow, while i’m upping my work times to 4 days a week. Unfortunately, the lights in the shop I work in have been giving me major headaches and all the machines cause the air to be very dry which is making my skin peel off…I need a new job as soon as possible!

Next Saturday will be our 2 year anniversary! Yay! We will probably celebrate by acknowledging it in the morning before I go to work.

“Hey, it’s our 2 year anniversary”

“Oh yeah, cool”

“Yup, cool”

“Ok, see ya”

And finally, I discovered that the new much anticipated film “The Fault in Our Stars” seems to be a rip off of Cantonese film “Funeral March”, but with teenagers instead of adults. The TFIOS book was published in 2012 whereas the Funeral March was released back in 2001! Suspicious!!! No one else seems to have realised this so I feel the need to tell everyone. It’s a revelation!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyy9za93k4U

Part of me wants to read the book or watch the film, but most of me thinks there is no way in hell I will manage to cope with something that depressing. Whenever something horrible and upsetting happens to a couple on TV, in films or in books, I imagine it happening to my boyfriend and I…which is why I’m reading Divergent instead! (Yes, I know what happens in the end but i’m going to just have to deal with it!)

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It’s Christmasssssssssss! (Almost)

I’ve been busy…again! Graduations. Doctor Who. Work. Illness. Blah blah blah.

December is coming! Christmas isn’t a really big thing in my family…but it’s certainly a thing! My boyfriend however has never received a Christmas present from anyone except me because his family just don’t celebrate it. This year he’ll be celebrating with my family and will get to experience Christmas like I think it should be for the first time.

On the 1st of December, we get cheap £1 advent calendars to count down until Christmas. It’s purely for the chocolate. We put up the Christmas tree and decorations. We also recently bought a light up reindeer that goes outside in our garden.

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My parents have informed me they are banning stockings this year (ruining the fun 😦 ) because me and my brother are too old and they’d have to make one for my boyfriend too. We used to wake up each morning and spend an hour opening lots of tiny presents in there while we let our parents sleep for a bit longer before going downstairs for our main presents under the tree.

We then spend the morning eating pain au chocolat’s or croissants (breakfast treat!) and opening our presents under the tree. After that we spend a bit of time just messing about with our presents before getting ready to go out to our Grandparents house. This year I think they are coming to our house though.

We have a massive Christmas dinner, usually of beef because none of us really like turkey, with lots of vegetables and roast potatoes. We have crackers and all wear the funny hats that come out of them. We then have puddings; things like jelly, Christmas pudding or cheesecake, which normally none of us really want because we’re too full. The leftovers usually last us the rest of the week.

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We then just relax a bit or play games until tea time. We have a mini buffet because we’re all still full! Just things like crackers, cheese and crisps. We then all watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special and any other Christmas-y TV that is on.

Everyone then goes home and we all go to bed tired! I hope my boyfriend will enjoy it. I always feel like Christmas is something you can look forward too all year. I wouldn’t want the feeling that there is nothing to look forward too.

How do you guys celebrate Christmas in your family, and in your country?

(P.S In December 2012, I went to Hong Kong for the first time with my boyfriend, so I’m going to be posting about the trip over December this year. Sorry if you’re not interested in Hong Kong but that’s probably all you’re going to get for the month!)

Image: the-pink-vodka.deviantart.com, christmasstockimages.com

Going to University – West vs East

I had my graduation! It’s officially over now! I’m no longer a student! …I’m really going to miss it… 😦 University changed me for the better, not because of my course, but because of the experiences of moving away, living by myself and meeting new people.

Education is clearly rather different in the West and the East. Focusing on Hong Kong and the UK, the pressure in Hong Kong to do well is far greater than in the UK. Children do many more exams and from an earlier age. According to my boyfriend, children are ranked in their classes from best to worst (I couldn’t disagree with this more) and some primary schools want to see how clever the child is before they let them attend.

I want to talk about the ideas and attitudes that British and Hong Kong people have when going to any university in general, but maybe other countries will fit into what I am saying. I have no experience of the education system in Hong Kong. I can only talk about what friends have told me.

Here are 3 stories from my boyfriend (Hong Kong born but lives in the UK), myself (lived in the UK all my life) and my friend (Moved from Hong Kong a few months ago to attend university in the UK) about the decisions when it comes to the last part of education; university.

Story 1

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My boyfriend was living in the UK when it was time to choose a university, and he applied to the 2 in his home town. His parents didn’t go with him to open days or look at the universities. All they did was tell him which course he was allowed to do, not considering the fact he may not enjoy it, not want to do it as a career and most of all, he may be quite bad at it! He wanted to study Business or ICT. They chose for him Accounting and refused to sign guarantor papers for the fees and his rent unless he did what they said. My boyfriend has told me it is because they thought it “sounded better”. He had some huge arguments with his parents about moving into halls of residence. They didn’t want him to go because they lived a bus ride from the university he got into. Money saving was more important than the experiences you can gain from university. I admit for many people there is nothing they can do but save money. With the rising costs of university, people aren’t being able to leave home. But my boyfriend had the money to do it and he wanted to do it.

Story 2

union-jackMy parents expected me to go to university like they did, and that was fine because I expected myself to go too. It just felt like something you do, in the same way you progress through school. I always knew what course I wanted to take, a subject I loved, and my parents were more than happy for me to take whatever I wanted. They took days off work and drove me to various universities all over the country. They helped me decide on the pros and cons of each university, the city or town it was in, the location and the course. They gave me advice, but not once did they tell me where they wanted me to go. They didn’t want to influence that decision because it was mine to make, even though I’m hopeless at decision making! I think I picked the university they thought was the best for me anyway. They also supported me financially by paying for my fees, so that I would only have to cover rent and food and I wouldn’t have to take out a loan. I know I’m lucky, because a lot of parents couldn’t afford to shell out £3,000 a year.

Story 3

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My good friend recently moved from Hong Kong to the UK. She really wanted to move here and is currently studying at university. However, she had also applied for a course at a Hong Kong University. While she didn’t want to stay in HK, she was convinced that the course in would mean better job prospects because it was a slightly more highly regarded university. While this may be true in Hong Kong (I don’t know for sure), in the UK this isn’t such a big issue. Oxbridge may initially look appealing to employers, a 1st degree at a middle of the range uni is far better than a 3rd at Oxford, and probably easier to achieve. She was then extremely upset when she didn’t get into the Hong Kong university, or her first choice of course (this is understandable) and is planning on doing this degree, then applying for a different degree once she has finished, then doing further higher education courses afterwards. Now she is here in the UK, I think she has lightened up a bit, but she still seems desperate to be better than everyone else.

In my opinion…

…of course you want to get a good degree, you don’t want to waste all the money spent to come away with nothing to show for it, and you want to get a good job eventually, but university is so much more than working. It’s about learning to be independent, buying your own food, cleaning for yourself, socialising with new and different people, managing your own time and money, experiencing a new place, discovering yourself, and most of all having fun! You will have a life time of working ahead of you. You might as well have some fun while you can. University should be the best 3 years of your life.

What are your thoughts? What do you think is the most important reason for going to university? 

Quoted

I think my boyfriend is really funny (but I’m probably the only person who thinks this). I have decided to make a blog post of some of the stupid/cute/funny/random things that he has said to me recently. Enjoy the strangeness.

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On missing me (via Skype)

Him: Wanna wub my face against yours

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On our relationship (via Skype)

Me: Do you like that I am clingy?
Him: Yes, it’s better than not caring
Me: Would you like me to be more clingy?
Him: Nah, it’s at a good moderate amount right now

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On where to take his family when visiting London (Via Skype)

Me: They can choose but you can suggest. Museums are always cool.
Him: Yeah, that’s what I’m doing. Not sure how much Asians are interested in museums compared to landmarks.
Me: London landmarks take about 3 seconds to look at.
Him:  Knowing Asians they will take 30 minutes just to take the photos.

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Complimenting me (Via Skype)

Him: You’re the prettiest. No one can beat you.

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Random chatting (Via Skype)

Him: yeah asians are mostly layeah
Me: layeah?
Him: what ?
Me: What is layeah?
Him: erm cant remeber what i said 0.o

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On not getting any job interviews (Via text)

Him: I need a hug so bad right now… My heart is crying

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On applying for better jobs than the one he has (via Skype)

Him: THEY WANT EXPERIENCE
Him: HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO GET THAT
Him: im going to cry alot
Him: ill never get a job
Him: we will have baby in a year and get on benefits
Him: then we will start taking cannibis and watch sky tv
Me: You already have a job you moron…

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Talking to my best friend (via Skype)

Him: [My name]’s rubbish so you will be my new friend
Her: k 😀
Him: girlfriend ?
Her: if you wants 😀
Her: lets run away
Him: ok 😛
Her: nah me and [my name] made up
Her: dont want to no more 🙂
Him: well thats the shortest relationship I have ever been in

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Grabbing me at the top of the stairs

Him: Cuddle
Me: Don’t push me down the stairs.
Him: Don’t worry, I won’t push you down the stairs. Not until you get your pension and write that if you die you give all the money to me.
Me: No way, my money is going to [my rabbit].

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Whenever he hugs me

Him: I’m a koala.

(Weird that I found this!) – http://www.mykoreanhusband.com/koala/

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Walking home

Him: The new grown grass is really cute.
Me: What?
Him: The grass is cute when it’s new and grown out.
Me: Did you just say the grass is cute? What is wrong with you?
Him: I like it when it wiggles out from the seed. Wiggle wiggle.

Later, when seeing grass that has been mowed.

Him: The grass has been shaved.

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Completely randomly

Him: Mustard
Me: Why did you just say mustard?
Him: Mustard came into my head, so I said it.

I don’t know about you, but i’m feeling 22

At the end of July, I turned 22. I don’t actually feel 22. (I just felt like getting a Taylor Swift quote in the title)

I’m actually often mistaken for a 16 year old – I think it’s because I do look younger than I am mixed with the fact that I don’t wear make-up and I don’t dress very adult-y. I’m a jeans and t-shirt sort of person. But I’ve finished University and I’m looking for a job. I’m officially an adult no matter how much I don’t feel like one.

Yes, I’ve been allowed to have sex, get married and smoke for 6 years (smoking age actually changed from 16 to 18 when I was 16 but who cares, I don’t want to smoke), I’ve been allowed to drive for 5 years and I’ve been allowed to drink, gamble, go clubbing and vote for 4 years…but due to the fact I don’t overly care about those things, being allowed to do them hasn’t made me feel any older.

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This doesn’t make me feel older. It usually just makes me feel a bit bored…

But I admit, I don’t feel the same as I did when I was 18. I have grown up a lot and I think I have changed significantly. Going to University and falling in love are the main 2 things that affected me. At the age of 19 I moved 250 miles away from my parents to live on my own. At the age of 20 I first had sex. At the age of 21 I left Europe to go to Asia for the first time, and it was my first time on a plane without my parents. At the age of 22, if all goes to plan, I should be moving in to my first real flat or house with my boyfriend. All that has definitely made me a different person but for the better. I am more confident, more independent, more sociable (still not very sociable but that’ll never change) and more understanding of the world. I’m not the same person I was 3 years ago…but that still doesn’t make me feel old enough to be an adult!!!

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Living in halls of residence and meeting my boyfriend really changed me.

Recently, my Mum revealed to me that she met my Dad when they were 22. I had wrongly assumed that they were around 25 when they got together. I don’t know why but it really surprised me to think that they got together when they were at my age. For me a relationship is an adult thing. I don’t believe many people are old enough for a real relationship before the age of 18, though admittedly there are  fair few people who are under 18 and much more mature than many adults. I know I definitely wasn’t ready before I was 18 years old, or after for that matter! Now when I really think about what is happening in my life, with my relationship and with my age…it makes everything seem a bit more real that it did before.

I see all these 13 year old girls dressing up like they are in their 20s and often you can’t tell! You can see why some guys end up sleeping with under age girls, it’s not obvious at all. I’m not condoning it but if a young girl who looks 20 is leading them on, they aren’t going to ask for a birth certificate. These girls often look a lot older than I do. I just think, why would you want to grow up!? Being a teenager is so much fun. I admit, late teens is more fun than early teens – you can do what you want, you can live by yourself, you can have fun and you have no responsibilities. I miss university so much already and I only finished it a few months ago.

Maybe everyone at some point feels like they aren’t old enough for the life they are living…or maybe I am just desperate to not grow up. 

Images: dontstayin.com

What’s in a name?

I had my very first job interview today. I don’t think it went too badly, it’s hard to tell.

I have only applied for 4 jobs so far. One had ignored me, one sent me a letter telling me they didn’t want me, one phoned me to tell me they’d just hired someone and the other gave me an interview. My boyfriend has now applied for between 20-30 jobs and he has had 2 replies, both telling him the job he applied for isn’t in the same city he lives in. (He knows this or he wouldn’t have applied!!!)

His CV is in perfect English; I have checked it many times and also asked my family to check it too. I think it looks quite good, so there is no obvious reason to ignore it. We also changed his CV to include my home address (we are applying to jobs near where I live and his home address is the other side of the country) in the hope that there will be no more issues with location, though location shouldn’t really be that much of a problem anyway. Surely when you finish University, you’re going to consider relocating? He has applied to a variety of jobs, but nothing seems to make a difference.

So why is he not getting any replies? Is it a coincidence? Is he applying for really popular jobs? Do they not want to risk an interview with someone who lives so far away? Is he actually under qualified and they can’t be bothered to reply to tell him he doesn’t have an interview? Or is it because he has an Asian surname?

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Are names effecting job applications?

I don’t want to come out and say he is a victim of racial discrimination, but I find it so strange that he is being ignored like this. I thought companies would actively want to hire people of a Chinese ethnicity, with the stereotype that they are hard working and intelligent. However, a report from Parliament.uk states that between July 2011 and June 2012, the percentage of unemployment was 7% for whites and 12% for Asians. It seems like it really is harder for Asian’s to get a job.

There is evidence behind the idea that his name could be the problem. Earlier this year, an African man applied for a job under his real name and was rejected. He then simplified his CV, re-submitted it under an English name and got an interview (You can read the full story here).

I’m sure many places would have no issue with hiring foreign people, especially places like London, but where I am from there are few Asian’s, just a lot of eastern Europeans, so it might seem like more of a risk to some companies to hire them. It’s also possible that any discrimination isn’t intentional. Employers flick through CVs so quickly that they could subconsciously dismiss someone with a foreign name.

With mixed race couples these days, there must be so many women married to foreign men, and many adults who have a British mother and a foreign father, giving them a foreign sounding name. A name shouldn’t make any difference. Britain is becoming a multi-cultural country and just because you name sounds foreign, it doesn’t mean you are. Are people going to have to start writing that they are British citizens to stop being ignored, or even go as far as to change their names by deed poll?

It would be pretty drastic for my boyfriend to change his name legally just to get a job, so we’ll just have to see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed that we both manage to get jobs! I’ll keep you updated on what happens.

Has anyone had any experience of possible race discrimination at work?

Image: flickrhivemind.net