So, its 2:00pm right now and I’m sitting in my room with a bowl of half-finished oatmeal by my side listening to the typhoon rage outside my window. Not exactly the picture of exchange I had in mind.
It’s been about a week into my time in Hong Kong, I thought I’d do a little bit of reflection on how it’s been!
The first thought I had when I stepped out of the plane in Asia was that its extreeemely hot. It felt like someone wrapped 10 blankets around me, then pushed me into a sauna. It’s supposed be autumn right now, but sticky, suffocating heat, with the occasional intense rain/thunder/lightening is not what I usually associate with autumn. The way they blast aircon inside lecture theaters is even worse than in New Zealand though (one of my classes are so bad that I’m actually considering bringing a puffer jacket 🙁).
Compared to my reactions when I first stepped into Carlaw, I was quite disappointed when I stepped into my hostel, mainly since I was dipping into my savings and forking out some megabucks for it. Now that I’ve stayed here for three nights though, I can honestly say, for Hong Kong, it’s really pretty good. I’ve got my own bathroom, and heaps of shelves/cupboards, the water is purified and boiled (true water drinkers will know this is important 😉). The only complaint in terms of facilities I have is that I don’t have Wi-Fi in my room, but that’s okay because a couple of friends and I have taken over the lounge to bask in the fans and free Wi-Fi 🤪.
In terms of locals, the people I’ve encountered have been nothing but lovely. Everyone is really polite and helpful and the aunties at restaurants and supermarkets especially, are super motherly.
I made a couple of new friends at an orientation event, but with this weather, and with all of us living in different areas of Hong Kong, made it extremely hard for us to meet up. To be perfectly honest, the biggest downside of not being placed in a hall on campus, or even in a hall with other students, is that I don’t get to make new friends, or meet up with existing ones. My neighbours are both middle aged working women who (although lovely), aren’t exactly my type of crowd. Being so far away from other students means my hopes of being able to play board games, chatting or just hanging out etc. with a group of friends in my room have been crushed. It really doesn’t help that I’m not allowed visitors in my room, and that my accommodation closes its doors at midnight.
On a much happier note, the food in Hong Kong is delicious! A specialty of Hong Kong is ‘Hong Kong style cafes, where instead of coffee and brunch, they have milk tea and a selection of food such as French toast, pineapple buns, instant noodles with ham and egg, chicken steak on rice etc. They also have a wide range of different cuisines if you’re not into Hong Kong style food, I had one of my best pasta experiences in a food court yesterday 🤤, and one of the best meals I had in Hong Kong so far was at a Vietnamese restaurant. What’s really interesting to me is that ‘set meals’ are a huge thing in Hong Kong, e.g. if you want noodles, it usually come in a set with toast with egg, and a drink, usually milk tea, coke and lemon, tea and lemon, etc. (drinks with lemon is also very common).
Speaking of food, I’m getting a little peckish! Let’s end this here and I’ll go and finish my oatmeal! 😅
See you in the next one!