Thursday, January 28, 2010
First Twinge of Homesickness/Political Rant
I've now been away from home for a bit over a month, and while overall I've certainly enjoyed the vast majority of my time, I'm sort of beginning to dislike some of the blaring cultural differences here. For example, when you're walking down the street, its very common to have someone just step right in front of you and walk at an unbelievably slow rate, mainly because Asians just walk really really slowly and without much direction. Really annoying when you're in a hurry, and frankly, even when you're not. Additionally, I've developed a bit of a cough, which I'm pretty sure is due to a combination of lack of sleep and pitiful air quality. Tonight there was a thick mist-fog sort of thing, which was not water, but pollution. Pretty gross, it just makes you feel dirty. I've also met as of late a good number of snobby Eurotrash liberals, who have made it very clear that my fiscal conservatism is morally wrong and that they vehemently disagree and don't want to hear anything about what I have to say. People like that don't deserve to have opinions on things, and I can only hope their time in HK is marred by illness. Sadly several of these people are from California, and are doing a horrendous job of representing the US, not even from a political standpoint, but from a general attitude standpoint. To think they (liberal idealists) preach open-mindedness in general, but can't seem to bear hearing about other people's views. I'm also getting a bit fed up with ISU's incompetence regarding my two internship opportunities. I've emailed people regarding them both, and haven't heard back. Considering the fact that if I get the one in The Hague, I'll be leaving here for there in just over 3 months, I'd really enjoy knowing somewhat soon if I'll be doing that one. If I get the one in Jo'Burg, I'll be returning home for a bit beforehand, so I'd like to know if I'll be doing that or not. If nothing else, I may be going to Singapore next weekend with Elliott and Ben, we found R/T airfare for like $115US. We'd be leaving here Thursday evening after class and getting back Monday morning at 11:35, just in time for 2:00pm class. While there, we'll likely spend Friday in Singapore then head north into Malaysia. Should be a decent weekend. The weekend after is Chinese New Year, so God knows where we'll be going for that. Last couple of days have been good. Yesterday was mine, Elliott, and Ben's day off, so we took the ferry to Lantau Island to see the Giant Buddha Statue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tian_Tan_Buddha), and the surrounding temples. We also took a very long cable-car ride back down to the MTR station which took us back to HK. Last night we went to the horse races over at Happy Valley, it was also pretty cool. We had a group of about 20 kids, it was a good time. Today was classes more or less all day. After my last class, which I have with Elliott, we went to dinner with Marije from Amsterdam, at the university food court. This weekend is likely going to involve a good deal of schoolwork, as I have a few economic hw assignments due next week. Had an excellent Economic History of China lecture today. I was actually running a few minutes late, but when I got into the elevator the professor was also in there, so we had a good conversation about his teaching philosophies for the course and the fact that he was teaching econ as more of a social science than as a math class. He's definitely a pretty brilliant professor, from what I've seen. Also, high table dinner was Monday. It was something right out of Hogwarts, let me tell you. There were 4 very long tables of about 70 people each, then a "high table" of the Guest of Honor (a very distinguished HK medical doctor) and his entourage. We sang the hall song (also Potter-esque) and had a surprisingly decent meal. It was a good time, the group I was assigned to sit near was pretty hilarious, so that was alright. That lasted a good few hours, and afterwards everyone kind of mingled around and hung out for awhile admiring each others suits. Again, a pretty good time. That's about it for now, will likely post something early next week regarding this coming weekend. Should be finding out about the South Africa internship fairly soon, that could be decent.