Settling In

Good morning from Hong Kong!  I’m in my dorm writing this, with a view overlooking the bay, and there is an occasional breeze rolling through:

Not too bad

It’s not too bad.

The airplane trip wasn’t too notable.  Fairly typical, nothing fancy.  Although I must say the in-flight meals aren’t as bad as the comedians make them out to be.  Also, I found this little gem in a bathroom in the Tokyo airport:

The weird things people do in bathrooms

From what I can tell, the images are conveying these thoughts:

  1. Don’t leave your baby in the chair while doing your makeup, or else…
  2. …the baby might crawl out of his seat, then…
  3. …fall on the floor and explode, and finally…
  4. …develop an addiction for nicotine.

After arriving at about 10:30 PM local time (and spending about 26 straight hours awake, to help me get more jet lag), I took a taxi to the university.

The taxi driver didn’t speak great English, and I don’t speak great Cantonese, so the conversations were a bit awkward and conceptual.  We talked about Disney World for a while, but I’m not sure what exactly we said about it.  I was tired, dehydrated, and developing an awful headache from his crazy driving.  After a while, we both fell silent.  Then, to break all cross-cultural boundaries, he turned on the radio to “Call me Maybe”, and we both sang along.  Good times.  In addition, I didn’t throw up from the car dizziness, so it was a successful trip.

My roommates weren’t in when I arrived, so I went ahead and unpacked everything.  I had a tour scheduled the next day at 8:30, so this was my only chance for a while.  So I got to bed around 2:00 AM local time, because I am a masochist who loves to be sleep-deprived.

I had a great time on the tour, mostly just meeting people from all over the world.  Several people from America, some from Australia, Denmark, UK, Finland, Canada, Italy, Germany…the list goes on.  The tour itself was very interesting, as we got to see local shopping centers, bustling markets, and beautiful gardens.  The gardens were especially interesting, since there was a constant backdrop of skyscrapers standing in stark contrast to the bonsai trees.  If you want to learn more about the places we went, you can look it up yourself; the internet is a great place:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Po

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_Lin_Nunnery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaza_Hollywood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avenue_of_Stars,_Hong_Kong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon_Walled_City

So the tour was very interesting.  One thing I’ve learned is that English is fairly widespread, but only enough for the basics.  Hello, goodbye, 20 dollars…those sorts of phrases.

The campus is very beautiful, but now I must spend my time working with bureaucracy.  I still need to get my bank account, local phone, and class registrations sorted out.  In the meantime, I’ll be sweaty because it is hot and air conditioning is harder to come by here.  You’ll hear from me again soon!

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