Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Two Weeks in Hong Kong

It has been two weeks since I arrived in Hong Kong. It was late on a Tuesday night when I exited customs to see Sam, an American from Virginia, and short girl from HKBU acting as a school ambassador who was picking Sam and I up from the airport. The taxi ride from the HK international airport to my school in Kowloon Tong takes about a half hour. It gave me some time to get to know Sam and my new HK local friend. It also gave me a chance to appreciate some amazing views of the city.

When the sun goes down, the city shares a scary resemblance with The Emerald City of Ozz. I was very lucky to find out when arriving at my school that my dorm room would be on the 9th floor, facing Hong Kong Island (where most of the beautiful sky scrappers are). I still use the view from my window to remind myself where I am.

I wish I had more adventures to share with you. Much of my time has been spent settling in. The exchange student group is very diverse. There are close to two hundred exchange students comprised of students from 28 different countries. The majority of which are from France, Germany, and the US. I have made friends with many. Just a few of which are Christian, a German who is an exceptional ping pong player (yes, I purchased an inexpensive paddle and am getting quite good) Tristan, a West Virginian who at only nineteen years old is well traveled and worldly, Julie, a beautiful French girl who continuously intrigues me with interesting perspectives, and Karen, a Canadian who though she wont admit it, is in love with ‘The OC’. But truly, I have made so many great friends already. I’m ashamed, for time sake, I must leave them out.

My roommate is a HK local named Sam (his English name). He is a bit quiet, but then again, I would be to if I was attempting to communicate in Cantonese. It was just today that I came back to the room and found him hanging out with a couple friends. Prior to this I was unaware that he had friends. He seemed quite the conversationalist with his HK friends and I was excited that my roommate was more exciting than I had first perceived.

Classes started last week. I have three marketing courses, one management course, and Mandarin. My marketing and management courses are quite similar to those I have taken at my home university. Mandarin is just hard.

Of all the things that are different, and there are many, the food is the hardest thing to get used to. When chicken comes with rice, you must pick out the bones and peel off the skin in order to get to the meat. Careful when you get a salted egg, it’s salty enough to ruin your entire meal. Most the time I give myself about a 50 % chance to get a meal that I like. Normally, unless I’m up for rolling the dice, I just stick with something I’ve had before.

There are many things that I look forward to working on. I was able to get my entrepreneurial idea into the senior experience projects at my home university. A student team selected the project this past week and they will begin working on it shortly (Thanks Tracy & George for your help). I will also begin searching for a suitable internship. I plan to create a database of marketing agencies here in Hong Kong and begin identifying which agencies are best suited for my abilities and goals. All help is welcome!

Thank you everyone for your continued support. I look forward to hearing from you concerning your lives and accomplishments. It’s hard to believe that it was just last December that I ended my trip to South America in Buenos Aires. However, I must say, when I put on my backpack two weeks ago, a smile came across my face. I knew exactly why. I’m where I need to be, at least in this part of my life. There are many things that this trip is and there are many things that I plan to accomplish. But I enjoy saying in plain – I am exploring, that my curiosity and philosophies compel me to this. This is going to be an amazing year.

Sincerely,

Kevin Burns

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