Tales From Lands Afar

The Adventures of Frankfurt~

Category: Uncategorized

Sunday Night Musings

Dear my lovely readers,

Alas, another academic year had come and gone and, as every seems to be the case when every journey ends, I cannot help but feel nostalgic for this time last year when I was packing up my suitcase in a flurry, trying to predict some of the amazing adventures that have happened. All the memories, experiences, knowledge and friends that I have gained over this past year have honestly and truly made me feel like the luckiest person on the planet!

So, today, I have decided to do my last post for the academic year on some of the interesting cultural (and foody) things that I learnt whilst I was away!

Chinese culture and history are such big topics that I am struggling to find the words to express just how different it is from Europe. And even within China, things are entirely different from each other! During my time in China, I managed to visit Beijing and Guangzhou and my are they different! It’s not only that they speak different dialects – in Beijing, people use mandarin for everything, whereas in Guangzhou, although they can speak mandarin, most people tend to use cantonese when communicating to friends/family/for general day-to-day activities, no it is more than that.

Snowy Beijing – The Great Wall of China

Warm and sunny Guangzhou!

 

From weather (Beijing is roughly just a more extreme version of the UK – fairly dry heat in summer and snowy in Winter, whereas Guangzhou is part of the tropics, therefore making it a lot hotter and generally more humid all year round!) to food (in Beijing they are famous for their Peking duck, whilst in Guangzhou, they are renowned for their dimsum – both amazing tasty dishes!)

And speaking of food, WOW was it amazing! I have only been back in the UK for two weeks now and have already managed to sneak away to Chinese restaurants three or four times! Food in China tends to be quite an important thing. The main centre point of the Chinese New Year would be families gathering from all over the country to come together and eat, friends will oftentimes invite other friends out for a meal to show respect or gratitude and colleagues will generally go out to discuss their meetings at fancy restaurants, rather than at offices. Food and eating is quite central to their culture in a lot of ways that it is not in the UK, and the cultural differences during eating could not be more clear! For starters, whilst I usually eat with a knife and fork in the UK, Chinese people tend to prefer chopsticks for most meals, and maybe a spoon for rice.

Not only that, but group meals in China tend to be more of a shared experience, with usually a group ordering a few big dishes together and then sharing them over rice, whereas in the UK, people tend to order separately.

In terms of types of dishes, there is just SO MUCH! I tried to have new food every day and in all honesty I still don’t think I managed to try even a fraction of the amount available in China! This isn’t helped by the fact that Chinese dishes vary a LOT depending on whereabouts in China you go (Generally there is a saying that ‘South is sweet, North is salty, East is spicy, and West is sour’) and each province has their own speciality dishes! Overall however, I managed to get a lot of duck, beef, pork, chicken, noodles, prawns, rice, dumplings, buns, egg and various types of Chinese vegetables none of which I can remember the names of.

So, as you can probably tell, I really enjoyed the cuisine aspect of living abroad 😉

Aside from that, it was just a totally eye opening experience. China is so fully of beautiful landscapes and scenery and architecture. It is very very very different to life in the West, and in some ways, that can be strange to adjust to at first. However for me, this is a good thing. Different cultures, languages, histories and lifestyles give the world colour! It can occasionally be a little frustrating to deal with perhaps, when you are used to a certain way of doing things, however I feel that it is very important to say that no one culture is right or wrong. They are just different. And with that in mind, I intend to discover as much as I can about as many different lifestyles and other countries as I possibly can, because for me, acceptance and understanding of other people is the most important thing one can possibly learn in a lifetime.

And so, that is it from me for today. To those of you who are about to set off for summer, I wish you an amazing and undoubtedly well deserved break! If any of you are planning on travelling, please do let me know where you are going and how you found it so that I may add it to my ever growing list of countries to visit 🙂 Other than that, I hope you enjoyed reading about my travels whilst on my Year Abroad and see you all really soon 🙂

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Recruiter: A Day In the Life Of~

Dear Readers,

I apologise. It has been more than a month and I do realise that. Unfortunately Germany got very cold very suddenly and I, being the Fun-Loving-Summer-Chic, was too slow to exchange my skirts and tank tops for scarves and thick woolly vintage jumpers resulting in a two week long flu. (And sharing food with my flu-ridden boyfriend probably didn’t help either….!)

But I am back now and back with more enthusiasm and excitement than EVER! This month will therefore have TWO exciting blog posts for you to indulge yourselves with.

Now as you may or may not know, I am doing my seven months in Germany with the multilingual recruitment company, Euro London Appointments, in the bustling city of Frankfurt! This blog will be a day in the life of a recruiter 🙂

German Section:

Mein Tagesablauf

Outside my building, Goethestrasse 🙂

Der Arbeitstag fing täglich um neun Uhr an, deshalb muss ich um acht Uhr aufwachen, sodass ich meine Haare waschen und duschen  können. 

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Mein Zimmer

Normalerweise, weil ich so müde bin, fahre ich mit dem S-Bahn nach der Arbeit. Es kostet EUR1.60 und der Reise dauert nur fünf Minuten, deswegen kann ich manchmals ein bisschen später aufstehen. 

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Ich steige am Hauptwache aus und gehe zum Fuss nach dem Büro. 

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The life of a recruiter is actually surprisingly exciting. After I get into the office, I then make myself a nice cuppa tea to help perk myself up before setting up my lovely desk. Luckily, I get to sit right next to the window with the heater behind me, so despite how cold it is outside, I am always warm in the office.

My desk – Cosy right? 😀

So what do I actually do? Well first, I should tell you what a recruitment agency does. Pretty self explanatory, we companies with their recruitment processes. For example, if a company is looking for a “sekretär/in” who speaks German and Chinese and lives in Berlin, we will find a secretary in Berlin who is looking for a new position and can speak German and English, we will present them to the company. Quite simple right? Just think of us as the matchmakers for companies and people.

And what I do is I support the recruiters in any way I can – whether this be finding people who are looking for jobs, or writing job adverts or finding companies who are recruiting or testing doing English tests, I basically help the office in any way I can to get things done faster. This means I spend a lot of my time on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Xing and on the phone.

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Common phrases I use:

  1. Hallo Euro London Appointments, Sie sprechen mit Lauren.

  2. Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen?

  3. Wie heissen Sie bitte?

  4. Darf ich Ihr Nummer nehmen bitte?

  5. Okay, ein Moment bitte.

  6. Ich biete ihn/sie zuruckzurufen

Um eins Uhr, nehme ich meine Mittagspause. Wenn es sonnig und warm ist, würde ich laufen gehen. Jetzt aber, ist es so richtig kalt draußen, dass ich normalerweise ins Cafe gehen, um mich zu warmen. Oft bin ich in der Kafe Karin’s. Es gibt ein Indie-Cafe und ich liebe die hausgemachte Kuchen und Chai Tea Latte mit Elefant-Vanille.

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Es ist manchmal teuer, und nicht so gesund, aber es ist wirlich lecker! 🙂

Dann muss ich von zwei bis fünf. Manchmal bleibe ich ein bisschen mehr, weil ich so viel zu tun habe. Danach, gehe ich wieder nach Hause.

And that is my day! Usually once I get home, I am so tired that I end up just watching TV or reading until I go to sleep, however I do try to go out at least once a week for some sort of special event (last night I went on a historical murder-mystery tour of Frankfurt!).

However, whilst that is an overview of my day, life in recruitment is often very varied. It is quite a fast moving industry, so we are always getting in new recruiters to join our team. This is the team I started out with:

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Coworker selfie~

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#amazingworkmates

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I am working, I promise!

One of the things I love about working for Euro London is that everyday is amazing. Yes, I have to work hard but I am learning so much and I am surrounded by amazing people. They are truly an amazing group of people, so international and all with so many different stories to tell of all their previous travels… I am constantly discovering new countries and places to add to my ever-growing-list-of-places-to-visit! Not to mention everyone can bake SO well (as I soon discovered from out weekly ‘cake-o’clock’ sessions every Friday 😉

Overall, I am really REALLY grateful to have got accepted into this amazing company. It has been an absolute ball so far and I cannot wait to learn more about this industry!

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And with that, we have reached the end of this post. Thank you so much again for reading, I hope you have learnt a little about recruitment and also life in Germany! As always, please leave a comment and I will see you again in a few weeks 😉

xoxo