A new city to call home

Landed in Hong Kong International Airport two days ago has officially marked a new chapter in my life. A chapter full of surprises, excitement where new memories are about to be made.

On the second of January, I was there standing at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with my dad, and we had one massive suitcase, a small suitcase, one laptop bag, and a shoulder bag. It was always the same thing every time: a mixed feeling. I felt sad for leaving everyone everything I have back home, but I felt excited to have a new experience. At 10pm, I had to leave my dad and checked in to my gate. Too bad only he who could take me to the airport, as my mom and siblings are unable to go due to their schedules. I took the flight to Hong Kong with my three other friends who are also going to have an exchange program at the same university as I am. In midnight we finally depart, and we arrived at 6 am in Hong Kong International Airport.

My dad and I at the airport

New air. New faces. New alphabets on the posters. I know I am no longer in my home.

As I have registered to the Shuttle Bus provided by the campus, so I took that and at 9.30 am we departed from the airport. I was so exhausted and I planned to sleep during the bus ride, but damn…how can I sleep with everything I see from the bus window. There are trees, skyscrapers , double-decker buses as public transportation, the sea, and everything. I know I sound a bit like someone who never see this kind of thing, or in Indonesian we simply say norak but no, I saw a lot of those in Jakarta as well but it was different. It was all mixed into one, I would say that normally in Indonesia when you have developed cities with skyscrapers it is more likely that they don’t have many trees, like Jakarta and Bandung also because the trees have gone and turned into buildings. While in places with a lot of trees and greens will usually have very few tall buildings. But here, everything is mixed. It was beautiful, beautiful and I did sacrificed my sleep to look outside the window.

The view from my bus window


January 3rd. After some times of bus drive, I finally arrived at the Student Residence where I will live for the next five months. I checked in to the residence, got my student card, and so I brought all of the stuffs I have to the residence room.

The City University of HK Student Residence area

After that I went to the Arrival Hall of CityU and then got lost here and there but of course it was normal because it was my first day. At the hall, I got myself a goodie bag with CityU hoodie, universal adapter, schedule of campus orientation & some important papers in it. The best thing was that here were some snacks provided there for free like chicken wings, dumplings, cheesecakes, and also many fruit juices. People don’t lie when they said that culinary unites, because that was exactly what happened. This is where I met many of my first friends, we talked and more importantly, we ate. On that day, we also had a shopping spree to IKEA as a part of the student orientation from the campus. Some people bought many things there for example pillows, blankets, bed sheets, and everything else, but for me I only bought a bed sheet and a blanket because I brought my own things from home. Moreover, after the shopping free, the local buddies took us out for dinner and it was really yummy, and a bit of cultural shock. The restaurant was so loud, the waitress cleaned the table by literally pushing the plates and glasses to aluminium tray and I was so surprised, and also… I drank the tea that supposed to be used to clean the chopsticks HAHA. We were done with the late dinner at around 11pm, but my friends wanted to go to a supermarket so we went to the one nearby and it was still open.

First Hong Kong dinner

After everything’s done, we went back to our own residence and it was pretty late already & I really wanted to sleep. But as how my parents taught me to always be tidy and clean, it wasn’t nice to see my unpack suitcases so I unpacked everything and cleaned the room until 3am. It was a a very tiring yet enjoyable day.

January 4th. I woke up very late, but I know it I must be because I was really busy a day before. After taking shower, I had my lunch at the bistro of the campus with my friends, it was really good but the size was massive. Unfortunately I had to finish it all just because… I feel bad if I don’t. When we were done with that, we went to ARRO office to collect our CityU student card yeay! There are other important cards that I supposed to have in Hong Kong, which are sim card and octopus card (this card can be used to pay the public transportation & other places like 7 eleven, etc), so I went to the MTR station nearby to get a form to apply for student octopus.  Sadly, we couldn’t find any places to buy sim card and people told us to try going to Sham Shui Po which is only two stations away, so we did.

Sham Sui Po

By the way, the MTR system was really good that it makes me wonder when or even will Indonesia has such kind of ‘working’ public transportation? It was really good, they have all the signs and maps in English so it wasn’t that difficult. After we arrived at the destination, we were happy because turns out there is a big big market full of daily appliance there as well, so we went kinda crazy and bought what we need with cheap price there. When we were done, we went back to our residence by the MTR but we stopped by at the Festival Walk mall nearby to find something. Then, we walked back to our residence for some minutes.

After several days of living here, I would say that I actually like everything here, even the slightest part of it. I enjoy the long walks I have to take because the area I am living in is not crowded so it is pleasant to walk around. I love my room because although it is very small, but I can have a taste of HK that is one of the cities with the highest living cost. I like my bed because although it is nothing compared to what I have back home, but my bedsheet I brought from home and the pictures I have put on my bed & wall really remind me of home which was nice to have.

Maybe I will soon feel homesick, maybe I will soon feel like going back home, but it is still later. Until now, I want to spend my time here well and not taking anything for granted. I’ve been there & done that, and I cannot stop regretting about that one thing, so I wouldn’t repeat the mistake again.

Hong Kong is my home, for at least the next five months. I would enjoy, have fun, and live my life to the fullest while I am here. Cheers ❤

One thought on “A new city to call home

  1. Whoa. This is freaking great! Your writing made HK very tangible and real, like I was the one literally (heh, pun intended) visiting it. Well wishes for the study program. I’m sure you’ll do great as always just like when we’re in class. I’m quite sure I’ll be following your FB and this blog for fun (since I haven’t been to HK myself), so thank you for sharing your experience. ^.^


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