Settling into Hong Kong 


At the Ping Sha Heritage Trail visitor center with three other HWS students, a German exchange student and a local Hong Kong student. We could see Shenzhen, China from our location.

I have been in Hong Kong now for 10 days and there is still a lot to get used to. Though we had orientation, there is a lot left unexplained for me and the other exchange students. Like how to order food in the campus “canteen.” I found out the hard way after some of the ladies working there tried to explain it to me in Cantonese and tried to point to where I was actually supposed to order my food.

I am actually surprised by how little English is spoken here in Tuen Mun. The few times I have gone into Central Hong Kong, English is spoken widely and well.
Classes don’t start until Monday, so I have been doing some exploring with some of the other exchange students. On Wednesday, we went and walked along the Ping Sha Heritage Trail and we were lucky that a local student decided to join us or else we would have never found it. Having him along with us gave us perspective on everything that we were seeing that we wouldn’t have had without him.
Afterwards, he recommended a place just two stops away on the MTR for us to try for dinner. I was excited because I knew the food would be good if a “local” was recommending it. Once we got there it turned out that there was no English menu and that only one waiter in the restaurant spoke English. He was self-conscious about it, but tried his best to explain things to us. It actually turned out really well. Although, because I am a vegetarian I have been having trouble finding things that I can eat, especially since I often don’t know what I am ordering. I ended up getting noodles (I eat LOTS of noodles) and substituting the meat for vegetables. We all tried Hong Kong’s famous Milk Tea, which was really great.

A typical meal for me.

Most people here are very nice and very helpful. Though I don’t stand out in Central Hong Kong, in Tuen Mun there are not many foreigners. Most people assume that I only speak English, and some people get excited when they see me with other exchange students and yell hello to us in English. I’ve been trying to pick up some Cantonese words like thank you, “mm-goi” and hello, “neigh-ho.” Let’s just say that I am eager for my Mandarin class to start. I had the chance to speak it with some of the exchange students from Mainland China, but I feel much more comfortable with it than Cantonese.