The other city that never sleeps…. Hong Kong

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After our beyond amazing time with our family and friends it was time for Paulo and I to head back to work. 

We arrived in Hong Kong the night of the 16th of January and were both very happy to be back in such a great city. We were greeted by one of our bookers, who just so happens to be from Mississauga ( such a small world!), and she took us to our temporary apartment. We had to stay in the boys apartment for the first couple days as our apartment was not ready for us just yet. 

Natalie, our booker, was very excited to inform me that I had a job the very next day! Which was a fantastic start to the contract and I hope a great insight into what the next couple months will bring. I arrived at my job feeling pretty energized and made it to the time I was supposed to work. I am not going to lie, when they told me we would do an extra hour I just about fainted from exhaustion as I was completely jet lagged! I was extremely lucky though, and the crew I was working with was very understanding and made sure I had coffee and water to keep me going. It was a great job and I am so grateful to have started this contract on such a positive note.

We have now been here for about a week and a half and things are still going well. There haven’t been any more jobs as of yet, but we have had quite a few castings so I am hoping to get some positive news soon! 

We have moved into our own “apartment” which is more like a dorm room to be honest hahaha but this is Hong Kong and it is all that we need for the next couple months. 

This week will be Chinese New Year so we will have some time to do touristy things and take lots of pictures so I can show all of you! 

I’ll make this a short one but will write again soon.

Until next time,

Alyssa xoxo

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A dream is a wish your heart makes….

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So it was an AMAZING 1.5 months back in North America! Celebrating the holidays with my family and loved ones in Florida was beyond magical and I simply can not wait for it to happen again in the year to come. Seriously, I’ve already been looking at our schedules and flights 😛

It was not only the first time I had been with my entire family in YEARS, but it was also Paulo’s very first time in North America. I am beyond happy to say that he absolutely loved it. Although, I do wish he could have seen Canada we had an amazing time in Florida and he had more than one dream come true on his visit… the biggest being going to Disney World!

The week before we were setting off on our next work adventure we made a plan and headed down to Disney. My Mom, Romeo, Paulo and I all hopped in the car one morning and took off to the most magical place on earth.

The closer we got to Orlando, the more excitement you could see on Paulo’s face… it was so awesome. He may be 23 but I think the excitement of going to this Magical Kingdom that you’ve been hearing about since you were a child will never wear off!

We arrived in Orlando and first thing was first, we had to take Romeo to his Doggy Day Care…. but as those of you who know Romeo, when he goes to Day Care… he does not just go to any old sit in a crate all day Day care… no no no. Romeo Parlee had his own villa for the day, which included 2 walks, 1 on 1 playtime ( even though he just wanted to snuggle), he had his very own private room with a flat screen TV that played Animal Planet and cartoons for him all day, he also had his own personal veranda so he was able to go out for some fresh air whenever he pleased. Basically, his room for the day was better than the room we had hahahaha Below are some pictures.

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After dropping Romeo off at his own special retreat, we then made our way to Disney! It was awesome. The best part was not only seeing the excitement on Paulo’s face, but also being able to spend the entire day with my Mom as well!
We watched parades, went on rides, met characters, watched a show, and saw an AMAZING firework display that only a place as magical as Disney could present. It was simply a GREAT day!
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After an incredible day/night spent at Disney we went back to pick up Romeo and headed to our hotel. We ordered a pizza and prepared for the next day, it’s safe to say someone was approving of his trip.
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The next day after a nice rest Paulo and I headed for Universal ( mom didn’t want to go 😦 ) Universal is definitely one of my favourite places to go in Orlando… it’s always so much fun!! Paulo loved it and I had such an amazing time… I have been looking forward to going to The World of Harry Potter for years!

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It was an amazing couple days and I am so happy we were able to make it to Orlando and have such an amazing time. I can’t wait to go back ( hopefully next year! )

Thanks for reading, I will post again soon. Lots of new adventures coming your way 🙂

xoxo Alyssa

 

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Brasil, Brazil, Brasil…

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As many of you already know, on October 28th I returned to Brazil with Paulo in preparation for his sisters wedding. We arrived on the 29th and my parents flew in on the 31st excited for their very first trip to South America. The first days were a blur as we were all preparing for the wedding. The days following the wedding were filled with fun and exciting adventures as well. I plan on writing a post about all the fun time we had later on… however, I decided I would write a bit of a different post first.

Although we had some AMAZING times in Brazil and my parents were astonished by the beauty of the country, the trip didn’t always go as happily as we had hoped/planned.. and this is what I have decided to write this post about. Our unfortunate experience that turned the trip from an absolute dream, into a complete nightmare.

About a week after my parents had arrived in Brazil and we had already had some truly amazing/special moments we decided we would go into Florianopolis for the weekend where Paulo’s family has an apartment by the beach. It’s only about a 30-45 minute drive from where Paulo’s family’s house but we thought it would be nice for my parents to see the beaches as Florianopolis is known for having some of Brazil’s best.

We arrived in the afternoon and visited with Paulo’s sister who has an apartment not too far from where we would be staying. After visiting we walked through the small beach town before heading back to the apartment where we cleaned up a bit and prepared for our weekend by the beach.

At about 8pm we were all pretty hungry and realized we didn’t really have food in the apartment just yet and unfortunately we didn’t have a cellphone to order anything either. So we decided to make the 10 minute walk to the “centre” to grab some pizza. We had a nice dinner and my Dad and Paulo had a couple beers. We were all pretty happy to be where we were and my parents were having such an amazing time in Brazil, they were really falling in love with the country.

I should mention this night, for some reason, I decided to bring a purse with me. I didn’t have much in it… I had 100 reais ( about $50 USD ), a pair of shorts, a stuffed animal Paulo won me… and my iPad. I don’t normally carry a purse with me when I am in Brazil but… this night I did.

After we finished our dinner we were walking home, we were about two blocks away from the apartment when I looked to my left and saw two guys staring at me. All of the sudden they put their hoods up and started screaming “BOLSA! BOLSA!” ( bag! bag!) and that’s when I also noticed the one in the back was pointing a gun at us. I quickly threw them my purse, they ran off, and so did we. We were left in complete shock. It had all happened so fast and I couldn’t believe that it had actually happened at first.
The crazy thing is there was a woman jogging beside us and she didn’t even realize what had happened until the guys ran off as well. She was shaken up and quickly ran off.
With what had just happened starting to sink in, we realized we had no cellphone and headed to a near by restaurant to see if they could help us in calling the police.

At this point I was crying and shaking uncontrollably. It was a nightmare come true. My parents were still in complete shock and I think my dad went into cop mode ( he used to be a police officer ) and was just focused on getting everything sorted and getting us somewhere safe.
The people at the restaurant were beyond nice, the immediately brought us water to try and calm us down and provided us with a cellphone to call the police. While waiting for the police, one of the guys working in the restaurant said he thought he knew who the robbers were and that they had been doing this a lot to the people around the town. Yet they were still on the streets.

Paulo’s brother in law immediately came to the restaurant as soon as he found out what happened and we became focused on trying to get out of the town and back to Paulo’s house ASAP. The police arrived and well.. it’s Brazil. They pretended they cared while one of them smoked a cigarette and the other asked us a couple questions to make it look like they would try to catch the losers who terrorized the few foreigners they had in the town ( it wasn’t tourist season yet)

After speaking with the police we immediately packed up our things in the apartment and left. We were driven to Paulo’s sisters apartment where she decided she would drive us back to their family home that night.
In the car ride home I think it finally hit my parents, my mom started crying uncontrollably and my dad just got REALLY angry.

Once we arrived back in Paulo’s hometown we all felt so much better but unfortunately after that incident our trip just wasn’t the same. Unfortunately that also wasn’t the end of the nightmare. The little punk must have tried to plug my iPad into his computer and it came up as “Alyssa Parlee’s iPad” so he found me on Facebook and tried to sell me my iPad back! I couldn’t believe it. We took the messages to the police once again and once again, they pretended they cared but at least were honest when they said they wouldn’t do anything. They would help us if we wanted to go and get the iPad back but there was no way I was going anywhere near those people!

In the end after the loser kept messaging me non stop I decided to just delete my Facebook account for the time I was in Brazil and later blocked and reported the account I was being messaged from.

I thought I would share this post because as I am sure all of you know, the World Cup is this year and it is being hosted by Brazil. It is a truly exciting time for the country and all Brazilians as their love for soccer is seriously like no other. ( seriously, I thought Canadians loved hockey but Brazil LOVES soccer )

If you have decided to go, or are thinking about going… I beg you to think twice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Brazil, it is a beautiful country and for the most part the people are extremely friendly and very excited to meet people from different parts of the world. However, it is extremely dangerous and even if you are super careful you never know who could be around the corner waiting for the foreigner they saw down the street.
The police even told us it is a good thing I had a bag or they could have seriously hurt us looking for something else.

I realize this is only one bad thing that happened and maybe you are thinking “ah she is over exaggerating, that could have happened anywhere!” You’re right, it could happen anywhere. You could be walking down the street in New York or Alabama and someone could very well come up to you and rob you at gunpoint. The point is, in Brazil this is a daily occurrence and if they see you are a foreigner you are automatically a target.

If my situation is not enough to make you think twice then please take a look at the following articles:

http://backpagefootball.com/brazilian-thugs-promise-world-cup-of-terror/66434/

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/world/americas/brazil-jail-decapitation-video/

These are just a couple of things that have happened recently in Brazil. I can assure you there are many many more.

Like I said, I love Brazil. Will I go back? Most likely, my boyfriend is Brazilian so that might be a problem if I don’t. Will I feel safe going back? Definitely not.
I do not feel safe in Brazil, most of my friends who are Brazilian don’t feel safe in Brazil and it truly is sad because honestly, it is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the bad people seem to be taking over the country and the people who are supposed to be defending and fighting the bad guys are not doing half as much as they should be.

My situation is just an example, the people in that restaurant that night knew who had robbed us. It had happened many times before, the police knew who had robbed us. Yet, those a** holes are still walking around the streets terrorizing and stealing from the people who have worked hard and honestly to make what they have.

This will be the end of my rant because I could go on and on and on about this situation and not because I do not like Brazil or I am anti Brazil… I have said it before and I will say it again… I LOVE BRASIL! I am writing this because it makes me sad…. it makes me sad to see my parents, who were having such a wonderful time, who were falling in love with the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the people, end their trip with fear.. and unfortunately when they think of Brasil or tell others about Brasil… one of the first things they tell them about is the horrible experience we had. It overshadows the good.. and it makes me sad.

I don’t want to see anymore people come back from that amazing country with horror stories to tell their friends. Brasil needs to change and until we start seeing that change… I urge people to really think twice about travelling there.

xoxo,

Alyssa

Hellooooo Guangzhou!!!

So once again I find myself starting a post with an apology for my lack of posting. I know I promised I would try to post more often and yet again it has been a while. What can I say, life of a model is pretty hectic sometimes!! 

Since I last posted Paulo and I have moved from Shanghai to Guangzhou. I can’t believe how fast the time is going by here… we have already been here a month!! 

Since the moment we arrived we have basically had no free time. Which is a good thing I suppose, but also very tiring. We have spent our days either working or going to castings… arriving home around 7 or 8 leaving us with just enough time to eat, go to the gym, come home to shower, go to sleep and then do it all over again the next day.

I am finding myself enjoying this city much more than the last time we visited, Although I have a tendency to stress and worry way more than I normally should I am trying my best to keep calm and not worry too much about how things are going. Only 2 more months until we are going back to Brazil!! 

I am getting very excited 🙂 

Well, I will make this a short one… below are some pics from what’s been happening here so far.

Love you all tons!!

xoxo Alyssa 

 

Guangzhou Tower. 

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Something New :)

Hope you guys enjoy 🙂

Much love…

Until Next time,

Alyssa xo

Work, fun, and surgery?!?!?

Yet again quite a bit has happened since I last wrote. What can I say, China is a busy place and every day is an adventure! I wish I had the time to write every single day so my description of events would be more accurate, however, finding time to even think to myself some days can be quite the challenge!

Last week was definitely an interesting one. Paulo was sick and once we got all of that sorted out ( apparently he ate chinese food that wasn’t properly cleaned ), I woke up with the most horrible pain in my side. If you have known me for a long time, you will know this has happened before and it is not good news!
I immediately went to the hospital where they did ultrasounds and tests and then informed me they found some kind of mass that was causing the pain and that it has to be removed. So Monday I got that removed and Tuesday I spent the day recovering. All I can say is I am sooooo lucky to have Paulo in my life and traveling with me all the time. He took such good care of me, buying me soup and gingerale and doing everything he could to make me feel better. He is truly the best!!

Wednesday it was time to get back to work, I had some castings and then Thursday I was off to another city for work. My jobs and experiences in Hangzhou have always been interesting to say the least. Last year I even started to nickname it Hell-zhou, just to give you an idea. I had a couple good jobs there over the past couple months though and was finally starting to feel okay about going there…. then Thursday happened.

It started out with me having to wake up super early to catch a train. This was fine, but the weather was a real downer as it was pouring out and kind of cold. I got on the train to find I was booked in a middle seat between two big chinese men eating their breakfast. I tried to ignore their constant slurping and chewing with their mouths open and took a bit of a nap.

when I arrived in hangzhou I pretty much ran to the exit and to the taxi stand. It is so crazy here. You think with all the people they would have an order, or just general respect for one another….but no, this is China. You have to push your way to the front of the line and people are constantly trying to find ways to butt in front of you. Luckily there was a foreigner ahead who yelled at them all in mandarin and told them to head to the back.
As I was waiting for the taxi I got over heated and pretty much almost passed out. I had to kneel down on the ground a couple times to try to catch my breathe so of course I became entertainment to the others waiting and they just couldn’t resist taking pictures of the white girl almost fainting in the train station.

Finally, I got a taxi. I got in and handed my driver the piece of paper with the address I needed to go to in Chinese that my agency provided me. He said okay and off we went. When he dropped me off I thought the building looked weird but it was pouring rain and I wasted no time running into the building to try to find the right place. Unfortunately, that taxi driver had just taken me for a ride.
I ended up on the opposite side of the city from where I was supposed to be and was told to try to catch another taxi to take me to the correct place. I stood in the pouring rain for over an hour ( without an umbrella ) before I could finally catch a taxi. My agency had tried calling the client but they said they could not come and get me. I finally climbed into another taxi and was on my way when I got a panicked call from my booker saying I need to tell the taxi driver to go back to where I had been waiting as the client changed their mind and was on their way to get me. SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?

I arrived back to my waiting spot and stood again in the pouring rain and luckily within 5 minutes the client arrived and I was on my way to the correct place. The job in itself was super easy. I was shooting for silk pajamas and the clients were very nice and thought everything I did was “so beautiful”. I love those kinds of clients! The only downside was we were shooting in a furniture store inside a mall and when I was changing I had to constantly tell off pervy chinese men who kept trying to get a peek.

After the job I had expected the client to offer to take me to the station, or at least help me get a taxi ( we were kind of in the middle of nowhere ) I was wrong. I was told I was great and they thought I did a good job and to go on the street and try to catch a taxi myself.

Once again I was on the street, in the rain, with no umbrella. Fun times. I stopped a taxi and asked if they would take me to the station, they said no. Tried taxi number 2, got turned down again. This was not looking good. Just as I was really starting to get a bit mad it started pouring like no tomorrow. I mean, I couldn’t even see in front of me it was raining so hard. So I was no completely soaked head to toe.

That’s when it happened. As I was just about to curse China, a man stepped out of his car with an umbrella ran up to me and handed me the umbrella, telling me to take care. He then ran back to his car and drove off. I couldn’t believe it! There are actually good people out there!! So now I was stuck, but at least I had an umbrella… this day was starting to look up!

I ended up making a deal with a guy on a motorbike to take me to the station for 15rmb as no one else would take me and I was able to catch a fairly early train back to Shanghai. I was so happy!

The rest of the week was easy, easy jobs, and not so many castings. Today is a holiday and tomorrow as well. So it’s nice to have some time to just chill out and do absolutely nothing!

I have been trying out random recipes I find on pinterest and so far it’s been good! Tonight I made stuffed peppers in the crock pot for dinner and for dessert we had sweet potato pancakes with honey, cinnamon “fried” bananas on top. It was soooooo good and best of all healthy!!

Paulo has loved the food I have been making and told me I need to cook for us every day, Im not sure what I have just gotten myself into! hahaha

Anyways that’s all that has been going on here. Lots of the same 😛

I will include some pictures from some jobs I have done and I will make sure to post again soon!

Until next time!

Love,

Alyssa xo

Just another day of me getting married.

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I was so jealous of this cats life!! SO relaxed.Image

Paulo and I shot a magazine together!Image

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Above: Starbucks in the morning makes me happy. Below: Paulo is soooo cute!Image

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Above: Being lazy during the holiday.
Below: Honey-cinnamon, “fried” Bananas for dessert…soooo good!Image

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Above: On my rainy day of adventures in Hangzhou.
Below: Stuffed peppers, our dinner tonight! SOOO GOOD!Image

Busy, Busy, Busy

The title says it all! May has been a busy month! Lots of jobs, and lots of memories created.
I can not complain at all ( aside from the spitting incident… which still upsets me ) it has been another great contract here in Shanghai and I am excited for what June has to offer! 

I have been doing all sorts of jobs this month but one that sticks out as pretty darn awesome is a shoot I did last week. I shot with a photographer that has hated me for the past 5 years. Yep! 5 years! Last time I shot with him was near the end of my very first international trip when I was still a newbie. After that shoot if a client liked me he always told them to pick another model… which obviously resulted in me not being too fond of him either. I never fully understood why he was the way he was to me as the pictures I got from the shoot we did together were amazing! 

Well, luckily I was able to work with him last week and we finally got over our problems. Apparently he was upset with me all this time because I had gained weight my first trip and he just held a grudge. The first thing he said to me was that I lost a lot of weight and look great and from then on the whole day was just a great experience. He even called my agency after to say that he loved working with me and would be contacting them again soon for future jobs! It’s always nice when things like this happen… especially since it was all so silly to begin with! 

In other news I have been extra busy this week. I have been working almost every day and I absolutely LOVE it! Tomorrow I am shooting for wedding dresses so that should be fun… Saturday I think I get to shoot pajamas which is awesome to shoot because it’s so easy! Just smile and be cute 😛 I am super excited for Sunday because I am shooting another TVC!!!! I am not sure for what yet but you better believe I am going to inform you all once I find out! 

I am charging my camera now so be ready for lots of pictures!

In other news my poor little Paulo is sick. We took him to the doctors and they did a bunch of tests so hopefully we will find out soon what’s wrong so we can get him better!! I do not like seeing him down and feeling bad. 

Well, that’s all that’s really been going on here…lots of work! Here are some pics from jobs and sightseeing we have done.

Love and miss ya all!

Until next time,

Alyssa xo

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