In China to compete in the Miss World paegent, Miss SA Remona Moodley says shes glad she watches her diet.

Durban - Miss South Africa Remona Moodley is cautious in what she orders to eat.

Due to the language barrier the waiters in China cannot understand her requests.

So like the other Miss World contestants they often rely on the Chinese pageant winner to serve as their interpreter.

Otherwise Remona may just have been served a sliver of braised donkey meat.

Fortunately for her, she carried along protein bars but those did not last too long.

“When you unwrap it the other contestants hear the paper crinkle and want to know what you’re eating. So the bars are gone.

“Other than that I eat a lot of fruit. There are some sumptuous meals here. If you forgot you were at the Miss World contest, you could really pile on the pounds,” she laughed.

POST caught up with Remona at 11pm on Monday (Chinese time) – that’s 5pm locally.

“We just had dinner, so I will most probably go to bed at midnight. I then have to be up at 6.30am, head for breakfast at 7.30am, and it’s rehearsals until lunchtime.

“After that we rehearse again before dinner. It’s long hours but I was prepped well.”

She is room-mates with Miss Scotland, Nicole Treacy.

“We have become like sisters. We come home to each other every night and talk about our experiences.”

Remona’s mom Bev and dad Daya arrived in Ordos last week and are enjoying touring.

Besides them another fan will be rooting for her in the crowd. He is Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla.

“Yes, I spoke to him. He said he would fly the South African flag in the audience,” she said.

Asked whether she enjoyed shopping in the city, she responded: “Sadly not. I wish I knew what the malls looked like. Due to our busy schedules the only shops we’ve been to are the grocery stores. Fortunately though we have been on many tours.”

Remona was frank about her chances of being crowned Miss World.

“It’s difficult to judge. You could drive yourself crazy sitting and thinking of your chances, especially when the Miss World is known to be an unpredictable contest.

“We don’t even know who the judges are. They have not arrived as yet.”

She is unable to check her Facebook messages since heading for China a month ago as the social media network is banned.

However, a friend is keeping her updated via email about the well wishes.

Remona, an electrical engineer by qualification, intends heading for Beijing for two days after the contest.

“I will finally get to shop.”

She will arrive home on August 22.

Remona was told in June that as First Princess at the Miss South Africa pageant she would have to step in for the reigning queen Melinda Bam who was unable to compete due to personal reasons.

Bam however will compete in the Miss Universe pageant later this year. - POST

* The contest will be screened on SABC 3 on Saturday at 9.35pm.