Montag, 29. August 2011

Two weeks in Hong Kong

Back again! Since we do not have Internet in our flat yet, blogging is only possible from work.

The CS language club was definitely worth the visit! Not only did I meet new people but they could actually support me with profound knowledge about the level of difficulty of learning Mandarin/ Cantonese and simplified/ traditional. Now, I am more confident that simplified Mandarin combined with some Cantonese to get along is my reconsidered choice. This Evening I will see them again and learn some new sentences in Mandarin.

Before that meeting last week we went to a Sichuan place, where they featured "mouth numbing" noodle soup. I expected it to be exceptional spicy but instead my whole mouth started to tingle and prickle for about 10 minutes. At first it was just funny but as the tingling grew stronger I really felt uneasy about it. Good thing it stopped!

For our new apartment we chose different sources for articles of daily use. Luckily our teachers and friends over here are extremely kind and provided us with cutlery, blankets, pans& pots...Some more stuff
came from the local supermarket and Ikea. The only thing missing are electronics, like a water boiler and a rice cooker. We will probably but them used as there are some good deals on Asia.expat and craigslist.

Finally school has started for real and I develop an actual daily rhythm. Getting up early is always hard but it is worth it as we only have to work till 3pm. In addition my work is getting more interesting as all of the boring labelling, printing and laminating  will decrease over the next few weeks. When I have actually adapted to a daily schedule I will post a “regular day”; well as regular as it will get from my work at least ; )
Now that school has officially started, I got to know some parents at the entrance ceremony and even received some tutoring-requests which I gladly accepted. Not only do I need the money but I actually enjoy to support the willing ; ) I think it is remarkable that some of the kids grow up with two or three languages at the same time.
I found a minibus who takes me to work in 20 minutes  which is amazing as I can sleep longer in the morning! In the afternoon it does still take me ages to get home as the traffic is so bad. The best option so far is to take the bus to the first MTR station and from there on, take the train.
A couple posts ago I noted that the Chinese mentality is guest friendly. After one more week I want to add to that statement. Not only are they courteous but really generous, too. In my opinion most of the Germans should follow their example. We get regularly invited to drinks, music- or sport-events or even dinner.Maybe I have already acquire this quality earlier as an old lady in a coffee shop tried for at least a minute to communicate that I am very attentive; in her broken English.
Nearly every day I try new food, like the Japanese sponge cake which is really airy, soft and sweet and in different flavors available. On Sunday evening my friend Joyce invited us over to her place for dinner with her parents. As her mother is an angel, she created a fantastic dinner on short notice and provided us with even more cutlery for our apartment. Now we can feed at least a dozen people from plates!
At her place we had seafood (fish and clams) with a cucumber like vegetable, rice; of course and beef For dessert we had sweet young ginger, yellow kiwis, some dark coloured Tofu which smelled and tasted like old cheese and another bitter vegetable. Besides the bitter one, I really enjoyed the food, especially the delicate ginger!!
Oh and last Friday we went out for seafood to Lamma Island by ferry.  We got invited by our teachers from school and besides the tasty seafood it was an entertaining trip to a more quite place of Hong Kong. At first I was sceptical but there actually exists something like a quite spot on these islands. Afterwards we payed a visit to the Red Bar in Cetral, where you can enjoy your own beer with a superb view on the Kowloon Skyline. In Germany a spot like that would be commercialised for sure!
On Saturday we slept in for once and went over to a colleague to enjoy a German barbecue with them and German speaking expats. Always nice to know that the German culture lives on, even in Hong Kong.
We still have no Internet, no washing machine and no stove but at least the last two are getting connected today. We hope that we will be able to take over an Internet contract from some expat who returns to his home country as the minimum length of contract is 18 months.
But as these contracts are on high demand, we did not have any luck yet to acquire one. We definitely need one soon though! I just "wasted" my whole breakfast break for blogging   :(

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