Thursday, August 27, 2009

EC in the HK

Day 1

I’m so proud of myself. I didn’t think I could make it through a 20 hour flight. The only flying experience I had prior to today was going to Cali or New York which are about 3.5 hour flights and I’m kissing the ground when we land. I mentally prepped myself for this long flight and it flew by faster than I knew it thanks to Hannah Montana, Monsters vs. Aliens, and The Fast and The Furious. International flights include an entertainment center where you can play movies, watch shows, listen to music, or play games. I’ve become bff with the Disney Channel in 20 hours.
I had a connecting flight to New Wark and on the way there I sat next to a chatty American woman. She was also very sweet; she woke me up for meals and then passed my trash when I fell asleep afterward. The first cultural difference I saw was before I landed in HK. In my HK plane ride, I sat next to a middle-aged asian woman who was extremely quiet. We both placed our trash in the middle seat but while I was asleep she only passed down her trash although it was next to mine. Asian people tend to keep more to themselves.
When I stepped off the plane, I felt like I was in a totally different world. I’ve never seen so many Asian people in my life and not just Asian people, Chinese peoples! I ran to the ladies room and I noticed another difference. The restrooms are pretty tiny. It contained 4 stalls instead of the massive 3872883 in Texas restrooms. I also couldn’t help but notice all the paranoid Chinese people wearing face masks.
Luckily, my mom’s family friend picked me up from the airport. We had the hardest time locating each other at first. We sent each other a picture over the email but apparently done up Erica and raggedy, nappy haired, four-eyes just got off of a 20 hour plane ride Erica does not look remotely alike. We ate at a noodle restaurant in the airport ($48 HKD) before embarking on our trip. Apparently at HK restaurants, they only give you one napkin, people have to provide their own. They also give you hot water because cold water is not a known concept here. We took a double-decker bus to Kowloon which took about 45 minutes. Then we hopped on a taxi for the rest of the way taking about another 30 minutes. English and Cantonese are the official languages of HK so almost all the road signs were written in both English and Chinese. The yield sign looked the same but instead it said “Give way”. On our ride, I asked Jackie about things I should know about Hong Kong. He informed that Hong Kong is notorious for pick pocketers so to make sure I have my money and valuable items in secure places. I guess this is what makes Asian people so paranoid. Drivers in HK are on the right side and the mode of transportation for the majority of the population is the mass transportation systems: busses, taxis, and transits. Most of the cars on the rode were either buses or taxis. Jackie doesn’t own a car. I can’t imagine life without a car! As we were traveling, I was looking at the city scene. We passed by central HK and there were people walking all over the streets and shops with fluorescent and neon signs. This is no American emulated Chinatown, this was the real deal. However, it looked no different then some of the American Chinatowns, I felt like I was in NY Chinatown or Los Angeles Chinatown instead of a different country.
My dorm is pretty small. I never knew there was a bed size smaller than twin. My mattress is swimming in my twin sheets. The dorm is a somewhere in-between Jester and San Jac. It’s nice but still has a Jester feel to it. It feels strange to be dorming again when I’m so use to having my own room and bathroom. I feel like a freshman all over again.
They have this complicated system to get A/C in the room. Apparently A/C doesn’t come with the dorm costs. You have to take your resident ID to a different building to charge it with money and then go to your floor to charge A/C to your room. It costs $1HKD for 75 minutes of A/C!
Now I’m off to get my sleep schedule back in order. Till next time, joi keen (see you later in Cantonese)!

1 comment:

lost duckie said...

No central air, no car, hot water and one napkin? I think I won't survive too long. Good Luck!