Friday, 13 June 2014

I accidentally became a baker after coming to London!!!

As I said before, all my flatmates are English, 3 of them are proper bakers who bakes every week. They keep on offering me cakes which made me feel really guilty because there are actually not many I can offer them. One day, when I am stealing my flatmate's brownie, she suggested me: why not bake your own cake then we can share. Then she forward me several recipes, I was so interested in them and run to the shop immediately to get the ingredients. And honestly, they can be very easily found in any Tesco, Sunsbury or Co-operatives.

My first bake: Philadelphia cheese cake!  
Well this is not really a cake: Magnum Ice Bee!

Cow pancake roll. (You know I am a vet don't you)
Very British: Walnut brownie 

Puff Pastry:)

Aha! Foot print cookies!

These are what I made tonight: Macaroons!

See, London will give you new skills all the time even without noticing.

Happy birthday to me! The Rainforest Cafe, the Shard Bar and My Flat Party

There are about 6 very famous theme restaurant in London, as a vet student, I would like to make all my life related to animals, thus I chose the Rainforest Cafe as the place to have my birthday meal. All my friends are excited. 
There are two floors in the cafe, the ground floor have a lot of toys to sell, but they are free access, we have taken lots of pictures with cutie animals there. The basement level is the proper restaurant, and both floors are decorated like a real rainforest. 

It doesn't matter how old you are, you can still be a child:)
While we are eating, sound of rainstorm was played frequently, made it feel like we are really in the rainforest somehow. Then the waiter asked me standing on a chair, asked all others in the cafe singing Happy Birthday to me! So impressing! 
Next stop! If you come to London, how can you manage to miss the Shard? We went to the Shard Bar located at 31st floor, aerially viewing the part of London alongside Thames river. It was getting darker by the time we arrived, making London even prettier under dark purdah.

Everyone seemed every calm and enjoy sightseeings very much.

The drink I ordered, it is suitable for ladies I think, not too strong but colourful and gouges.  
After coming back, we have had another small flat party! It is really nice to have friends, they take brilliant care of me all the time. Feel so spoiled! 

Wow! Flowers received!

Such an Honor: Representing My Royal Veterinary College and Introducing London to the Whole World

Oh I just can not believe it is almost the end of this year's ambassador event. I have learnt so much from all the meetings, so as my English. And on 11th of June, all the ambassadors met up at the 2 more London Riverside Building, talked to visitors from all over the world, about the student collage life in London. I arrived there earlier for helping arranging the reception and meeting room, and the harp at the corner will be played in the meeting took all my attention.  
Although I have not played harps before, the knowledge from piano helped me quickly sort out simple songs from the harp.

Another two ambassadors worked together with me to arrange the reception, making sure all visitors coming in will have a certificate. Really stressful!

Very surprisingly, although I have not prepared what to say at all, any detail about my lovely days in my Royal Veterinary Collage and London just came out automatically from my mouth, or, my heart. I can't stop telling visitors how much I have gain from this precious place, including the skill becoming a very knowledgeable vet, a lot of friends from all over the world, fluent English speaking ability and most importantly, a brave heart facing whatever the difficulties are.

Surely visitors were very impressed with my introduction, they kept on asking me questions about my life in London and my studying life. I suddenly realised, none of my days were wasted in London, she helps me improve day by day, by making my life very hard at the very beginning, but after a while, made all my dreams coming true.

I am very grateful about everything I have suffered so far. However, honestly, you can not call them suffering, because these hard days with tears are actually days making you become stronger and more independent. Right now, it doesn't really matter what trouble I will face, I will just try to solve it and smile at it without being down. Studying aboard is definitely challenging, buy all the effort will be paid by the end.

Finally, I am grateful about this event held in the Riverside Building, it gave me a chance to integrate what I have achieved yet, and how much I have overcome accidentally :) After all, achievement is really not a thing about how much you have achieved, but how much difficulties you have overcome.

Exploring Westminster is never boring! Thames Jet and Boat Ride

I would better warn everyone first, if you are tourists, waiting for boarding and taking pictures by the same time, be careful about these guys dressed up fancily, they will force you to take pictures with them and charge you at least one pound per person. Really bad. Luckily my very nice Indian friend Sabee, paid for helpless me.
Then forget about unpleasant things, get life jacket on, after the safety introduction from coaches, we got onto the Thames Jet, which is a fast yacht. Slow sightseeing is taken first alongside the river, of the London Eye, the Elizabeth Bell and the Palace of Westminster.  After off the busy area, the yacht started to speed up amazingly, get very bouncy and it looks like we are jumping in the river all the time. Very exciting and satisfying.

The best thing I enjoyed the most being an ambassador in LUIP is making so many friend from everywhere all over the world. Meeting friends in an old and traditional British cafe, The Barrowboy & Banker, chatting with them brings me new ideas and knowledge all the time. 
Yorkshire pudding is my favorite English dish ever, it goes with any other things like vegetable pies and roasted pork, beef. I come to the English restaurants for them all the time. And I personally think The Barrowboy & Banker makes amazing Yorkshire pudding.

Fun time came again after lunch, we went onto boat ride raised by City Cruises,it is a large boat can be filled in hundreds of people,we travel on Thames river again, but this time the tour guide gave a much more detailed introduction to the buildings and histories alongside the river. 

Can you see the reflection of the London Bridge from by sunglasses? Thanks Gracie!

Again, London is the city makes every single dream comes true.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Tips of making friends with people from UK and being native

Surprisingly, a Chinese with very few Chinese friends but a lot of British friends. " Jiayue, you know," said my manager," you are really different from other Chinese,you are too easygoing and too native now." Yes, that's me. I have been to UK for only 2 years and half, but I think myself getting along with local people in a 'China developing rate'. If you are fresher coming to UK, you probably find people here are a bit 'too polite and somehow cold'. However, that is absolutely not the real case. Most of them are extremely easy going and kind, but you do need some tips to make sure getting along well with them. I am now sharing my tips and experience with you, hopefully you will find them useful.

Tip one: free yourself from your little prison!
 So many international students lock themselves inside their rooms, watching tele, eat in ,only go out occasionally with people from their own country... Stop doing that please! You have to join in more clubs, activities and talk to people if you wish to be native! British will not make friends with you in your lecture theater. Don't worry about your English is not perfect, even now my manager can't understand me sometimes, but trust me, British will not mind at all , when they see your effort trying to get in, they will help you with whatever they can, so just try your best to explain until they can understand.

Tip 2: Behaviour!
UK is a country in which manner does matter all the time. Say "sorry " even if you are stepped by others, open the door for the people coming after you, smile to everyone once having accidental eye contact; Be warm-heart all the time (because that is the way British people treat others!), help whoever need help, keep your voice down, wait for others even if you are in a rush.

Tip 3: drunk yourself!
I was such a nice behaved chickabiddy when I was in China. My mom would definitely like to kill me if she noticed how many times I have got myself deadly drunk after being to UK. You don't have to get that drunk if you don't feel like to. However, pub is a good place to relax, talk to local people, listen to UK culture. And importantly, you will find someone who have the same hobbies as you and quickly become friends with each other. But trust me, every British people don't mind getting drunk. Try to drunk yourself if possible, it feels so good!

Tip 4: Aha! Gossip.
It doesn't sound like a good thing but does worth well trying. I have learnt so many native (dirty) words from gossiping with other girls, from which I think is an alternative way making me native. Don't trust people who told you " you will offend British if you try to gossip", every girl likes gossiping all over the world. However, don't over do it, otherwise people probably start worrying if you will gossip everyone behind them.  

Tip 5: Don't give up if you fail several times after trying.
Don't get jealous about me making local friends so quickly. I had my first year and half with no friends, no social, no sense of being. I had tried several times  talking to them before, but because of my English was too rubbish to understand, and I live alone at that time, I failed so many times and felt so lonely. However, just don't give up and keep on trying, wait for good chances to get in. Your communication skill will improve a lot only by trying to talk to local people. In a sunny morning you will suddenly find yourself have had so many local friends :)

Tip 6: I know it's really difficult, but try to spend less time with clumps of people from the same country as you.
I assume everyone likes to stay together with their own people. And it is completely understandable it's scary and hard to dump yourself into a new, unfamiliar group, maybe speaking another language as well. However, after pushing myself into the local group , I found they are completely different from what I thought about them before, and surprisingly easygoing of all of them. Besides, my English is improved so quick that myself is a bit shocked. Thus there are nothing to be terrified, but please try: keep half of your friend population as the people from your country, another half as native British. 

Tip 7: Be Broad-minded. 
Because UK is such a broad-minded country, you probably find out the culture here is highly mixed, everyone lives in different ways. I think it's necessary to accept this and stop assuming everyone should live the same as you or people from your country. There is no absolutely right or wrong.  As for myself, as long as the person is nice and warm-hearted to me, I would definitely like to make friends with him/her despite him/her having something may look 'weird'.  

UK is a country making every single dream comes true. The only thing I can do for her now is being really nice to her people and being helpful all the time. And hopefully you find these tips useful. Enjoy your UK life!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Being Elegant in Fortnum and Mason.

We have had an amazing day yesterday on the top floor of Fortnum and Mason, the oldest department store of UK. 
The head quarters is located at 181 Piccadilly, where as it was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. It is recognised internationally for its high quality goods as an iconic British symbol(Wikipedia). The main focus of the store is variety of exotics.

Large but amazing indoor changing has been made since year 2004. It look now completely different indoors. Spiral stairs run though the atrium of the store, making customers easily recognise how many floors they have, and the amazing but unique goods on each floors.

Sitting with being suprised, I started looking around. Everything look rally British and traditional: the velvet curtains, the hand made carpet, china tableware arranged in traditional order. The services are extremely experienced and behave just like the way being done traditionally. I have to remind me several times to speak quite, because my loudness definitely will not suit this elegant atmosphere.

Everyone who ordered tea were offered a nice painted china tea pot while people who ordered coffee, like me, were given a silver pot same as the one in the middle. I have to say, with little knowledge about coffee, I found this fresh ground coffee mellow and refreshing.

Talking to friends in a whispering voice, listening to the lecturer giving a speech about the history of Fortnum and Mason, I felt like myself becoming a medieval debutante. Well, yes, which is not real me.

Honestly, this rosy taste dessert was no doubt my favourite. As for the dessert itself, it does not only look delicate outside, but you will definitely find it more surprising inside, with the F&M specific ingredients made cream in. All the food here were made of British national ingredients. Thus if want to try anything purely British, F&M will no doubt become my top line choice.

After the late afternoon tea, we were offered a rough trip around F&M(It had to be rough otherwise you can spend whole night here listening to every details). And the gentle tour leader give us chance to try luxury chocolates on the shelf.

Feeling boundless, the nice trip to Fortnum and Mason had to reach it's end. However, I do need to high light, if you want to try anything traditionally British, come to Fortnum and Mason, the answers are already waiting for you here.