Hong Kong after 31 Days

Thirty-one days passed in a blink of an eye.

Hi! Back again with Amalia who has just recovered from her flu & disastrous sore throat for a week. As I haven’t updated anything on this blog for so long, let me recap what I experienced in January in one post. And also, I want to keep things as real as possible so I will reveal both my ups and downs of my first month here ❤

Firstly, let me start by informing you that there are 11 student residence buildings (or we simply call it ‘hall’) and the thing is the greater the number of hall, the newer it is. Me myself stay in Hall 2 – known also as Prosperity Hall – means that I live in one of the oldest student residence. Compared to the other hall, my hall is kinda lacking in terms of facilities because our rooms are smaller, the furniture of course older, the bathroom & toilet is clean but not really looking pretty. Sounds sad? Not really, there is always a positive side of everything tho. Turns out that the smaller the number of the hall, the closer we are to campus which is super nice! Also, I somehow feel like in my hall (or at least in my floor) I kinda feel like it is more like a family than just a building. We had Prosperians Night which was a hall dinner & it was super fun. Other than that, there is a common room on my floor in which we share everything. Every floors in any hall has common room but what they share there depends in every place, but in my common room we literally share everything – including cooking pans, cooking pots, rice cooker, plates, bowls, spoons, knifes, etc. We also scheduled a dessert night every Monday night starting next week. I dunno whether all halls and/or all floors of Hall 2 also plan such event, but until now my friends said it’s really quiet in their hall, people don’t really socialize with each other. So I’m actually really happy with my hall! I mean it. Although sometimes I visited hall 10 and a bit jealous by how beautiful & new everything is.

Moreover, talking about my room, I have met my roommate & bathroom-mates! My roommate, her name is Gina and she is from Shanghai. This is actually my very first time having a roommate so I was really nervous before meeting her, especially that she decorated our door with handmade zombie – yes zombie. I thought she would be… idk having dark hair, black eyeliner, black mascara, black nailpolish and black lipstick and then watch horror movies while laughing. Actually, I won’t judge anyone who loves this kind of thing but I just thought that we would be the exact opposite of each other then, because I love pastel colors & also I’m easily afraid of basically everything. I heard a lot that it is better to have something in common with your roommate so you have something to talk about. By looking at the door, I thought that it’d be hard to find common interest with her because she loves her scary door but I was so frightened by the door, especially that my roommate wasn’t there on my first week so it was just me and mr. zombie. But then, when I met her, she was nowhere near that stupid predictions, then after that I kinda feel bad for judging someone that easily. She turns out to be this beautiful & sweetest roommate you’ll ever have and I really am delighted for having her as my roommate. She’s so kind, helpful, and I think we get along really well which is even better to make my stay here more memorable. There are two pictures below; the one on the left is how my scary handmade zombie door looks like, and the one on the right is my roommate and I when we went out to Tsim Sha Shui.

Other than that, I also have met both of my bathroom-mates, Muskaan and Mayo. They both are full-time students at CityU from India, and they are also extremely nice. They love Indomie (Indonesian instant noodle) so much, and I think more than I do. Few days ago on my birthday, surprisingly they knocked on my door and got me a custard croissant that taste so good and they said sorry but it’s the closest thing they could get to a birthday cake. Oh dear, no need to say sorry, just to know that they actually think of something for me, it made me smile from ear to ear.

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Additionally, other than the three of them, I have also met a lot of people that I highly consider as friends. I love the time when I meet new people, and realizing that I share something in common with them and start to open up myself more. For me, I would say that I have met some girls and guys that I think I can count on. It is so comfortable around these people, and also so enjoyable to spend my time with them & have some fun. Luckily also, I come here to Hong Kong with three other Indonesians that I knew already so it is even make the situation even nicer, because who doesn’t like socializing with your own kind who shares the same taste of foods & sharing language in the land far far away from home? At this point of the talk, I actually feel so grateful that the people that I have met are so warm & open-minded with our cultural differences. Although I wouldn’t lie that of course that would be one or two people that is ‘unlike’ the other, but I just focus on what’s matter.

I have also visited quite a lot of places. I’ve been to Sham Shui Po, Tsim Sha Shui, Central, the Peak, Sha Tin, Kwon Tung, Mong Kok, Shek Kip Mei, Tung Chung, Jordan. I have eaten a lot of foods ranging from Chinese/HK foods like Poon Choi, curry fish balls, famous egg tarts, beef brisket noodle, stinky tofu, egg waffle, soya pudding, Taiwanese dumplings & milktea, Arabic Briyani & Chicken tikka masala, Filipina’s Jollybee, and many many others. I have tried to communicate with local by saying ‘m goi’ -HAHA that’s the only thing I can say but at least I tried to communicate with them right pls let me enjoy my victory-, I’ve also used the public transportation here not only MTR, but also Star ferry and Ding Ding –the small iconic HK trams usually exist in Central. Now that I listed all I did on this post, it actually pretty impressive because it looks like I’ve done a lot in just thirty days.

 

Now, moving on to the other side of the coin – the vulnerable part. After one month, finally I had experience my first homesick or university-sick to be exact. I don’t want to sound mean but honestly I don’t miss my family that much because I am used to being away from them – I usually only see them after one semester which is around four to five months. However, I miss my university life back home more than anything! Geez…who knows that I would be tired of not doing anything here. Recalling what I usually have in the past three years, I always busy – always. I would wake up in the morning at 6 am (and sadly can’t go back to sleep), then started my day with unfinished assignments, then moving on to classes, meetings, lunch, appointment, events, hanging out, dinner sometimes, then assignments again, sleep, and the cycle starts again. There’s always plan for everyday, literal planning & scheduling everything. I know the exact time I should get my lunch, I know what time I should have my meeting and nothing can be late for even five minutes because it will ruin the next plan of the day. I would be honest that it is very unlikely that I’m still at home after 8 am and coming back to my bed before 9pm. Sometimes I spent the whole day outside of my room that my car feels more like home with change of clothes, perfume, a set of foam face cleanser & make up, another pair of shoes, praying attire, and even a blanket. A freaking blanket, because sometimes I need an hour of nap but going back home is too risky so I sleep there in my car. My chat notifications always ring from Facebook messenger to Whatsapp, or Line, and in the past..even Blackberry Messenger. I used to have 8 courses in each semester – yes you heard it right – plus also contributing in the faculty & major student union, organizing events from seminar, competitions, cross-cultural events, MUN, and even concerts.

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International Relations Student Union 2015-16
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Some of the Liaisons Officers of Young Sociopreneurship Competitions

But now here… all I do is study, hanging out & going around the city, and then sleep. I feel so tired by not doing anything, on being unproductive. Another sad thing is that I fell sick for almost a week because of fever, flu and sore throat that I could only eat banana & breads but I didn’t go to the clinic because I don’t even know how to register myself. Plus, I lost my Octopus card –magic multifunction card in HK that we use for paying the public transportation & shop with no cash- that I have just topped up for 80 hkd.

I have had my very first mental breakdown, I have had my first tears about this, which I think normal. It is not that I’m complaining, not at all. I like it here, so much, don’t get me wrong. Here, I could experience new things every minute, try new foods everyday, new places every week, new cultures that never fail to amaze me, I love it. But it is just really different compared with what my university life used to be. It is really different that in the past I could just communicate with anyone duh of course you speak the same language, but here it takes time to just explain that I lost something. It is not anyone else’s fault as well because of course they are living here and speaking in their own language, & me as the newbie then should be the one to adapt. It is very normal that I still face some difficulties in adapting myself in the new environment here, but sometimes I just get a bit frustrated and it ruined my one or two days. I am sure that as time goes by, I will get better and betters. I talked with a lot of friends about this, especially to the ones who currently on an exchange program as well and they all say the same thing “of course it is different, but it is also a good & one of a kind experience that you will remember for the rest of your life“, and I couldn’t agree more.

I would be honest and say that I miss my university life and yes I cannot wait to be back, but now I put that in my mind that I will do as best as I could to enjoy Hong Kong more, not only the city but also the university life that I would say ‘unique’. I will experience more things, having more new foods, making more new friends, visiting more new places, and the like. I will enjoy my five – I mean.. four more months here with a smile, some friendly & sweet friends, and packs of Indomie HEHE.

Hey, who knows that one day maybe, just maybe I could finally do something I’ve never done before like…hike something? Can’t wait!

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