Ohhh...Shut It!! *lalalalala*

On the following saturday and sunday the local students started to prepare for the new term at the university, in the back of the hall building (that is where my windows are *g*). I would have appreciated it too be more quiet as starting from around 9 am in the morning until late in the evening you just heard screaming of people, banging of baskets, splashing of water and clapping of hands..the most unendurable noise..and there was no escape..the people were just freaking out^^ I was incredibly glad when monday arrived and I knew that from now on those people would unleash their energy on campus only

I've made a picture for you, how it looked like from my window^^
Hall Games

Meanwhile most of the exchange students were gone to an orientation event organized by the university though Hong Kong and since I was too late again, I therefore couldn't attend and had nothing much to do^^

Anyway, this week nothing much happened. The university life consumed most of the time and focus of mine. I received my students card after 5 attempts to get it, running up and down the Li Ka Shing Tower from one office to another^^ I paid for my living expenses, exchanged some money, made a new attempt to get my insurance (that I still haven't received)..basic stuff that you have to go through when adjusting your life I would say.

I also met Gerhard, who is from my university in Germany and whom I know for quite a while now. We had some chit-chat and played a couple of games in the hall facilities room, like table tennis and table soccer.

Later this week I was envited by my neighbour Katie from Texas, who lives just across the floor, to accompanie her and some others to Karaoke in the evening. Since I haven't ever been to a Karaoke bar before I was eager to go^^ It was a great evening! Most of the guys were from the States and Canada. Only one local guy and me Though none of us got the chance to proof his or her singing abilities, cause the microphone was all the time used by some local people singing Cantonese songs, we enjoyed the evening a lot. I certainly will go there for another try^^

4.10.07 05:38

Creepy Prices

Brilliant..let me just stop at this point and introduce you to a different topic that I'm encountering each single day I spend here^^ It still amazes me how crazy this nation determines their price relations regarding consumer goods. I certainly have mentioned it before, but I keep feeling the urgent desire to pursue this matter further. Of course there is no comparison to the prices we're used to in Europe, it needn't many words...its just cheaper. But the dimensions of price determinations vary significantly.

Food as it seems has the lowest value of all. Firstly you can buy it absolutely everywhere... hundreds of small street shops sell a tasty meal for often less than 2€ and due to the diversity of HKs citizens every days meal originates from another country (Except the big restaurants of course) But this is where you get the special touch of the culture^^ A preferred proverb is „The dirtier the better in taste“..this might refer not only for restaurants in HK but also to provinces in China^^

Anyway beside food any other product that might somehow be considered as having a slightly higher status is absurdly expensive..but than on the other hand, anything else is imported of course..the only good that is made in HK are watches^^ And still even if you just intend to buy some groceries in the end the price is immensely high not even to mention what happens if you have a need for a good coffee or ice cream

5.10.07 04:40

Huanyíng Huanyíng - Welcome Welcome

Universities have never failed to properly introduce themselves as an institution for the new arrivals. But when it comes to implementing foreign students into the new environment it seems to be superficial to give a big welcoming party...

Of course it is the most common sense that you have to gather all the foreign exchangers in one big room...identify them by sticking names to their clothes...mix them up by arbitrarily assigning numbers of groups where they have to participate in...give them a task to fulfill within the group so they are not stupidly standing around the whole time through...enhance communication by asking questions and give them something to laugh at for example by listening to the lousy efforts of Europeans trying to sing in Cantonese^^ Finally give them some food, so they won't think that the whole event was a loss of time and send them back to their rooms or leave them be as there might still interatc with each other without further intervention of the University staff.

And this is exactly what happened here too^^ Of course I got to know some more people and met the ones I knew already..By sitting on the floor for about 1 hour my limbs fell asleep but I got to write my name in Chinese and the snacks weren't too bad after all.

11.10.07 05:38

Chinese Names Farrago!

Another intriguing issue is of course how Chinese people derive to their English names. It is actually very common in Mainland China to have both a Chinese and an English name, whereby the last one can be chosen freely depending only on personal preferences. And with the same effortlessness it is possible to dispose of it and adopt another one since it is not registered in any documents and therefore not of interest for the government.

But again this is different from how it is handled in Hong Kong as here just like in every other country I can think of, the parents choose the names of their children, both the Chinese and the English one respectively.

I pursued this question a bit further by asking a lot of Chinese boys and girls how they decided to be called Bryan, Robert, Henry, Melissa etc..

The answers were diverse and some very funny..One girl that I got to know at my Taekwondo course just opened the dictionary and put her finger on a word, fortunately it was „Doris“ (That means that in fact it doesn't have to be a real name, you can call yourself also „Finger“ or „Paper“ if you like the sound of it *g*) At the same course but another girl likes comics a lot, so she decided to be called Daisy, like Daisy Duck^^

Again others are more considerate in their choice and end up with being called Dante, just like the guy who attends with me the China Trade Management lecture^^

Xu Ning (Ning is her first name) is very much into sports, especially when it comes to football, if you ask her she will tell you every name of every member in whichever European team So when we watched the FIFA Women's World Cup that was held in China this year, she was so attired by the German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer that she instantly changed her English name from Carol to Nadine..so now everybody has to address her Nadine^^

This approach might be a bit confusing if a person tends to change his/her name several times à year but usually thats not the case anyway. But I still keep investigating and I already asked my roomie to give me a proper Chinese name, that suits me, cause the one I got from my Putonghua teacher is not that interesting..its Ke Dìnà (Dìnà first name) and Meggie promised that she will think about something more adequate and fitting to my character^^

14.10.07 07:03

Beach - Here we go...

What would you do if you reside in an area surronded by many scattered little islands with a climate that remains constantly at the same 30° and it is weekend? The most obvious answer is: Make a trip to the beach^^ At that time it seemed to be a good idea not only because of the temperature but also because I wanted to explore some further regions of Hong Kong.

The beach that we were aiming at is located in the Southern District of Hong Kong Island, the Shek O (Rocky Bay) area which faces the South China Sea.

We began our trip early in the morning as it took some time to arrive there since we had to take the ferry and a bus which totaled in 1 and a half hour of journey time only.

We, that is: Meggie, Alice, Gerhard, Xu Ning (now Nadine), Natalee & Katie (my neighbours across the floor) and Kenny (a guy from Sweden).

It was also the first time that I took the ferry to cross the river between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Very nice actually, not as fast compared to the MTR or the bus (if there is not traffic jam) but very relaxing and funny. We've made already some pictures while waiting for the next ferry to arrive cause it always takes some time for it to get back

Waiting for Ferry

And on we went...during our bus ride we played some stupid games like „Who am I“ (My god I sucked so much!) or „sing a song that is famous in your home country“, where Kenny gave us a tremendous performance by singing a wonderful Swedish ballad.

The beach itself was beautiful, the area gorgeous, neither the water nor the sand were poluted, the weather perfect and not too many people around. Here some more pictures to give you an impression on the beach side.

Shek O Beach


Cliffs of Power

It was a good change to our usual trips in Hong Kong. We spent the day relaxing and roaming around the small cliffs, digging Gerhard into a sand hole, swimming and talking.

Gerhard's Grave

Sand Games

The only drawback for me was, that the sun burnt me to the core...absolutely everywhere (even if I had the impression that the sky was always covered either by clouds or smog). And only when we returned to the hall have I realized the damage caused. I really looked like a tomato and even worse than that^^ This was the first time where I considered to buy a suncreem *g* It took at least one week until it stopped hurting and I could put on clothes without any problems especially because Meggie offered me some kind of medicine that strongly reminded me of some product we have been using while we still lived in Kiev (very nostalgic) I definitely will have to bring it back home when I return to Germany^^ I wonder what it was called again?

So far this was also the only opportunity for me to visit a beach as now its not hot enough any more and everybody is busy with their studies. But it was nice, once in a while^^

18.10.07 12:00

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