In November last year, I found out that I was offered a 3 month Inbound Research Student scholarship to study at Hong Kong Polytech Uni. Naturally, I accepted (who in their right mind wouldn’t?!). Yesterday was the beginning of that 3 month adventure.
I have to say, the weeks leading up to my departure yesterday were hectic. Work to finish; papers to make progress on; questioning if it was the right thing to do; wondering how it would affect my completion date; getting scared shitless because I’ll rock up and have no idea about what’s going on; and the ongoing, never ending doubts about actually leaving Daniel and Dann for 3 months so that I can selfishly do my thing. Luckily for me, Dann is awesome and super supportive, and we’ve also managed to make it so that both he and Daniel can come to HK for the majority of the time. They’ll arrive in HK 10 days after me. Still, the guilts came and went. And came and went. As, I suppose, they are bound to.
The farewell at the airport was not that bad. A few tears from me, but that was to be expected. Remembering Daniel yelling out ‘Bye Mum! Love you Mum! Miss you Mum!’ as I made my way to the aerobridge makes me smile. I had a pit-stop on Sydney before flying to HK. Just long enough to catch up with my lovely friend, Marina. Lucky she works near the airport!
The flight to HK was pretty uneventful. For most of it, I tried to rest, but ended up just watching movies and drinking Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Special Cocktail’ with vodka. Why anyone would have it without vodka is beyond me. ‘Pitch Perfect’ was freaking awesome. As was ‘Seven Psychopaths’. ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, well, let’s just say that there’s an hour and a bit of my life that I’ll never get back. I should have watched ‘Ted’ instead.
My accommodation in HK is a bit all over the place. I’m spending a week or so renting a bedroom in someone’s apartment, then moving into a 1 bedroom apartment around the corner when it becomes available, and then into a
2 bedroom place for the last 2 months. I figure it’ll give us a good feel of the place! All these places I’d found through AirBnB. So far, so good. Tizi, the owner of the apartment I’m in at the moment seems nice. She seems to travel around a lot, and is currently doing a Spanish language course.
One excellent thing about staying with her is that she gives her guests a micro-sim to use which has unlimited broadband, free local calls, and there’s unlimited wireless at the apartment. Being connected = awesome.
Arriving in HK at night is brilliant. There are people everywhere, the shops are open until late, the restaurants even later. I love the noise of the city, so I’m loving the noisiness of it all. I think all the excitement had finally caught up with me though, as I couldn’t get to sleep at all last night! I eventually did at around 2am, but woke up at 5am. I managed to get back to sleep until 7.30am, but only after convincing myself that nothing was open at 5am so it wouldn’t be worth me getting up and hunting around for a coffee and breakfast! The idea of going for a run entered my brain, but left a millisecond later.
The plan for the day, once I got out the door, was to just explore and to buy a couple of things: an Octopus card, an electrical socket converter (the one I brought with me wouldn’t work) and to get a handle of the pre-paid mobile/data plan situation. I managed to accomplish the first two before lunch. I’ve figured out that I want the PCCW pre-paid with data plan. Now just have to find a PCCW outlet. That’s on the list for tomorrow.
The rest of the day was just spend wandering around exploring malls, side streets and the subway. I went to the TST Boulevard in the late afternoon with hopes of hanging out until the light show, but it started raining, so I headed back to the apartment. I sadly had Maccas for lunch. Mainly because I hadn’t realised how hungry I was and it was just there, and also because it was cheap. Afternoon tea was had at a little French patisserie I found in my wandering around. Not cheap though. Dinner was pho. Super tasty, and almost as cheap as Maccas. An added bonus is that it’s just 5 doors down from the apartment!
Finally, I had plans of going to bed early. But hey – why do that when HK is open until late?! So I booked myself in for a haircut. I thought this would be somewhat foolish, as making the appointment itself was a bit disjointed due to my inability to speak Mandarin, and the person taking the booking’s inability to speak English very well. In the end, I needn’t have worried. The stylist I ended up with was great. I guess ‘just a trim’ translates to any language in the hairdressing profession.
So, plans for tomorrow? Well, find a PCCW outlet. Hop on the Star Ferry and head over to HK Island to explore. But first thing in the morning, I’ve booked in to do a hot yoga class. May as well make the most of it while I’m here!