So for those of you who read my scathing post yesterday regarding the fact that I haven’t slept through night since literally Christmas, there is hope for me still! Yesterday afternoon, it somehow became painfully obvious what the solution was, a doppio espresso from Starbucks! I went into Starbucks and, while waiting for my coffee, I ran into Bettina, an Austrian girl who was in my class that started in about 40 minutes. We decided to grab a table outside and talk about one of my favorite topics of conversation, travel. We’d been to a few of the same places, and overall it was a decently interesting conversation. After the espresso I felt absolutely magnificent, and walked into my 2:00 class ready to pay close attention and take good notes. It was a good thing I did, as once again, my Economic History of China class proved to be phenomenally interesting. We talked about the improvements in society in general during the Song dynasty, particularly their economic reforms and practices. Definitely made my day. After that class ended at 3:55, I had to more or less dead out sprint across campus to make it to the Meng Wah Complex (from the Knowles Building) by 4:00. I had Elliott save me a seat in our next class, Multinational Corporations, which was a marathon lecture going from 4:00-7:00pm. Given that participation is worth 20% of the grade in that class, I decided to sing like a canary at every opportunity, doing my best to sound like I know what I’m talking about. It went well for the most part. We were also able to form our group for that class for the rest of the semester, Elliott and I drafted Wilson, a local living on our floor of Lee Hysan, and Sofia, a Greek-Italian-Australian who lives just down the road from us. Another interesting story regarding this class today: I was explaining to Elliott how the doppio espresso saved my life today, and naturally I pronounced it in correct Italian. Sofia, who was sitting next to Elliott, overheard my pronunciation, and as it turns out, she speaks fluent Italian. Didn’t really see that coming. While in Multinational Corporations I got a text from Uncle Fred inviting me to dinner at the Island Shangri-La Hotel in Central. That’s certainly not an invitation you pass up, especially when you consider that the Shangri-La won the 2006 award for “Asia’s Best Hotel”. Upon arriving, the first car in the valet parking spot that I saw was a brand new, midnight blue Rolls Royce. Good start to the night. I was the first to arrive, and joining me were Uncle Fred, Uncle Chanwa, a few of their business associates, and Loic, a Frenchman living in Causeway Bay, HK. Loic is some sort of manager at a number of factories up in the mainland, and he invited me to come up and take a tour of the one in Shenzen in the next couple of weeks. Certainly another invitation that I wasn’t going to pass up, so I guess I’ll be touring a factory up in the mainland this semester. The dinner was absolutely wonderful, with several courses including Peking Duck, sweet and sour pork, hot and sour soup, etc. After dinner I said my goodbyes to Uncle Fred and his associates, who are all leaving for the States Saturday. Loic and I exchanged numbers, and he said he’d be happy to arrange for my mainland visa to be provided. Uncle Chanwa was nice enough to drive me back to Lee Hysan, and after returning I decided to go hang out in Victoria Park with Divian, Henry, and Rafael. I headed over there around 11, and we more or less just hung out talking (oddly enough, about the structures of romance languages vs. English vs. Mandarin/Cantonese). I got back fairly early and tried to go to bed around 1:30 or so, but I once again couldn’t sleep. Tossed around till about 3:30, finally got to bed, woke up at about 9:00am. Currently I’m just hanging out till my 2:00pm class, or until Elliott gets up, as we’ll likely go grab some lunch. Playing online poker for the first time in awhile is also nice, and I’ve finally found the time to do that this morning. I am certain, however, that it will be another Starbucks doppio espresso day today. Apologies for the poor flow and pace of this blog today, it was actually a bit of a struggle to write for the first time in awhile.
Interesting fact of the day: I got my bill for my dorm yesterday. I’m paying like $700US or so for a semester of beachfront property. To those who don’t plan to study abroad, shame on you.