Posts Tagged ‘Beijing Olympics’

Sit, stand and smile…now roll-over?

April 8, 2010

The Air Hostess for Guangzhou Asian Games competition has kicked off in southern China with the aim of recruiting over 1000 new flight attendants. China Daily reports that it is the largest scale aviation industry recruitment drive ever seen in China, and supposedly attracted over 10,000 girls from all over the country.

Finding a quality job in China is no easy task – well unless you want a terribly low paid factory job which is actually in abundance right now. The younger generations; often coming from the new middle classes, are more interested in obtaining good quality jobs (hell, aren’t we all?) – the only problem is insane competition.

The airline industry has always had a degree of exoticness associated with it – I mean, whenever you see a band of pilots and hostesses checking in for their flight, they always look classy right? While it’s true, they always present well, I highly doubt that anyone in the western world is forced to go through some of the ridiculous routines that the Chinese deem appropriate in selecting ‘the right person.’

I remember seeing lots of this prior to the Beijing Olympics, where lines and lines of models were forced to smile for hours on end, standing perfectly still – the key word being perfect. It would seem in order to become a hostess, one must possess similar traits.

Smiling practice - employing the ancient pen in mouth technique for that perfect smile!


One must stand straight or one has no business being here!


Precision sitting - next up - Dinner tray juggling

Chinese athletes faking their real age? Surely not!!

March 17, 2009

Over on BBC news:

Bone tests on teenage athletes in south China have shown that thousands had faked their age, often in order to keep competing in junior events.

Tests on nearly 13,000 athletes found that more than 3,000 were older than their registered age, according to the Sports Bureau of Guangdong Province.

Now this – this cracks me up. There’s no mention of them re-testing the Chinese “Women’s” Olympic Gymnast team as they supposedly all passed DNA tests declaring them over 16 years of age.

While in China we saw extensive coverage of the Chinese teams performing – particularly the star performers such as the “Women’s” gymnasts – and i use the term “Women’s” loosely. I don’t care what kind of tests they have done – in my opinion there’s no chance in hell those girls are 16 or over – they look (and are probably) around 12, if even that. It’s an age-old debate in the gymnast world as being younger gives distinct advantages against older competitors.

So it comes as no surprise that hundreds have been busted faking their ages, however in China, age is also a bit of a dark spot. A year or two is what I would suspect as the norm. One of the athletes was reported to have been a good seven years younger than what was documented.
In China, Chinese New Years is effectively everyone’s birthday. If you are born in January, then Chinese New Year is February, you’re suddenly 2 years old (In Australia you’re not 1 until a year after your date of birth – In China you are born 1 years old.)

While we were teaching, we were told the students were 16/17 years old, but then found out that some of them could in reality(or how we base it in Australia) be 14/15.  So who can really say. While I think there are cases of blatant age cheats(aka the gymnast team), i think it’s one of those issues that’s always going to be difficult to completely get on top for us western outsiders.

16 or 12? Only Buddha knows.

16 or 12? Only Buddha knows the real answer.

What do you think?

Where for art thou tourists?

January 11, 2009

I love this:

Visitor numbers dropped to 130 million in 2008 – down by two million – as a result of the economic crisis, China’s National Tourism Administration said.

Analysts say increased security measures put in place for the Beijing Olympics may also have had an impact.

The number of foreign tourists to Beijing in August fell far short of the government’s estimated 500,000.

Beijing received 389,000 foreign tourists in August, including visitors from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, according to the city’s tourism bureau.

While we were in China, there was buzz and excitement for the Beijing Olympics. Constantly on the news they would talk about how there would be an extreme hotel shortage, and how they were paying families to take on tourists in their homes, creating sort of official mini-hotels – offering authentic experiences. These ‘home hotels’ would need to be run to certain standards, and from memory there was a limit to the number of people able to live in the house at the same time. They basically didn’t want you shelling out for a hotel room, staying with a family and getting too much of an authentic experience – ie 16 family members sleeping in the same room as you.

When the Olympics started, suddenly there was concern that all these hotels(mainly the actual hotels) were nowhere near capacity. Why? Well just prior to the games starting, they introduced extremely tough visa requirements. End result? Barely anyone could get in, and those that did had to do a song and a dance beforehand. Anyone whose had any experience obtaining Chinese visa’s knows just how much fun it is. The Chinese embassy in Melbourne really is like a little slice of China. If you want to experience China on the cheap, go down there and try and get a visa. Make sure you print out the Visa application form on their website first(because of course, it aint the right one!).

It’s funny how much you have to go through to get a visa. Forms for forms as they say. The Chinese excel at stamping forms. When you finally get to China, the level of security is then effectively a joke. When we landed in Shanghai, we basically walked unchecked(including no bag xrays) all the way out. We only had to stop to fill out an immigration form, hand it to the girl, then decide what level of customer service we wanted to rate her – and push the appropriate button.

On the other hand it cracks me up when I watch shows like Australian Border Security. These guys are all over everyone and everything – you could say they’re anal. In China? No problem! A Chinese friend went to Germany on business, then brought me back a whole big bag full of German sour dough bread – fresh! So he’s bought food in Germany, then just walked it through customs to give to me.

China is so inconsistent when it comes to things like this. You can be guaranteed there’ll be a ton of paperwork required before anything remotely official, but almost every time, you’ll submit them then think, was that even worth it? Does someone even look at this stuff? The answer is likely no in every case. Having someone stamps forms provides someone with a job – that is the important thing.

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