Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hong Kong Diary, #2.

Who would've known that mid-October to early-November is midterm exam season in Hong Kong? (well... ignoring the fact that this time of the month is usually when midterms happen) So I have found myself venturing into the unknown territory a.k.a this-is-what-retirement-must-feels-like kind of life... a.k.a. the two-week break between every semester. Only this time the break lasts for about a month and a half before I go back to YVR.

This past two months or so, I had a stint working at my parent's office, met up with some old friends, and numerous photo-outings I had have turned up some decent shots around. (although I am too lazy to do any photo editing...) Still, me being in Hong Kong for over two months now have been more than sufficient enough for me to gather some thoughts and observations about life in Hong Kong as an ex-honger.

So here below, mesdames et messieurs, are my findings:

1. Hong Kong is not as hot as I previously anticipated. Now, this could be both good and bad -- right now, this weather of 17-ish degrees feels a lot like summer in Vancouver, which is perfectly comfortable. The flip side is, everybody's already wearing thick jackets while I still go out wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Talk about looking like a freak.

2. Of course, the canucks t-shirt I wear (the one with the big VANCOUVER on it) when I go out doesn't really help me blend in with the locals. But what else can I wear on the day when the game is on?

3. More signs that separates you from a true honger: if you bother to buckle the seat belt when you're on a minibus that's doing 200km/h down a hill, you're not a honger. Worse, locals will look at you funny and secretly think that you're a pussy.

4. I have invented a whole-new activity called Honger-spotting -- it consists of traveling to the nearest MTR station and watch 40,000 people trying to jam themselves into a subway car.

5. For a bonus, after you've managed to make your way into the train, look for the ones that can maintain a zen-like perfect balance without holding onto anything while the train travels at warp speed. Those, my friends, are the 100% authentic Hongers. Note to Vancouverites: do not attempt this on the skytrain. People will topple over like a pack of dominos.

6. Living in Hong Kong really isn't as cheap as I thought. I came with about 2500 HKD and now I am on life-support. Transport really is not as cheap as everyone make it out to be. My trip to Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui usually drains 30 bucks out of my wallet. A decent dinner costs about 70 dollars. A good movie is about 80 bucks. I suppose all that is nothing really... Once I paid $450 million for this roof that can't block the rain. I may have been drunk when that happened.

7. Plus, where else can I complete my Stephen Fry novels collection? (and no, not Canada -- Chapters seem to have a hatred for British books for some reason) All the novels I bought probably took away 700 bucks alone. Damn you Stephen Fry, why do you have to be such a good writer?

8. I managed to track down some of my old elementary school teachers -- which is nice because I get to see how everyone is doing after 10 years. However, they are only available after school hours so I often have to stand outside school gates with a giant black SLR camera waiting for kids to come out. In other words, I am more suspicious than the grassy knoll.

9. Walking through Mong Kok during the day would be quite some challenge -- not because of the sheer number of people there night and day, but because of the amount of coffee's-for-closers-type marketers out on the street and grabbing you by the scruff of the neck to see if you're interested in a new internet plan. Solution? a) Avoid eye contact. b) Pretend to be deaf. Or, if they are really aggressive, then c) Stab your own eyes 100 times and listen to a Justin Bieber album for 10 minutes, which will give you the effects of a) and b).

10. Seriously though, someone should print t-shirts that has "no soliciting" in big black bold font specifically for walking around Mong Kok. Often with all the crowds and these damn marketers getting in the way, it's just impossible to get from one end of the street to another.

11. Checked my facebook wall today and Teresa thankfully jinxed my holiday by mentioning something about a 20-page essay and all nighters. I am starting to worry about how I'll get to study mode again once I get back to SFU. Speaking of SFU, my registration date for next semester is at 9:30am PST on November 15. Which means I have to register at 12:30am on November 16 Hong Kong time. Crap.

12. Two weeks ago I went on a trip to Guilin, China for 5 days. The views were spectacular with the mountains and lakes. The experience was further enhanced when we were mooned by a woman defecating into a lake we were traveling on.

13. If you embark a trip to China, do keep in mind that most caution and warning signs made by the Chinese government are not to be taken seriously. When you see a sign that says "Carefully Slipping" or "Care Meet", the proper reaction is to go ahead and laugh your ass off.

Who can take this seriously?

14. God bless Playstation and NHL 11. Thanks to Sony, I have managed to resurrect the Winnipeg Jets and win like 10 Stanley Cups for the Vancouver Canucks... Which is coincidentally 10 more than what the real team has achieved. Sigh.

15. Speaking of the Canucks, as CBC video streaming doesn't work in other countries, my only way of keeping myself updated is through the boxscore on the NHL website and Passittobulis (thank you for your awesome updates by the way). There isn't a bigger slap in the face knowing that Vancouver beat Detroit 6-4 but not being able to watch the whole game. I feel like a fat kid nobody wants on their sports team watching the action from behind a fence. 2000 miles away.

16. Ahh, yes. I also went to Disneyland with Sonia. The park, despite its ridiculous small size, has some impressive features -- for instance, in keeping with its Main Street, USA theme, the entire park closes early at 8 pm.

17. Bohemian Rhapsody + Karaoke = Most epic singing experience ever.

18. My new HP laptop is awesome. And it's even more awesome when I discovered its ability to extend the desktop to a second screen -- which means I can go home and pretend that my bedroom is the control room from the Matrix.

19. On a serious note, Remembrance Day is near and surprisingly they have donations available at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Central. Go make a donation and get a poppy if you haven't already -- although the only ones they have are the British ones. So for now I'll just pretend that I am British.

20. Next time when I come back home to Vancouver, watch for me on the news as I will come as a 60-year-old British lady.