Now, for some reason, others questioned me more this time than when I studied in Europe (studied for a semester in Nantes, France). People would ask me questions such as:
Why would you want to go to Asia? Is it safe? Aren't you afraid?
Now, some of these questions were easier than others to answer. Yes, Hong Kong is a safe place. In fact, citizens are not allowed to carry pepper spray, guns, or knives on them. (Please no gun law debates :) ) As for the other questions, Asia is about as diverse as a culture as you can get! There is always some tradition to learn, a temple to explore, or just a different style of life to immerse yourself in. Was I afraid? I will honestly say no, I was not afraid. However, it wasn't easy to accept the fact that once again I wouldn't see friends and family for four months. But this is not a reason to worry! You will never be alone here in Hong Kong. There is always someone willing to go out and do something or just relax and hang around.
I have been here for about three weeks, so I have much to update you guys on. But, I will treat those as their own entries when I have more free time. For now, I would like to talk about my recent experience hanging out with the local guys.
It is important to note that my hall floor is the craziest in all of the dorms, and they are always out messing around and having fun. So, I had gone for a late night run, and got back to the dorm around 12:30 am... yes.... that late. On my way into my room a bunch of the guys were just out in the hallway kicking a ball around and others sharing a dinner. I was suddenly stopped and asked if I wanted to arm wrestle. This isn't something I usually get particularly excited about. But I figured that I had nothing to lose. They had me arm wrestle about 6 different kids ranging from the strongest to the weakest. I lost to the strongest kid! In my defense, he's a strong guy!! haha they were even making bets with the weaker kids that if they couldn't last five seconds they had to buy food for all of the guys! This really is just when the fun began.
Next, they have me trying moon cakes (Mid Autumn Festival traditional food), some vegetables with Chinese fermented cheese dip (not as bad as it sounds), and the hottest cup noodles that come from South Korea (kind of like Ramen back in the states, but they are too hot). After that I was challenged to a game of FIFA 17. I ended up winning in penalty kicks and all of the kids were going wild, some rooting for me, and some against me. It is now about 1:30 am. They decided is was a good time to go play some soccer in the dark!
Not only have I never played organized soccer, I have definitely never tried it in the dark! Even though my team lost, it was still a lot of fun just messing around with the guys. Nobody was really a ball hog or anything, and they were just out there to have fun. The local kids like to shout a lot and celebrate which kind of made it a wild experience because I really had no idea what they were saying. Then, we had to, of course, play some basketball...once again in the dark.
These kids must have imagined that since I was American that I was like LeBron James or something. They were always passing me the ball, and were even asking me to dunk. Disclosure: I currently cannot dunk. By the time we had finished everything it was 3:30 in the morning. I really couldn't believe it. Getting to talk with, make friends, and meet some of the local students was a really cool experience. They are always saying hi to me now, and asking me to hang out with them.
So, a lesson to be learned is to take a risk. Whether it be studying abroad, applying for an internship, joining a club, asking someone on a date, etc. You never know what the outcome may be, and you just may have the time of your life!
Until next time,