21 Aug Reflections of my time in Hong Kong
I’m back where I started when writing the first blog post: on a delayed plane with some time to kill. I’m heading back to Paris now, but after Hong Kong, I toured Yunnan and Szechuan in China for about 2 weeks. My parents came to visit me in Hong Kong and we left on one of those stereotypically Chinese tour buses following a yellow flag around.
I left Hong Kong a little sad. It was only 2 months, but I decided I could really get used to the life there. Granted it’s not realistic to live in a 4-star hotel for 2 months, but it was really nice life: morning runs in the gym, breakfast facing the harbor, interesting work to do, lunches under the company expense, and outings with friends at rooftop bar. Every day.
I have to say I got pretty lucky though. For some, they weren’t used to the crowdedness. Some left really sick of Chinese food. Well, I was really sick of French baguettes. For me, I left with a new and improved Cantonese skill-set, a part-time job offer, and an obsession with green tea frappucinos.
My last week I went all out. I ate at all the chic-looking restaurants in Central, bought a 9-scoop ice cream set for dessert (I shared it in case you’re wondering), went out with the company, visited Shenzhen, and played Jenga and cards until 4 am with the other interns. I wish I had figured out a little earlier, but Hong Kong is a really exciting city, and there’s something for everyone. But I admit, it takes some searching. It’s full of those hole-in-the-wall shops that no one knows about… like this fresh tropical fruit juice place that sells “jumbo-sized” dragonfruit-papaya or whatever concoction you want for like $2 USD tops. Or Mong Kok. Searching for the perfect Kate Spade look-alike accessory is like looking for a needle in a haystack. And really, there is so much junk in Mong Kok. Actually, I heard it’s the most densely populated metropolitan region in the world. But anyways, the point is that you have to be willing in invest some time and energy, into the culture, the language, the pace of life, etc… Sometimes I get really tired, especially since I’ve been pretty out-of-touch with home base (America). But what’s the point of being young if you don’t move around right? I think I’ve matured a lot since I left home almost exactly a year ago, and I’d say I’m pretty comfortable maneuvering around Europe, Asia, and America. I’m really lucky to just travel where I’d like, not to mention under the pretense of study and work, but I really think seeing the world offers knowledge that’s unattainable in an academic setting. It’s true it’s hard to keep in touch with friends from home, and it’s hard to hold onto a base of familiarity. Like any experience, it’s give-and-take; it’s what you want to make of it, but personally, my summer in Hong Kong was truly an unforgettable experience. Who knows, maybe next year, there’ll be 2.0 version of this blog.