Oriflame Summer Internship

#18 An update from Shanghai

Publicerad 2016-07-28 11:23:00 i Isabella in Shanghai

It is afternoon in Shanghai and I am working on finishing up with my project. I have done so much research during my time here and now it is time to sit down and make it into a presentation. The design of the presentation actually takes a long time and I am happy that I still have some time to get into that as well. We will see the results soon, and I will present my project to the management team here in Shanghai!
Working here in China has been so much fun. Finally, 13 years of spending my childhood saturdays at Chinese school feels like well spent time. Not only have I gotten a chance to get an insight on the chinese lifestyle, but more importantly, gotten a chance to become part of it. My phone has now reached its space limit due to the vast amount of apps that I have downloaded here. I am actually starting to wonder if coming back to Stockholm will require some significant adjustments from my side, since I have grown accustomed to how things work here...
Now to some things outside of work! Last weekend I went with my uncle and his family to stay at a mountain 四海山, it means "Four Seas mountain". The name comes from the fact that the mountain has a sea of trees, fog, clouds and snow (very poetic, right?). My uncle was invited by a collegue and it is always really interesting to observe the business culture here in China. I really liked the place that we stayed at because the houses reminded me of those in Sweden.
My dear uncle who loves taking photos with his phone 
All the best!

Week 5 in Tunisia - Customer Service, Arabic lessons and Tunisian Wedding

Publicerad 2016-07-27 01:52:00 i Denise in Tunisia

Hi all!
Finally an update from beautiful Tunisia! My fifth week has just come to its end, meaning that I have been at Oriflame Tunisia for about a month now. I can still remember how slightly nervous I was before my first day and the time when I actually did Ramadan light here (only drinking, no eating before 7.43 PM) and it certainly feels like another era here.
My days at the office nowadays start at 9 AM and I finish around 4.30 PM. Even though I have my own project and questions that need to be answered, I always have more than 40 colleagues who are always ready and there to answer any question about the company that I might have. Especially the management team (Marketing, Sales, Operations and Finance) is a great support for me, and the last week I had a lot of discussions with Emira, who is head of Marketing. I really enjoy how I can see how things that are being discussed actually getting executed - and that quite fast - at Oriflame Tunisia. I like how I can discuss my ideas with the management team, and know that I could actually - with permission of course - try some of them and get literally practical experience, instead of just be a little, tiny part of something which's result I would never get to see with my own eyes. That, I would say, is absolutely one of the most fun things with my internship at Oriflame, and something I believe that few companies can offer an intern.
Oriflame ground floor
So - last week was spent with the customer service, cashiers, in the warehouse and by interviewing all the staff at Oriflame Tunisia, since one of the questions I have is how we perceive ourselves. Another example of one of my tasks is to do a SWOT analysis and several questions about customer service; how the consultants perceive us, what we can do better, online/offline etc.. That is why a great part of last week also went to collecting material for my questionnaire, make it and to translate it into French (not the best of the languages I speak, even though it has become significantly better here).
Me (in front of my computer) with Marwa who is responsible for claims on phone and of the walk-in customer service at the ground floor - it is important for me to take my own initatives and not be shy to talk with people and ask them to tell me about what they are doing and ask questions
There was a total of 6 people coming with feedback and who wanted to make certain changes, until I finally (!) launched it today. It is the first questionnaire that Oriflame Tunisia hands out to its consultants, so it is very important that everything is just.... perfect. And it of course feels great to have been trusted with the responsibilty to create that one, make sure to collect enough answers and to analyze it :-)
I feel quite relieved now that the questionnaire is launched both online and offline, which means that I can focus on collecting answers and doing more analysis during the week - and prepare for my presentation. Deadline and presenation is next Friday. I know I wrote in the beginning that I would try to finish in a couple of weeks - but I realized quite fast that this kind of project you do better if you do it really profoundly, and that there is always more that can be done and more material that can be collected.
The guys working within the operations team in the warehouse - super friendly and always taking good care of me when I'm visiting/disturbing to ask them about everything from how the back office process works to what they think are the company's greatest strenghts and threaths ;-)
Outside of work, I have been taking standard Arabic lessons - and am proud to announce that I now know the alphabet and can read and write (!!!) - at an 8 year old's level then, of course. It's an amazing feeling when all these strange Arabic letters turn into something that finally makes sense. I did military service as interpreter and interrogator in Russian before, and have always been curious about the challenge that those who studied Arabic faced (there was always an argument, and still is, which language that was hardest to study, since we were eliminated if we didn't pass the weekly exams and always had 400 - 600 new words and grammar/week). I still know a bit too little about Arabic to compare with Russian, but I can say for sure that Mandarin Chinese (which I studied when I lived in China) is way more complicated to write and also harder to pronounce and speak anyway. So there you go, all fellow polyglots out there who must have wondered! ;-)
During the weekend I went with Safa and her fiance Rami to Safa's cousin's wedding in Nabeul and also swimming in Hammamet. Yesterday was fortunate enough a national holiday, so then we went to one of their close friends' engagement celebration, which was really nice and actually more like a pool party - Tunisia keeps surprising ;-)
The bride and her family enters
Me, Safa (MD assistant at Oriflame who really has become my best friend here in Tunisia) and her brother (who could be her twin) and her fiancé Rami (who then probably has become my second best friend in Tunisia) at the wedding on Saturday
On the beach in Hammamet, during my Sunday run
Tunisia is keeping to treat me well, which is due to a great internship and kind and amazing people who are "taking care" of me outside of work. I couldn't have had a better internship, and I realized today at the management meeting, how much I actually know and understand about Oriflame now, that I didn't when I started - and how I also have started to really care about the company.
Hope you guys enjoyed my small update (which takes longer than you think!), and that you keep having an amazing summer.
All the best and bisous from Tunisia,

#17 Balance

Publicerad 2016-07-21 04:45:47 i Isabella in Shanghai

Hello Again! 
I decided to write a post dedcated to what I do at work. Altough it doea not sound as exciting and fun as a river hike do, it is actually just as fun. Being here has made me realize that marketing and business strategy is something that I want to do in the future. Study these subjects at university is fun, but it is not even comparable to actual work experience. 

At work I am continuing to learn, not only about Oriflame, but also about Oriflame's competitors here in China. There are quite a few and it is very interesting researching about their online activities. As I mentioned before, Chinese users are not using the apps that we consider "basic" in the rest of the world. Instead they are using chinese apps that have similar functions, most of them are actually better than the ones that we are using. In China the phone is the gateway to all the everyday functions, without it, it would be hard to survive here. :P After being here for a month, it is not hard to draw a conclusion that online marketing has become a neccessity.
This week (and last week) we have a visit from the Global office, Malgorzata from Poland. Last week Justine, Ansel and I had a meeting wiith her about what online is doing here in China. We talked about the different online campaigns that have been done here. At the end we had a very insightful discussion about global vs. local and differences in culture. I absolutely love discussing subjects like this and I got a whole new perspective afer talking to Malgorzata. It is a constant struggle to find a balance between being local and global when you have a big company like Oriflame.
My individual project has evolved during the time here. I started off the projects with a rather clear direction, but as time have progressed, it has taken some interesting turns. Next week I will try to schedule a meeting with Regine, the marketing manager, and Justine to continue on with the discussion that I started with Malgorzata. Being able to read chinese means that I am able to intergrate into the chinese lifestyle. At the same time, I am looking at my experience here through the eyes of a Swede. A good combination!
Regine and I in front of the big China map at the office 
All the best!

#16 River Hiking weekend

Publicerad 2016-07-19 10:04:20 i Isabella in Shanghai

Happy tuesday!
It is past lunch time here in Shanghai and I have just come back from a short shopping spree. I can barely believe what great value I got from the money that I spent. In total I paid 104 rmb for a pair of flipflops, yoga mat, 3 pairs of socks, swim cap and swimming goggles. Just amazing.
Everything all together was 104 rmb! 
Last weekend I joined a group of expats for a river hike to Qingshui in Zhejiang province. It was a lot of fun to meet people and get away from the city for a little while. The hike itself ended up being a little more challenging than expected because of the high water levels. The guides said that it usually was more just walking by the river, but we were climbing the rocks along the river and in the river. I really enjoyed it and a little challenge makes the victory so much sweeter.
We had to cross the river a few times during the hike, the steam was quite strong at this spot
An easier spot, but still very slippery 
Setting up the tents at the camping site 
Very tranquil place 
Beautifu nature and breathtaking views
All the best! /Isabella

Week 4 in Tunisia - First week after Ramadan

Publicerad 2016-07-14 23:58:50 i Denise in Tunisia

Hi all! Update from Tunisia!
This week has been the first one after Ramadan and I can both feel and see the difference. At the office, people are even happier than before and the working hours are now longer than under Ramadan. Before when I had lunch I could sometimes feel very guilty, as I was the only one eating (openly, anyway), but now it can be crowded in the kitchen and people seem to have even more energy to work.
As I have mentioned, the main focus of my project is customer service, why it is important that I understand the whole process when it comes to claims, how the existing customer service works and that I do a lot of research myself for solutions and opportunities. I spent the whole Monday in the warehouse where all the products are stored. Consultants come to Oriflame to pick up and pay for their products that they later will sell, and Oriflame is also sending out products for Home Delivery and to SPO:s (Service Point Oriflame) around Tunisia. On Tuesday I was sitting with Rahma and Ines at the customer service desk the whole day, observing and learning. Yesteray and today I have been doing a lot of research myself, and been talking to more people at the office to get a clear understanding of things.
Me and Emira, Head of Marketing, today talking about different promotion strategies
I think it's going on good with the project, and I like that I need to be creative and very self-going when it comes to how I will get to the answer of things. At the same time, I have great support in all of my colleagues at the office, who I really have started to like after almost 3 weeks working.
Farewell for Senda who has been working in the sales team at Oriflame Tunisia
Today before we went home for the day, everyone gathered to say goodbye to an employee named Senda, who had her last day at Oriflame. Everyone was one by one giving her his/her best wishes for the future and you could really feel how warm people were. Having my Oriflame-email, I also receive goodbye-mails from people who of different reasons will finish their time at Oriflame, sent to many if not all Oriflame employees over the world. I think it's amazing to see how many people that seem to be so thankful and happy for their time at the company, and I can imagine that Oriflame is just such a company where previous colleagues actually keep contact with each other even afterwords.
Hope all is great with all of you - can't believe it's the 14th of July and that I left Stockholm the 15th of June. Time surely passes fast when you're having a great time.

#15 Photoshoot with The One

Publicerad 2016-07-13 05:06:00 i Isabella in Shanghai

Yesterday I went with Robin, Justine and Yolanna downstairs to get some photos of Oriflame's "The One" makeup collection. Spending most of my time in the office, where we have airconditioning (Thank God), the contrast from the outside is just unbearable. The past days have been really hot and humid. At this point I am no longer sweating, instead, my body is steaming. Anyway, even with the hot weather it was fun to help out in the photoshoot. We had some flowers as decoration and the pictures turned out really good. They are all really talented and good at what they are doing, I was quite impressed!
Quite fun to take part in a photoshoot session, so much work behind every little post they publish
Pictures turned out really well (this one is taken with a phone camera though)
Robin, our talented Digital planner and photographer
After work I met up with Ning for a free Salsa trial, none of us had ever tried Salsa before. It was actually quite fun and I really liked the teacher. He was funny, but very firm and honest. I think it is always better to have a teacher be very direct in their feedback, that way you know what you should improve and how. Afterwards Ning and I went to have some Korean desert, the exact one that I had last week, I just cannot get enough of it, plus Ning had not tried it yet. We ended up eating something called 凉皮(liangpi), which is a cold noodle dish from Shanxi. One of my favorites, although I have realized that I have quite a few favorites...
Have a nice day everybody!

#14 Fun, but humid weekend

Publicerad 2016-07-11 08:54:03 i Isabella in Shanghai

A very long post, enjoy!
It is monday morning and I am sitting in the office going a lilttle crazy, the keyboard on my computer has stopped working and I cannot turn it on. So right now I am using another one and of course it feels a little weird. Hopefull I can fix the problem, but this computer is fine as well.
This weekend has been quite busy, on fridayI (finally) got to go to Korea tow for some Korean BBQ with some expats, it was so delicious! On top of that, we found out that they had Sulbing, a korean dessert that I have cravevd ever since I visited Seoul last year. The memories, the taste...Wow. I shared a dessert with two other people. We ended up eating the other people's sulbing too, my stomach have a lot of eating experience. After the dessert we went out to a bar and later a nightclub, which had a beautiful terrace. We chatted on the terrace, danced downstairs and just had fun!
Korean dessert, finely shaved ice with topping
Saturday I went to a brunch meetup with a group called GGI (Girl Gone Internaitonal), at a restaurant called Maya. They served mexican food with a hint of chinese influence. I am IN LOVE with their duck quesadillas... It was fun to meet other girls and hear their stories and experiences living in Shanghai. There are many many great things about Shanghai, but the attitude towards women are not one of them. Three of the girls and i got into the subject of sexual harrassment and we all had encountered that in one way or the other here in Shanghai. My experience with a guy getting uncomfortably close while standing on the escalator was by far the mildest one in comparison to the stories of the other girls. One had experienced domestic violence, one had been followed and one physically harrassed by a guy on the street. It made me so mad that it is still so common, not only in Shanghai,  but everywhere in the world.
After the brunch I went to tennis practice. One of the trainers called me 超强 ("Super strong"). I think it might be because they are not used to girls hitting that hard. It felt great to play, but I felt a little off not having played for a long time. when tennis practice was over I went to a club with a friend (Diane) and just danced, music was great that night so we danced pretty much until they closed.
Sunday was a bit more chill, I went for lunch and coffee with a friend (Ning) we spent the majority of the afternoon talking about chinese culture and swedish culture, how different they are. She is Chinese, but she did her master in Oslo so she had some first-hand experience as well. During the evening I went to a meetup called borders and nations, it was a discussion group about immigration which was quite interesting, at the end discussion was quite heated, but that is what makes it fun!
My friend Ning at the restaurant
Happy monday everyone!

#13 Exploring a new world

Publicerad 2016-07-11 04:39:00 i Isabella in Shanghai

Here is a post from friday, apparently I did not post it so here it is!
I am slowy, but steadily starting to adapt to all the different apps used here in China. They have apps for EVERYTHING. There is basically no need for you to even move an inch here because anything can be delivered to your door within a few minutes. It is like exploring a whole new world, different from the one that I am used to. It has exceeded my expectations in so many different ways and the apps still amaze me.
For lunch today I went with Yolanna and Justine to a very cozy cafe in French Concession. What is quite funny is that they did not think that the food was that good, instead, you go there because the interior is really nice for taking pictures. I had a good laugh when they told me that, but we ended up taking really nice pictures with Yolanna's phone camera. I think we spent more time taking pictures than eating. Living Chinese style, haha!
Yolanna and I 
My boss Justine 
Casually posing for the camera 
Learning the Chinese way of living 


Oriflame products

Publicerad 2016-07-09 16:25:00 i Denise in Tunisia

Since I've been writing about Oriflame here in most of the updates, I think you already know that I'm very positive to the company, to my colleagues and to my Global Summer Internship here. Something else I could write about, is that I have actually met mothers of friends who are Oriflame consultants - which really puts a face on that "ordinary woman" who sells Oriflame products to inrease here income, besides of doing housework and taking care of the family, for example. It really makes me happy that women, through Oriflame, get a possibility to become more independent and also work with selling products that interests them.
About the Oriflame products, I basically just use Oriflame right now - from skin care, makeup, hair products to perfumes. Therefore, I will now upload a selfie so you can judge for yourself ;-)
I really like the products, and no one has said that I have to write about this. I'm using so much of the Oriflame products right now, and have planned to buy with me even more before my internship is over. On the photo and on a regular daily basis, I use the powder, bronzing powder (really good with bronzing pearls which looks very natural, like a conturing and bronzing in one), mascara (from TheOne, it's really good for my short eyelashes), eyeshadow and eyeliner. I will photo the products and upload here, of Oriflame's products there are different "serials" and product lines.
Actually, felt so relieaved when I tried the products and really, really liked them - I don't really believe in working for something, or selling something, you don't believe in. That mostly don't work out very well ;-) So yes - I can honestly say that I like Oriflame in many aspects, the products, the focus on people in the company and CSR work contributing to that!
The rest of the weekend I will just enjoy, so I can give 100 % on Monday. Today I've been chilling at home, gonna workout in a bit and then clean here, since Safa, Rami and their friends are coming over in a couple of hours before we're going to a pool party here (gonna be quite interesting). Tomorrow will probably be some Tunisian studies on the beah (Tunisian is actually quite easy to learn, I must say), finishing some work and then kickboxing in the evening and dinner. And yes - I know I'm very lucky to have this kind of internship :-)
Bisous from Tunisia!

Week 3 in Tunisia - End of Ramadan

Publicerad 2016-07-09 16:12:00 i Denise in Tunisia

Hello from Tunisia!
How is everyone doing? Here in Tunisia everything is just fine and the weather is as beatuiful as always. This week  we have been having days off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of the end of Ramadan. I went with some people to Hammamet again, swimming and having a good time. Got back yesterday evening and now it's already Saturday!
This is already my third week and even though I really had time to experience both the country and get well started with my project, I must say that time really flies - as always, when you're having a great time. I barely don't event remember what I expected before I came here, or if I even had time to reflect so much during everyday life in Stockholm with university, studies, daily kickboxing trainings, part time job and other things...
Since I have been living in four different countries the latest four years (Russia, China, Thailand and Vietnam), I'm quite used to just go with the flow, live for the moment and make the most out of my time when I'm at a certain place. I know there will come a day when I will leave, and I know there will come a day when I will be at another place, but wherever I am in the world - I tend to just focus on that and get 100 % out of the experience. Something I really regret during all these years abroad, experiencing new cultures, learning new languages and getting friends with very diverse backgrounds, is that I didn't share more with people in Sweden at social medias, so people would have an understanding of what I have been doing - four years traveling the world is a long time!
Some reflections from Tunisia anyway so far:
1. Dress code - during Ramadan, yes, girls should cover themselves more, basically meaning wearing something which went down over the knees. In reality, I although spotted some girls in quite short shorts and guys were walking around on the street in swimming trousers and barechested anyway. Now Ramadan just finished, but after have going out at a club here last night, I can say that people dress exactly like in Spain for example, when going out.
2. Dangerous - I live literally 10 m away from the police station, in a "richer" area just 30 m from the big tourist street, which is one of the highlights when tours are arranged for tourists. I live 200 m from the small supermarket, and it takes me maxiumum 10 min to run to the beach (I don't like walking). With this said, I know that I'm in a priviliged, expat situation here, and have therefore no reasons to feel unsafe where I live. I have never felt unsafe in any country where I have lived, but if I would compare it to for example India, where I felt I had to be covered (now we're talking Indian clothes covered) all the time and didn't leave the hotel after 9 PM because it was dark and unknown - it's not even comparable. There are policemen at all crowded places and the atmosphere is good and warm.
3. Being a foreigner - Speaking for myself, most people here in Sidi Bou Saïd where I live (which is quite small, maye 400 people where everyone knows everyone) see me when I'm running up for the very steep street here, up to the view over the ocean where I usually take photos. On that street, there are a lot of small shops and coffee places. As in many other countries except from Sweden ;-) it can be a bit unusual to see a girl working out, especially so often and so intense that I do. Speaking of own experiene, I also know that Asian girls don't work out so much, and I've been told that the only experience people have here of Asians, are that they are very pale-skinned, take a lot of photos and don't work out - not when the peopel here have seen them anyway. With this said, I'm quite a rare sight in many Tunisians eyes, and 100 % of all the people are very curious of where I'm from. I'm apparently "known" at the "Japonaise" here and people often call me on the street, not in a bad way. As I have written before, most Tunisians are very friendly, welcoming, warm and really like tourists. As a foreigner, you are therefore well treated.
4. Tunisian guys - since some of my friends ask. Unknown guys can be quite pushy sometimes, as I've experienced in southern France and Spain for example. I would although say that it's better here, and if I'm getting annoyed, most guys go away. Flirting with girls on the street and when siting in cars is although way too common here, the main reason to why I'm always listening to music while I'm running and rarely have eyecontact with anyone - most girls will understand me on this. I would say both girls and guys feel more European here than in Russia or Asia for example, and Tunisia is from what I've heard the most open Arab country - which I could basically agree with, even though this is the first Arab country I visit.
In the future, I will update here a little bit more seldom, not every day like before. I know that a lot of you reading are on summer holiday anyway, and that your time spent reading all of this is limited ;-)
Wish you all a great continuation of the summer!

#12 A healthy lifestyle

Publicerad 2016-07-07 08:53:09 i Isabella in Shanghai

After two weeks of very little exercise and extreme gluttony, I have now started to get a more balanced lifestyle. Even if the range of food here seem to be limitless, I have gotten used to it. As to exercise, I have finally started playing some ballsports again. Yesterday I was at a squash meetup with some expats. It was my first time playing squash and wow, who knew that hitting a ball against a wall could be so much fun?? I am definitely doing that again. Today I also got some of my collegues excited about playing squash together so I might play with them also. On saturday I will play tennis again, can't wait!
In addition to eating healthy and exercising, I have made it a habit to drink a cup of soup from Oriflame's Wellness series. We are free to drink as much soup as we want here at the office so that is perfect. I have always liked drinking soups and this is a great way for me to make sure that I get enough nutrition while I am here. Somehow I end up taking better care of myself abroad as supposed to ack home. Maybe I should make this a longterm commitment?
Oriflame's Wellness products (I promise that I am not promoting Oriflame's products ;))
Have a nice day!

Day 19 in Tunisia - Monday

Publicerad 2016-07-05 17:10:07 i Denise in Tunisia

Good day at work today - it's quite calm now before the end of Ramadan - and I've been working with my project. They have a lot to do in the warehouse and at customer service right now, why I'm still focusing on customer service online, and will do offline in the beginning of next week. Feels OK, even if I would have liked to get started already this week and learn more about the process and how it works here!
Morning run as usual - I hear day by day that I get more "bronzée", and I'm not completely sure wether it's good or not...!
People selling turkish ice-cream (?) on the street and doing tricks right next to us
In the evening I met up with Safa and we were sitting in Sidi Bou Saïd and had a coffee, enjoying one of the last evenings of Ramadan. It's actually a bit crazy that I haven't experienced Tunisia without Ramadan yet! This week will by the way be very short workwise - just Monday and Tuesday. Ramadan ends on Wednesday and then it's family time - so I guess I'll have a lot of time to spend by myself then, haha ;-)
Wishing you all a great start of a new week!

Day 18 in Tunisia - Bronzing and boxing

Publicerad 2016-07-05 16:58:01 i Denise in Tunisia

Happy Sunday!
On Sunday I went for a long run, was hanging out on the beach and did some work at home. In the afternoon, I went fo a private boxing/kickboxing lesson with a private trainer at the boxing club I visited before. It was really good, and I got quite tired after a whole day in the sun. After that I joined the group training for 1 hour, which was mostly hit on the bag, cardio and some abs strength in the end. A good club, I will definitely come back!
My every day downhill, which then turns to an uphill
Hope you all had a great Sunday!

#11 Office is Paradise

Publicerad 2016-07-05 11:22:04 i Isabella in Shanghai

下午好!(Good Afternoon!) 
It's 4pm here in Shanghai and I am fortunately at the office. Shanghai is now entering that time of the year where the weather is almost unbearably hot and humid. I must say that me deciding to straighten my hair was one of the best decisions I have made. I would most likely have looked like Frankenstein's monster by now, if I had not done it... 
Alongside working on my individual project about CRM online, Justine also lets me get involved in projects that the online team is working on. Today I was asked to translate an english text into chinese that will be used as the app description for an Oriflame app. It was quite hard but I managed to do it, and Ansel helped me look through the translation so that everything was correctely translated. It is quite cool know that I have translated the text that will be read by everyone who wants to download the app. 
Ansel (aka 小朱) is only one year older than me, but likes to pretend to be a tea drinking, old man
Yesterday I went with Tommy, one of our IT guys, to a tennis practice. It was nice to get some exercise again and playing tennis is definftely one of the most fun ways to do itv We played outside and even though it was evening and dark outside, it was still really warm. I could have done without the hot temperature, but it was a nice anyway! 
That is all for today :) 

#10 Shanghai > Wenzhou > Shanghai

Publicerad 2016-07-04 05:12:00 i Isabella in Shanghai

Sorry for the bad update lately, internet is quite slow so it is hard to find enough time to upload my photos. 
This weekend have have been able to squeeze in quite a lot. On friday I went to dinner with some friends that I met at the midsummer party. We ate sichuan food, which is famous for being quite spicy. It was relly good and Maya ordered a basil drink for us which was dangerously delicious... After the dinner we went to some rooftop bars by the bund. The view is just gorgeous and so were the drinks. I am sorry to say that I forgot to take some pictures while we were there but at least I took some from the resaturant! 
At the Sichuan restaurant, it is not as spicy as it looks, but they do like their spicy food! 
The basil drinks were sooo good! 
Fortunately I am one of those few who has yet to experience the horrors of hangover (hopefully I never will). I booked train tickets to Wenzhou, the city where my family comes from. The train was scheduled to leave at 06.30 saturday morning which meant that I got very little sleep that night. I had to wake up at 04.00 because I wanted to make sure to be at the train station on time to catch the train, especially since I had to get a taxi early in the morning with rain pooring down. 
I must say that the trains in China are surprisingly good. Trains were very modern and clean, the station had a lot of shops and restaurants opened even though it was so early in the morning. Cleaniness is by all means very important, but what impressed me the most (being from Sweden), was the PUNCTUALITY. At 06.30 sharp, we left the Hongqiao station. 
The Highspeed bullet train to Wenzhou at Hongqiao station
After about 3 hours, I arrived at the train station in Wenzhou where my uncle picked me up. We went to see my grandmother in the hospital, she fell and hurt herself sometime ago and is still has not recovered enough to go back home. We stayed there and just kept her company while we ate her lunch. When she went to sleep my unlce and I left to get 猪肠粉 (ZhuChangFen), a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. It is rice noodles in soup and I just love it, probably because it tastes like my childhood. 
It has become a thing that I always get foot massage when I go to Wenzhou, which was exactely what we did after lunch. Compared to Sweden it is very cheap, and you get a lot of value for the money you pay. Both me and my uncle fell asleep during the treatment. After my early morning, it was a very much needed and appreciated nap. 
My uncle brought me to eat a specialty in Wenzhou and a favorite of mine since I was little, 猪肠粉 (ZhuChangFen) 
On sunday we went to see my grandmother again, I am glad to have the opportunity to see her because it is a rarity. She has been very present during most of my childhood and it only feels right to take care of her whenever I can. We stayed there a little longer this time and then my uncle, his wife and I went to a last lunch before I had to take the train back to Shanghai. 
We also ate some dishes from the northeastern part of China, this is 凉皮 (LiangPi)
China has so many delicious fruits! Here we have litchi, dragon fruit, mangosteen, yangmei, mango, pear and peach. 
Well, this was my weekend. Today I will go with a collegue to check out the tennis courts. He just started playing tennis and I want to see if there is a possiblity for me to practice some tennis here as well. 
See you later! 

Day 17 in Tunisia - A whole day in Hammamet

Publicerad 2016-07-03 22:12:00 i Denise in Tunisia

Hello hello!
On Saturday I went to Hammamet, 1,5 hours from Tunis, very close to Nabeul where Safa's family lives where I was last weekend, with some new friends from here. We started 11 AM and came back around 7 PM, so it was a long and fun day! The water was just perfect with a lot of waves, although with a very strong current - which you could have fun in if you don't go to far outside.
There were a lot of hotels, a port, tourist shops, a whole street with restaurants and a kilometer long beach with water parachutes, wakeboard, banana tubes and other fun things. Because of Ramadan and a great lack of tourists, it was basically empty. I get a bit sad every time I come to such beautfiul places, perfect for vacation, and think about how many people (in Sweden for example) who are afraid to come here. And now I'm not talking about wild backpacking to random areas, but about just normal touristic places. 
A great day and I hope there are many more like this to come!

Day 16 in Tunisia - Cakes, customer service and nice restaurants

Publicerad 2016-07-03 21:54:00 i Denise in Tunisia

Hi all!
As some of you might have noticed, I'm getting a bit bad at updating every day when it gets closer to the weekend. So here, 3 days in a row - update from Tunisia!
This day was the first without having Jonas on the office, which felt a bit strange. We will have contact and I'll update him regularly anyway, but it has been nice to have him at the office, and to have a chat to and from work, so he will definitely be missed. But I'll carry on, as the only Swede at Oriflame Tunisia now!
Today I have been both in the warehouse and then sitting with customer service at Oriflame. The point is that I will learn everything in the claims chain and how the customer service works. They were unfortunately super super busy, so I'll come back again more times next week, probably even spend most of the week there. Basically everyone who work in the warehouse and at CS only speak English, but French, and I must say that I feel really glad that I have had a couple of weeks to practice my French by now. Amazing how fast it goes with languages when you're in the right environment!
Today something really funny (or well...) happened at the office - there were two big cakes in the fridge left from the staff party on Wednesday. I usually just drink during the day because of Ramadan, but basically all of my colleagues at Oriflame are doing Ramadan; meaning, not drinking/eating until 7.43 PM. Therefore, I felt super privileged when I took a piece (the first) of one of the cakes during the morning - to see that basically both of them were finished by the end of the day! We all had a great laugh when I noticed it. Apparently people are getting more and more in cheating mode by the end of Ramadan! ;-) It ends on Wednesday by the way, with a great 2 day celebration.
 After work. I went to eat with Emira who is Head of Marketing, at a really nice restaurant by the water. Apparently, the chef had been working in Paris for many years, and had now come back to Tunisia to open his own restaruant. The food was delicious, and I ate way too much as usually...
In the evening we went to do some shopping and I had a really nice evening with Emira, who also surprised me when she told me that she had lived in Paris whole her life, before she moved to Tunisia 5 years ago. I really like when you think that you have a more or less good understanding of a person, and they surprise you.

Day 15 in Tunisia - The most important things in life aren't things

Publicerad 2016-07-01 11:48:53 i Denise in Tunisia

Bonsoir bonsoir!
Today I've been feeling much better and had a productive day at the office. I've been focusing most on the customer service online, at social medias and our website for example, and started yesterday to focus more on it offline. Oriflame is a company which really cares about people, and that goes out all the way from the employees, consultants to customers! One of the reasons why it feels valuable for me to focus on customer service.
Later on, I will be spending more time with the CS team, create online surveys and also talk to consultants to collect their impression, and finally have enough understanding to make an analysis and come up with conclusions and possible solutions. I admit I thought I could do everything quite fast(er) in the beginning of the week, but I realized that this is a big project which I really do need time to focus on. As with everything else - it's hard to understand what's good/bad, working well/not so well, if you don't have a good understanding of what really is good/bad and how things work. As everything is relevant, what does the competition look like and what does Oriflame do better/different? And will something that works in another country work as well in Tunisia? How many people use the different social medias, how do they use them and how do people behave here? A lot of questions that need to be answer in order to make a good job, which I'm determined to do!
Khaled and me! Khaled has a great interest in Russia, so when he is teaching me some Tunisian, I teach him some Russian.
After I got home I went for a run around 5.30 PM and did some workout as usual. Don't feel 100 % yet, but I hope it will get better. A really sweet thing happened when I was sitting and reading articles and doing sit-ups by the beach - a boy came forward and started to speak with me in Tunisian and wanted to take a photo with me, with my phone. After we had taken the photo, he said "Merci", then kissed me on the cheek and ran away, blushing. So cute!
I get quite a lot of interactions from people here in Tunisia, which I believe has to do mostly with that people like tourists, that I look different and that I do sports. Even if it feels strange sometimes (especially on the beach when I'm swimming) to take photos with people, I don't really mind it. When I lived in Asia, especially in China, people were so fascinated about Westerners because of their "white skin", "high nosebone", "double eyelids" and fair hair, and always wanted to take photos. I think it's nice that people can appreciate differences in our appearences, and find what's beautiful in our different features. If people want to take photos with me because they think I look exotic, I can deal with feeling a bit uncomofortable if it makes them happy.
Sunset 7.30 PM - can't get enough of this view
About clothes in Tunisia, that is another question that people from back home have asked me about. I thought that you had to be completely covered, like in India, and actually didn't bring much clothes from back home, since I thought that I would buy and wear the traditonal Tunisian clothes (which no one is wearing except for during celebrations, by the way). Where I live in Sidi Bou Saïd (and La Marsa) I have seen a lot of people with quite short shorts and dressed, even though it's Ramadan, and then people are even supposed to tone down their dressing style a bit. Apparently things will change a lot after Ramadan; clubs will open, there will be more people in the streets all the time and not only after 10 PM, and people will dress differently. I will therefore wait a bit to comment if people really dress like in Europe here, but as for me, I basically don't feel restricted at all.
I keep looking forward to learn more about this country and its people. I basically only spend time with Tunisians at and outside of work, and I really enjoy it and feel that I learn a lot from it. The world is really a big place, but the more you travel and see, the more you realize how similar people are and as someone at Oriflame wrote today; the most important things in life aren't things.
Warm regards from Tunisia!


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On this blog you can follow some of the Oriflame Global Summer Interns who have been selected for their passion, creativity and energy to complete exciting strategic projects in one of our locations around the world. This summer we will follow Emilia Bryngelsson, who is doing her summer internship in Istanbul and Anton Ekman who will be working in Moscow. Feel Inspired? Do you want to dare yourself and take the leap out in the Oriflame world ? Be on the lookout on our corporate site when applications for Global Summer Internship 2018 opens up in December!

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