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Charlee's life in Hong Kong

Posted By Imee Charlee Delavin, Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Moving to another country to study may be one of the most thrilling experiences anyone could ever have. Other than packing your bags to a "brighter future," you also move away from family, friends and everything that actually makes up for a comfort zone to the jungle of the unknown and who knows what. Quite scary right? But it’s also pretty exciting.

Being in Hong Kong (at least for us Masters in International Journalism students), meeting new people, living in a different society -- all by yourself, or with new friends, up to you -- and having that luxury of time (somehow) to actually think about life in general while you work your way up to better opportunities is not something that comes to everyone and Hinrich Foundation made it happen for all of us, I’m one lucky person, and so are you, thus, this memory “box” to keep an account of how it all started.

This blog is not all about my feelings though, this is about my experiences in the past month, this is for future scholars of the Foundation, who, at some point, will be residing at the NTT halls (shocked that there is actually Wi-fi in the rooms even if you're told there is "none" during check-in), be eating BBQ pork with rice at the undergraduate canteen, those who will be get to learn the trick of asking for more Spam instead of "sausage" in the signature dish and future scholars who will feel the same happiness as I did, when I found out that there is actually a "heaven" called Lok Fu near HKBU (Hi, Yen!) This is also for everyone who just wanted to be entertained by my random ramblings :P

The latter part of this entry will also introduce my fellow MAIJS scholars (who are literally with me all the time, save those moments when I purposely distance myself from them so they also have a chance to meet other new friends. Hahaha!) We’ve known each other over the weeks, attended most classes together and I would like to give you a glimpse of the memories we’re starting to create together and how I found this other family with them, away from home (Awwwww).

   MAIJS scholars 2017 infront of the NTT House, our first group photo together from L-R : Rahoof (India), Yen (Vietnam), Pheana (Cambodia), Charlee (Philippines), Putro (Indonesia)

Before coming to Hong Kong, aside from the things they tell you to pack and bring, NEVER, EVER forget to bring snacks (LOTS OF IT!!!), clothes hanger, detergent, utensils, a mug, water bottle, and thick blanket cause mind you, you won't know where to get these things in the first week. You wouldn't know yet where Lok Fu or Festival Walk is and you'll be so busy feeling overwhelmed that you are finally in Hong Kong that you won't get out of the HKBU compound, just yet.

The AAB Building, located beside NTT House is where you register for enrollment. There’s also canteen on the 5th floor.

Upon arriving at the Hong Kong Airport, ladies and gentlemen, there is a Bus E22 which takes you directly to HKBU which would save you from a lot of trouble. Don't be like one current scholar (not me), who took the MTR and cab to NTT! Experience may be the best teacher, but at least not on this one.

Dr. Ng Tor Tai International House is situated just beside HKBU’s AAB Buildling. It’s along Renfrew Road, #32. You need to cross the street where the bus stops and then, just walk straight ahead. Don’t expect people to actually help you out with your luggage so don’t bring your whole house, like I did. Haha!

The keycard of your room in NTT, you have to keep this with you for going out and coming back of the NTT and your room

When you’ve finally settled in, you might feel devastated (hello millenials!!!) by the fact that the receptionist would actually tell you there is no Wi-Fi in the NTT rooms but there is a LAN to connect to your laptop. Don’t panic; just do the same registration for both the LAN and Wi-fi for your mobile, but only one device at a time please! If you insist, the library’s 2nd and 3rd floors –which is walking distance from NTT –are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, there’s also Wi-fi there and some desktops that you can use.

(L-R) The view from the 11th floor window and my room in NTT. There’s a mini refrigerator for storing some food! There’s a place to heat your food on the 5th floor, and a vending machine on the 3rd. No cooking at all times please.

Dear scholars, for those who might need some reminding, sneakers is a MUST here since Hong Kong is a "walking society". You'll be walking a lot here, and I mean, A LOT, so better come with a comfortable wear and tear shoes and show your feet some love (literally). Walking from HKBU to the MTR stations is a feat at the start that you’ll need to conquer each time you wish to go somewhere outside HKBU. It will take some time before you realize there's a bus 25M or 25MS right beside NTT which actually brings you to Kowloon Tong station.


For those whose concern is always food, like me, well, there are two canteens in the HKBU campus near NTT, but don’t expect too much on the food okay? One is the on the 5th floor of the AAB Building (photo posted earlier) where you get most of the good stuff, at least relatively, but at NO DISCOUNT and closes earlier than the undergraduate canteen which closes at 11:00 in the evening (although there’s no more choice of food except the famous signature dish) but you get a discount, by showing your student ID card. Yay!

P.S. There’s also a Starbucks inside the campus, which you’ll surely visit at least 4 times in your HKBU life (or at least in our case) and Bistro Bon at the ground floor of NTT, you’ll surely eat here at least once to get Wi-fi and food on the first day cause you’re still too lost to find the other canteens. Haha!

 

The undergraduate canteen and counter which you’ll develop a “love-hate” relationship over time. Just a tip, NEVER order spaghetti here, hahaha (Hi, Putro!) The BBQ meals are safe, and their curry meals are the best by far.

 

Opening a bank account could be one of the most time-consuming thing to do as you start your life in HKBU. We opened ours at BEA or Bank of East Asia (because of the proximity to NTT), and they require many documents (student ID, admission offer, proof of residence in Hong Kong and in your home country, and tax number, also from your home country, if I remember it correctly), but it’s also rewarding, literally, cause they give out Starbucks coupon, yes, four coupons!!! This is why I said you’ll visit this place at least four times or if you’re that friendly, you might get to visit more than that. Hahaha!

 

This is the BEA branch inside HKBU. See that “random stranger” showing us how to withdraw in style Hahaha!

There are three “walkable” shops nearby: the small cooperative store at the 3rd floor of AAB building which I don’t really visit; Lok Fu which you access by passing through the library and straight, straight, straight ahead the first turn you see; and Festival Walk, which is near Kowloon Tong station. You’ll love UNY which has a $12 shop for everything school and home supply related (even purple slippers, hahaha Yen!) and the Lok Fu supermarket where you can get fresh fruits and a shop which sells Filipino, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, and Vietnamese goods! It’s an amazingggg store!

To end this long, boring blog, let me tell you that part of the reason why studying in Hong Kong has been fun so far, are my fellow scholars, people I’ve come to call family here. It’s a pleasure annoying you every day and making you laugh even if it’s not funny. Cheers to many more shared moments of “happy and sad” together! Posting their photos and moniker cause I’ll always remember them as that. All photos were taken by me. I also didn’t ask if I can post it, I know they won’t mind cause we’re friends like that. Haha! 

 

L-R First selfie attempts of Putro and Rahoof

We celebrated Pheana’s birthday in NTT like a pro!!! We had our own version of spaghetti, roasted chicken, and cake (cropped on purpose). Haha!

(Huang) Ding-ding ride with Putro and Pheana. RIP glasses!

First time to use the library conference room selfie. Wohooooo!

I forgot where we took this photo but I remember we ate at Jollibee (before or after) Haha!

I’m pretty sure we asked a Korean guy to take this photo


Putro “The Kawaii” - Pheana “The Bestfriend” -  Rahoof  “The Brilliant”  -  Yen “The Cap”                   

 

P.S. Charlee is “The Wallflower”. Putro and Rahoof are getting better at taking selfies; Pheana is loving our outdoor wanderings and; Yen is still the first person at the lobby before class. We are all good, deadlines are coming, but we will not falter! XOXO.

                                                             


Tags:  hong kong  life  student 

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Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017
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