So LA was excellent, got to hang out with my old friend Mike from High School for a few days, and he showed me around the city. One observation--people drive ALL THE TIME in LA. That is, to get anywhere involves like a 30+ minute drive, and you're always going on the highways that surround the city. Needless to say, given my absolute hatred of driving cars, I don't think I could handle that on a consistent basis, but for those who can, more power to them. Definitely a very interesting city, with a lot of different neighborhoods full of people of countless ethnicities (apparently not a word. The plural of ethnicity was my intent. Whatever that is). Anyway, loads of Mexicans, Armenians, Asians from all over the place in Asia, etc., so really cool stuff. Some of the highlights of the trip included visiting Koreatown, UCLA's campus, and the Hollywood area, which involved a lot of surreal homeless people dressed as everything from Darth Vader to homeless people. Interestingly, when 2 guys passed us dressed as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, I immediately said to Mike "what legends those guys are!" His response--"yeah, there's a good chance they're homeless"
What a place, California. Another huge highlight of the trip to LA was seeing my wonderful friend from Hong Kong, Miss Catherine Bumble. She brought Mike and I to a German/Belgian brewhouse where we had some sausages and large liters of beer, then to a club with some electronic music. The night got to be fairly blurry fairly early on, but still had some great times with an old friend.
The morning after we hung out with Bumble was my flight to Hong Kong via Beijing. Incidentally, during this flight I became a United Airlines Premier Silver flier, indicating that I've flown over 25,000 miles with United this year, which was kind of cool. Upon arrival in Hong Kong, as planned, my good friend Douglon was waiting for me at the airport. With his driver.
From the airport I was whisked to Douglon's flat, which is located about a 5 minute walk from the University of Hong Kong. This brings back all sorts of nostalgia. My first few days in Hong Kong have been good. Met up with some friends from Shenzhen on Friday night, and sure enough, when we were out at LKF, at the first corner we stopped at I ran into some of the legends from my floor at Lee Hysan Hall while I was on exchange. Was great to catch up with them. First night out involved me staying completely sober while everyone I knew from Shenzhen got completely hammered drunk, which was a pretty hilarious thing to watch. I took them to the Flying Pan (a really awesome breakfast restaurant open 24 hrs in Central Hong Kong) about 4:00am for breakfast, and from there headed back to the flat.
Saturday night in Lan Kwai Fong was staggering. As it was Halloween weekend, there were literally like 15,000 people there (Note: I have NO IDEA how to estimate how many people were there. Could have only been like 5,000. Could have been 25,000. It was a lot. Here's a video with awkward music that some guy made) It was a pretty unbelievable night, and one which also ended very late, which ended up being quite a struggle due to my jet lag and having slept 2 hours the night before. But still grand.
Last night Douglon threw a party for his birthday, which involved a BBQ at Deepwater Bay, near the Southwest part of Hong Kong Island. It was a great time, with about 10-12 people coming out at various times of the evening. Today I applied for my China visa, so with any luck I'll be heading into Shenzhen by early next week for a couple of job interviews.
Anyway! That's about a summary of what I've been up to. My apologies for not being insightful or universal with any of this, but I intend on throwing some posts up here in the coming days that offer more thought-provoking stuff rather than just saying "yeah here's what's been happening. Enjoy". So hopefully that'll be good. Not sure if I want to commit to a blog-post-per-day, but expect them pretty regularly. Thanks for reading up to this point, and for bearing with the inconsistencies of my blog posting!