Thursday, February 25, 2010

Missing Some Conveniences of Home

I don't feel like taking 2 hours to write a play by play of my 10 day vacation to The Philippines for the Chinese New Year, so here are some highlights:

1)Snorkeled with whale sharks in the wild, no cages. it was incredible
2)Snorkeled a World War II wreck
3)Ate dinner at the home of a Filipino
4)Slept on the beach
5)Saw a sunset from on top of a mountain
6)Hiked with a group of locals through the jungle
7)Swam across a jungle river and cut my foot (which may now be infected)
8)Slept in a hut
9)Fit 13 people on a tuk tuk
10)Played sand football with locals
11)Ate a semi-hard boiled chicken fetus (
12)Broke a window with a dart

Overall it was an awesome 10 days.

Upon returning to Hong Kong, I encountered (and continue to encounter) a mounting list of inconveniences. Firstly, the humidity here is getting rough, especially given the dorms don't have the A/C going yet. This leads to a phenomenon that I've only experienced at LSU when the power was out for a week after hurricane Gustav, that being, that the walls are more or less "sweating", for want of a better word. Basically there's lots of water condensing on the walls of the dorms. This leads to towels not properly drying after showers, books to be a bit moist, and for the air to be generally unpleasant. Also, I've been pretty ill lately, with a cough, unbelievably runny nose, and occasional vomiting. Luckily I've got a doctor's appt. tomorrow morning. Another inconvenience that I've encountered is the fact that I'm paying for all my meals and transport within HK, which is starting to add up to a good bit of money. While I've still got plenty of money to travel and such, its nonetheless a bit difficult (although certainly also a good learning experience) to be paying for all my own stuff. Overall though, as I said, its a good learning experience, as I'll be graduating soon enough and will then be doing the same thing. Had a midterm last night that went very well, Theory of International Trade. Took me about 19 minutes, and it was pretty easy. Today we gave a presentation in MNC, which went well also. This coming week, while many (and by many I mean basically all) exchange students are going to the "Full Moon Party" in Thailand, a huge party on the beach. Elliott, Benno, myself, and a fair number of others decided against it, and are likely just going to stay around Hong Kong for the week off, with a potential day trip to a spa in Shenzhen planned. The Philippines took quite a bit out of us (as getting anywhere in that country involves a 5 hour bus ride), so we decided against another 9 days of living out of a suitcase. We're also considering a trip to Guangzhou or Taipei just for a couple of days. Other than that, as I said, we've got next week off, so it'll be a good week of resting up a bit for the next couple months of school. Also of note, found out while in The Philippines that I was awarded the Outstanding Junior in International Business at ISU, $300 and, more importantly, a plaque. Pretty cool stuff. Also, had one of the best kebabs I've ever had in Manila (better than the ones in Istanbul), and it cost a whopping $1.50 or so. Another interesting point about The Philippines: Their largest bill is 1000 pesos, or roughly $22US. However, upon getting my first 1000 peso bill, I encountered the massive inconvenience of the fact that no one in the entire country can break a 1000. You literally had to try 5-6 different places, or buy something for like 500+ pesos to break a 1000 bill. A bit aggravating. That's more or less all I have to say for the moment. It's still a bit possible that we decide to go to Thailand tomorrow, but I'd very much doubt it.

Interesting fact of the day: My most expensive meal in The Philippines was about $5

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