thoughts from me one week before the end of my first winter break

insert inane apology note here about lack of updates here that is completely irrelevant to anyone’s life besides my own

Things I have recently learnt to appreciate about Hong Kong:

  • the abundance of japanese/korean cosmetic products (and how good they are like wow why did i not love you before)
  • public transport and their beautifully reasonable prices due to high demand
  • cantonese humour (not that i understand most of it but enough that it makes my heart melt a little whenever people insult me)
  • the grumpy waiters/waitresses in the cha chan teng who sass you but also call you ‘leng lui/leng zai’
  • CONSUMERISM
  • the sheer speed of everything
  • (also my family and friends)

First term has been an interesting experience- in some ways, it’s what I could have hoped for (and more) and in others it’s completely different to what I expected it to be, but one thing I’ve felt is that it’s incredibly easy to get wrapped up in it all.

And to those in the midst of their application processes right now: yes, it will be as tiring as you have read it to be. It will be an active choice, and though it is exhausting, you will probably choose it regardless.

Coming home has felt a little like slipping out of one dream and into another, but it’s reminded me where I come from. It’s not perfect (see this recent news article), but it’s also nice to acknowledge that Hong Kong is on the whole a good place (if there’s any real way to define that).

Five days to go to enjoy this place, and I’m not entirely sure how to do so.

lbr i’m probably going to spend the next few days buying food/ stationery/ being a dirty dirty consumer

 

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Anticipation

It’s been incredibly hectic since I’ve gotten back to Hong Kong, so, in spirit of what my schedule has felt like in the last couple of days, this post is going to be written in equal haste.

I’ve been going through phases in which the strange reality that is me going to Norway has faded in and out of my direct consciousness, but I haven’t felt as distant about leaving Hong Kong as I have in these last few days.

I literally cannot comprehend leaving home for a good while in about five days. It’s impossible. I have no scale for this.

It doesn’t feel daunting or anxiety inducing or overwhelming as it should do, but it does feel like there’s almost a muted glaze over it, as if it’s something happening in the distant future.

The irony of this is that my bag is near packed, I spend most days trying to find the things I need and my schedule is booked full of dinners with friends and family before I leave.

So this is where I’m at. Trying to condense my life into 23kg (and hand luggage, to be fair), and ready to be completely blindsided.

5 days to go.

Summer Haze Donuts

Guess what I got last night?

That’s right. FRESH DONUTS. Mm.

I love having relatives.

So, what circumstances lead to this particular box of donuts to end up on my dining room table? Well, it turns out my uncle was out having dinner with his friends last night. This happened to be near his old university place, which also just happened to be near a Krispy Kreme factory.

A factory which just happened to be making a fresh batch of their delectable sugary goods just then.

My uncle also happened to be a very thoughtful person, hence the batch of donuts my family and I received at midnight.

One of which was then consumed very quickly by yours truly, alongside some peppermint and liquorice tea (by the way, peppermint and liquorice tea are one of my true loves. I’ll be mentioning it a lot over in the future because it brings me joy).

They say it’s hard to write when you’re happy unless you’re in love, and while I think that’s mostly bullshit, there’s a little part of me which believes this.

Little things like this have just continually happened over summer, and I’m just……happy. Which might be the reason why words haven’t exactly been flowing out with typical teen angst on this blog.

It could also just be sheer laziness, but that seems like a very uninteresting way of explaining this so I’ll just ignore it.

But regardless of the reason, this is just to say that pleasantness that is the summer haze has settled in. The days are long and indistinct, punctuated only by little fancies and idle days in company of family.

I’m having a good summer. 

Interlude

Things they don’t tell you about the UWC experience:

  • how weird this in-between period is.

I don’t know how many people can sympathise with this feeling exactly, but perhaps with me it’s a case of having stayed with one school for such a long time. The last time I changed schools was when I was 8; that’s literally half of my life now.

I’ve never seen myself as a particularly devoted or nostalgic person (okay, that’s a lie; the fact I have a blog is indication of my penchant for nostalgia), but eight years is a long time to spend anywhere. So much of my identity is linked to my school and now it’s interesting (and slightly scary) to see how tied I am to the place.

Couple that with the fact that this is essentially the first time I’m moving from a place. Though Hong Kong will always be my home, it’s unlikely I’ll return for uni or beyond (not impossible, just hypothetically speaking). This feels almost like a prelude for something bigger than UWC, even.

So maybe that explains why I feel a little more unhinged this summer; a little more detached as I release my hold on something I’ve relied on so heavily to form a bulk of my identity.

To use a terrible simile: I feel like a bird about to set free. Unfortunately, I am a domestically born and reared bird, and therefore do not have nearly enough of the survival skills (or so it feels) to face the future adequately.

I told you it was terrible.

That’s not to say I’m not really fucking excited, though. I’m still giddy with excitement that ‘yes, I have been picked to go to this school’. I haven’t quite been counting down days (yet: I fear if I do right now I’ll drive myself insane) but between my endless RCN related to do lists and the incessant questions my second and third years have to endure, I think it’s safe to say I’m pumped (so pumped!).

Plane Trips and Playlists

Handwritten on a plane ride 29/6/2015

I’m writing this on paper as I’m currently on a transcontinential flight to London (oh, the marvels of capitalism) to spend some time with my family there.

One thing I get up to on plane rides is that I really like to make playlists using whatever music they have on the in-flight aeroplane system- really elaborate ones that last for hours. I put a whole amalgamation of things there; Debussy, K$sha, pretentious hipster song, and then maybe some 2009 era Lady Gaga.

There’s something very therapeutic about this whole process, this whole ritual wherein which I trawl through album after album, just dumping this mixture of genres into my ears. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it; some people try to construct a story from playlists. I just pick whatever sounds good.

Perhaps it’s the knowledge that anything I make is fleeting and exists only for the 11-12 hours that I stay on the plane. That’s not to say I don’t put any effort; I do (each song goes through 15 seconds of scrutiny before I even allow it on the playlist, and I frequently delete songs I find I don’t like). But maybe it’s this lack of permanence that it has that inspires effort into creating something that I really like- knowing that it’ll all be gone the second I leave the plane.

And maybe I’m pushing this half-baked ‘airplane playlists=the best art there is’ analogy too far in the haze that always seems to come alongside my summer vacations, but the point is: I like doing this kind of stuff.

(Besides, it means I don’t have to listen to the ‘elevator music’ that all airplanes seem to like to play while scrolling through the TV show choices, which is a victory in itself).

But in interest of providing some actual content (I mean this in the loosest sense), here are a couple artists that I really enjoyed this time around:

  • FROOT by Marina and the Diamonds– So good. So very very good. I knew Marina from her Electra Heart (stepford wife bitch character) days and loved it before I got to know her early stuff but this is like a return to her ‘original’ persona whilst also packing in something new. ❤
  • The Race to Space by Public Service Announcement– I really have no idea what’s happening in this album, but space+good vibes? YES.
  • Girls at Wartime Want to Dance by Belle and Sebastian– Mmmmm.

and also taylor swift’s 1989 i love it so much i listened to shake it off so many times during my plane trip okay

Musings on a newly created blog (or: it’s really obvious I don’t know what I’m doing)

  1. It’s been so long since I last used WordPress and now everything feels shiny and new and I am an old lady out of touch with the world.
  2. Fun fact: This blog is not new. This blog is three years old and was called ‘Humans are Awkward’ but thankfully it looks like I never wrote anything in it.
  3. I don’t know why I ever thought ‘Humans are Awkward’ was ever a good blog name. Something to do with early-teenage insecurity, I’m sure.
  4. I mean it when I say I don’t know what I’m going to write in this blog. It’ll probably be mostly about RCN UWC, but I’m fickle most times and I fear that my propensity for swearing (yes, even when writing out ‘formal’ blog posts) will get me kicked out of the school if I do actually endorse it as such.
  5. That last sentence was hideously pretentious and I refuse to be sorry about it.
  6. At all.
  7. The fact that this is taking so long to write is probably not a good sign for the future of this blog.
  8. The fact that I couldn’t even pick the theme for this blog until my to be co-year Jasmine found one for me (a very pretty one, I might add) is probably an indicator of the same.
  9. Speaking of Jasmine, she’s got a blog too! It’s amazing and you should follow her for additional HKG reppin’ if you’re doing some research about the UWC program. (I’ll link to more; I just haven’t found them all yet).
  10. Here I also offer my own expertise as well; if you’re looking to find out more about UWC at any point, just ask me! I hang out on my tumblr most days (I’m a little more uncensored on that but hopefully equally as friendly), but I think there’s a method of commenting here and I’ll be opening up more revenues of communication once I figure out how it works.
  11. This entire blog post probably confused you more than anything, so if you want an explanation just go over to the about page. It’ll be clearer.
  12. I swear the next blog post will be more coherent. I swear.