I had a fantastic time traveling shortly after graduation and before studying for my CPA exam. As of this moment, I am studying full-time for my CPA exam and anticipate taking FAR in April, AUD in May and REG and BEC in August and September. My start-date will be in early-mid September or October, so I’ll pretty much be starting just a little after taking my last section. I’ve also been helping clients with writing and that’s been really nice. I am helping one client edit his novel which is a Western thriller.
My family has started to deal with health problems, so my mom and I have been busy helping them as well. I’ve decided to keep my head high as much as I can, not let my emotions overwhelm me and trust in God. So… Lord, I’m putting all my hope in You.
On a happier note, the trip to Asia was really fun.
Guangzhou: I spent the first few days in Guangzhou and stayed in 7 Days Inn. It wasn’t bad for the price. The room was small and pretty run-down – but housekeeping was fine and the bathrooms had a nice design. I walked around Guangzhou with my family and had frequent family dinners.
The family dinners were alright. I apparently am called ‘Princess’ by my dad’s side of the family. It was hurtful to know that at first because ‘Princess’ means ‘princess sickness’ which is used to refer to people who are spoiled. I was definitely spoiled as a kid but I feel like I’ve matured a little bit more since then. What made it really hurt though was that they didn’t call me princess to my face but only behind my back.
At the same time, they apparently call me Princess more because of how my parents and other people in my family treat me.
I got to reconnect with my Australian cousins though. They’re hilarious and so fun to be around. I really missed them and I felt like I could be myself around them. They are pretty easy to talk to.
My grandmother in China just turned 90! It was nice to visit her and get to know her more. Women in my family tend to be strong and live pretty long. My great-aunt is 90-something and she still takes walks regularly and rides the bus. She used to walk at least a mile a day back in the day apparently and was very adamant about it.
The food in China was just incomparable to restaurants here in SGV. Even a bowl of lo mein in a small stall where a bowl goes for less than $3 tasted really good.
Macau was fun. We stayed there for two nights at the Holiday Inn at Rue De Pequim. There was a brief episode where I got my family lost (I was the one in charge of reserving the room and getting us to the hotel). I use TMobile and I actually had signal the entire time overseas for both unlimited data and for phone-calls. Google Maps deceived me. It took us to the other side of the city, basically.
I managed to meet a friendly pedestrian, a nice woman who looked to be in her 40s. She was very helpful and actually helped us walk all the way to the right location. She was so sweet!
When we got to the hotel, the girl at the front desk, Lordes, was really nice though and she ended up upgrading all four of our rooms to business class! For the next two days we were there, she would recognize me by sight and by voice. I’d call the front desk and she’d recognize my voice and be like, “Hello Ophelia, this is Lordes.”
The business class rooms were very comfortable and designed well. The rooms came with a Smartphone that you could use for free and actually take out of the room.
We saw House of Dancing Water in Macao and went shopping. The show was pretty much Cirque Du Soleil quality (made by the same creator)! There’s not a bad seat in the house. The show was amazing!
We also got cookies and peanut candy from the famous Koi Kei Bakery. I’ve never tasted anything like those peanut candies.
In the two days we were there, I’d get dim-sum with my father. Even the dim-sum tastes better. It was really, really good.
After Macau, we made our way to Pearl River where we stayed at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom’s Penguin Hotel and spent some time at the amusement park. I was blown away by how close the mountains were. The park itself is really close up to the mountains and has all these beautiful animals.
The weather was very windy though with a lot of rain. It somehow made the evening seem more surreal. Although we didn’t get to go on the rides, we saw a bunch of cool animals like arctic foxes, polar bears and sharks!
We had lunch at a restaurant with a direct view of the penguin exhibit. We got a table right next to the penguin exhibit so I’d look up from my ramen and see some penguins skittering about nearby. It was cute!
The penguins were very interactive with the guests. A kid and I were pressed up against the glass at one point and a penguin marched over and did a little twirl for us in the water. It was uber cute.
In the morning before we were going to leave, I had a Penguin Cocktail and some tea. It was a good morning.
I did have a weird experience though when a bunch of angry Mandarin-speaking visitors knocked on my room at night. They were shouting, “THERE’S NO ONE IN HERE!” outside in the hallway and then started knocking loudly on my door.
Too lazy to put on pants (lol, I’m awful), I went over to the door and opened it just a little. “Err, hello?”
The visitors looked at me blankly before quickly stepping away.
This was my grandmother’s birthplace and where she spent most of her childhood. We stayed in the New World Hotel for two nights. The hotel had a nice gym and it actually looked very beautiful. I had a direct view of the garden and pool from my room, and at night the garden lights up with these gorgeous fairylights.
The downside is that the walls are so thin. I could hear the guy in the next room talking loudly on his phone all throughout the night.
Other than that, I went shopping with my aunt and a family friend. Then we had a dinner with more extended relatives where one relative passed out rare coins for everyone. I met one of my super extended cousins who’s trying to get work in an investment firm. When she asked me about my incoming full-time job with #thebestfirmintheworld, I felt like she was being a bit insulting and trying to insinuate that anyone can get a job in America.
I tried my best to be polite, but it was an awkward experience in line with when my aunt said that accounting is a good job for a woman at another dinner. Overall though, it was nice to see family. The language barrier was undeniable though. I try my best to keep up to date on my Cantonese but it was hard to contribute to the conversation.