Today was the first day in Hong Kong the culture shock started to affect me. I had my first 3 classes today – Visual Cultures of HK (which I feel is SO relevant to things I’m interested in so I’m excited), my accounting class I need to apply to business school this winter, and China Through the Eyes of the West. I have an Australian, a Chinese teacher who studied/worked in Boston, and a Brit, so I’m okay as far as instructors go but classes are FOREVER long. I can barely sit through a 50 minute class, let alone a 90-120 minute class. It’s vaguely torture as far as I’m concerned, but I’m not much for classes in the first place.
Anyway, so class today… students pretty much just talk through the lecture. And it’s not like in America where the teacher tells you to shut up or tries to be witty and funny about it, they just ignore it. And I was a little tired today, so Cantonese to me just sounded like the students were singing under their breath (which honestly, as far as I know, was all they were doing) or being crazy. So that was a little frustrating.
The small cultural differences kind of wore on me this morning… I was trying to get ready and I just felt so weird and foreign about it. In America, I think my habits are normal to obsessively normal (my habits being showering, hair, make-up, dressing, etc. etc….)... In my family I’m known to take multiple showers a day just because I like to feel constantly clean. I felt so weird doing it here this morning though. It’s not like today was the first day I got ready, but most of the students came back to campus last night or today because they were still on holiday. Also, I think me waking up at 830 am to go run is also a kind of foreign concept, but I don’t get the yelling and strange looks like I did in Italy when I was doing that!
So yes… today I felt very foreign. I guess today was the first day I had some time to sit and think about it, so that could also have played a role.
Two of the students at Lingnan who studied at WVU are taking us out for dinner tonight. Tomorrow night the WVU kids (and whichever other students want to go, of course!) are going to go into Central Hong Kong to watch the Inagauration… which starts at 1 or 2AM Hong Kong time. I hope to get some sleep tonight and a nap tomorrow so I can stay out late! But as all young people, especially WVU students know, that isn’t a problem. :)
This was the Hong Kong skyline from the top of a tower a French exchange student took us to Friday night.
One of the Lingnan students, or buddies, as they are known, took us to a Thai restaurant Thursday night.
The WVU students at Victoria’s Harbor Saturday night!