18 Jun Hong Kong Food is a Gift from Heaven
I have officially been here for a week now, and I have to say I really like Hong Kong. It’s modern, there’s signal even on the subway, and I found out my Cantonese is good enough to get around. The Hong Kong internship has been really great, but I guess it’s not exactly representative of the Hong Kong culture as most of the people in the firm are British people doing business with other British people. The company is rebranding to a specialist management consulting firm, which is actually better for me as it gives me a sneak preview into a field I would potentially want to explore in the future. The food is incredibly cheap and good, but I feel like the local foods are a bit out of the ordinary for foreigners. Seeing as I’ve been deprived for a year from Chinese food while studying in France though, the food in Hong Kong is like a gift from heaven. I’ve gotten a chance to explore most of the tourist attractions, and I’d say I’ve found myself well-situated in this city. Here’s just a brief breakdown of my last week:
Day 1: Arrive at the airport, meet my roommate, and decide to go for a walk outside and “explore” the city…. Until it started pouring rain, and we got a free shower.
Day 2: Meet the rest of the interns for breakfast at the hotel and listen to a presentation at around noon by Jakub about cultural differences. Then, we get some free time to move in before heading out for a night tour and an 8-course dinner at the Jumbo floating restaurant.
Day 3: First day of work. I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect but the intern coordinator was ridiculously nice. The office view of the harbor also gives a nice excuse to space-out when needed, and the small environment allows me to learn more from everyone.
Day 4: I get assigned to do a report on social media networks, so I research the top 20 social networking sites and mobile applications globally. I created an Excel with the site, the description, number of registered users, number of active users, revenue stream and business model, cost per user, profit per user, and revenue in the last year. I also read a couple articles a day from Mashable or Techinasia to get a sense of the industry and its news… pretty interesting.
Day 5: It’s a public holiday, so we head to Stanley beach to watch the Dragon Boat Festival. It’s a super unique environment, and all the teams are dressed in crazy costumes. We shop around Stanley market, and I buy a painting for 60 HKD, which is like around $7. Then we stumble upon Stanley Plaza, where we had a little photo shoot, enjoyed the view, and ate like everything in sight while listening to a free concert outside.
Day 6: More work on social media research, filled out the company description for the new website of the consulting firm, and did a Powerpoint on the company structure and overview for future interns and clients. The mood of the company was a little different today though, since the primary investor, Hassan, is to come tomorrow, so everyone is a bit nervous to make sure everything is right and prepared.
Day 7: Casual Friday already, but I have to say probably the most boring day so far. The Beijing office created a powerpoint for the quarterly report that we are supposed to present to a client called 51Give, with whom we manage their Weibo account, but the problem is, they went a little overboard with the graphs and pie charts and bar graphs. So we asked for the raw data, and I re-created some graphs and whatnot. Then, I think Claire, our manager, was a bit stressed by her own work, so we ended up helping the workers downstairs move everything to our new office, which is a floor lower. We moved all our stuff too, and 1 week into the company, and we already have our own desk cubicles. Then one of the employees bought pizza and some beer to celebrate the moving-in to our new office, and we stayed and chatted for a bit after. Then, Claire invited us to her friend’s fancy salon, and I got a free goody bag of make-up and youth regeneration cream out of it… a little early, but I won’t complain. Finally, we went to Claire’s house for some drinks and a game of Taboo, and even though I felt really young, I really enjoyed the night. We stopped by Lang Kwai Fong before heading home on Friday evening; it was a really great start to the first weekend.
Day 8: We wake up at 8:45 for a half-day tour around Hong Kong. Unfortunately it was raining, so when we went up to Victoria Peak, we couldn’t really see so much. We took a little boatride in Aberdeen harbor and ended in Stanley Plaza again, but after spending the evening there 2 days ago, I wasn’t really compelled to stay there. So we went to Causeway Bay for some shopping and eating, which lasted us until dinner time where we ate a local Cantonese restaurant and finished with a Starbucks… which you might think is so American and non-exotic, but I ordered a Red bean & Green Tea Frappuccino, so I’d say I’m taking good advantage of my time here.
Day 9: We went to the Hong Kong history museum for an educational experience on the history of Hong Kong, but I was so incredibly hungry, I didn’t really absorb anything from the Japanese occupation onwards. Don’t worry though, problem solved when I ordered a giant bowl of noodles and some weird Plum Kumquat Honey tea, which is apparently a super healthy drink, so I figured ehh, why not? We walked around the Avenue of the Stars after and sat in the Starbucks, which one of the interns, Junhee, calls “#1 tourist destination in Hong Kong,” but I have to give it to him; it’s a pretty nice Starbucks. Then we headed home by ferry before our sponsored dinner at a Szechuan restaurant that made everyone tear up from the spiciness. Then, I figured I’d get home early so I could wish my dad a happy father’s day and get a good night rest before Monday. All in all though, pretty good week I’d say.