Wow. The past four months just whizzed by. It feels like just yesterday I was living the life I am now. At my family’s. Alone. Bored. Everything went by so fast. I had so much fun travelling, partying, and chilling with everyone I met at HKUST. I took Tina to the airport today, and there I saw a couple other HKUSTers that I had to say bye (or see ya later) to. It was actually really tough. It finally hit me when I was spending time with family in Hong Kong; the city is a only small part of the experience. Without the people, exchange would have been shit.
I realize now that everyone (or most of you) are gone that being in Hong Kong right now is nothing without everyone here. Maybe being back home is a good thing, since then I am actually closer to everyone I’ve met here than if I stayed in Hong Kong (other than you Australians and Malaysians!) I am so grateful that I met so many awesome people on my 4 months in Hong Kong. I am so grateful that HKU was full and I was forced to go to HKUST. I’ll be honest, at first I was not that fond of going to such a small university. Now, I realize that because HKUST was so small, it allowed me to see more exchange students more often. This resulted in me getting to know everyone much better than if I were on a campus as big as HKU. Not only that, when we went out, we went out as exchange. We completely DOMINATED clubs and bars. Bar George? Pi? Hyde? Azure? Every time I went to those clubs, I think at least half the people there were from HKUST. This made the clubbing experience so much more fun.
Another thing that brought a lot of us together was a mutual hate of the locals’ antics. Stealing laundry? Stealing food? Seriously man, how bad do you have it in Hong Kong?
Do I regret (maybe) falling behind in my studies at home because of this exchange? No. Not “maybe not”. Just a full fledged no. I would not trade anything in the world for what I got out of the exchange here. A world full of friends to party with! It also changed my perspective on life. I now feel like I should travel around more while I still can. In doing so, I can experience the world, and I can see all your pretty faces again! We will meet again, someday!
With that said, Hong Kong has been a relatively boring experience now that I am living at my family’s place. My second last day in Hong Kong, I accompanied my cousin to his workplace at some country club/horse jockey training camp where he teaches English. The country club was actually pretty interesting, and it was neat to see what goes into training jockeys. He told me that golf in Hong Kong is only for rich people, and that membership at this club costs upwards of $1,000,000HKD. Dude, I have a golf course in my backyard. That’s “ridic”. I got to play with horses though!
My last night in Hong Kong was spent at my family’s place eating a home cooked meal and just drinking with my family. Funny to see so many old people get drunk off so little. One of my relative’s names is “Musso” and for the entire night I thought my family was just mispronouncing the food “Muscle”. Tomorrow I will be having lunch with one of the persons that is actually staying in Hong Kong to work. It will be my last day in Hong Kong. What have I learned in Hong Kong you ask?
- For being a cantonese speaker, I still feel foreign living in Hong Kong. The culture is just so different!
- The living conditions can get really bad here. Many people are under the poverty line in Hong Kong, especially with a $12HKD minimum wage. Heck, the minimum wage in Toronto is about $10CAD. That’s 10 times the HK minimum wage.
- Locals. Don’t get me started.
- Other than the locals referred up there, the locals are generally very outspoken. A lot of them aren’t afraid to argue and make a fuss. Also, they also respect elders here more than at home, I would say.
I’m glad I got to spend the last 4 months with an awesome group of people from all over the world. Thanks for an awesome experience, and I’ll see you later!
All in all, no regrets.