Hospitality As I’ve Never Experienced…

sanya-20170112-3Joseph Mannarino

I don’t think I’ll ever say this enough times. The hospitality that I have witnessed in the country of China is one that I have never experienced before. From the moment we have been here, we have been showered with gifts, meals, and incredible amounts of help from all. I never knew that it was like this. There is a great sense of community and a great sense of family here. I have never quite seen so much of it. My colleague and fellow student Zhihan’s family has gone above and beyond to treat us wonderfully. One evening we were treated to an incredible buffet dinner and rooftop bar at charming resort on Hainan Island, courtesy Zhihan’s family. I am simply taken aback by the hospitality time and time again. And it just keeps coming.

In the lectures at Sanya University, we learned a great deal about the tourism and hospitality industry as well. It was interesting to look at hospitality from a business aspect. When we tour, sometimes we don’t think of all the things that we were forced to think about today. Sanya is trying to become a world class tourist destination. To become that, it requires many upgrades as far as infrastructure and amenities. I was quite amazed with how even something as detailed as where to place a road would possibly affect someone’s decision in coming to this city over another. These are things you don’t think about unless hospitality and tourism is your specialty. Sanya, at first sight is charmingly beautiful. I was surprised to see how beautiful the beach area was. We went to dinner with the family of my Chinese classmate MoJun. For the first time since being here, we saw a live entertainer (cabaret style). I was quite surprised to see the demand for English music in China. It is my deep conviction that music is the blood that unites the world, and this just proved it for me. Stunningly, she knew Lionel Richie. The cabaret singer was from the Philippines, and lives in Hainan on a $300 per week stipend with housing provided. It’s a very interesting system.

As music is concerned, I also was able to witness a Chinese karaoke bar. I’ve always heard of these. Once again, I was simply stunned with all the American music I heard. I even found music by soul artists like Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle! What a shock! Music truly is universal. It was a great experience, as has been most of this trip so far.

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