Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recent Discoveries

Classes have begun and I've even gone to a couple (just kidding - no skipping here). Despite the hellish process that is adding and dropping classes, my schedule is awesome. I only have class Tues-Wed-Thurs. Four day weekend, every weekend! With my free time and even while racing to classes, I've discovered a few things about the area.

1. Macau is the Las Vegas of Asia
On my first Saturday here, Suri, from Finland, and I decided to go to Macau. She needed to activate her student visa, and I simply had nothing to do. The ferry ride from HK to Macau is about an hour long, complete with Abandon Ship instructions. We knew there was gambling but little did I know that is was ALL gambling. At this point in my life, I can't afford to gamble, so after wandering a bit we chose a fancy looking poolside bar to have a fancy looking poolside drink. It was swank. I most likely overpaid for the drink, but the atmosphere was worth it. Next time in Macau, perhaps I'll bite the bullet and bet a dollar.
Our friendly poolside dragon. 

2. If you're going to the beach (or anywhere), know the bus stop. 
No class on Fridays = Beach Day. We took the metro, we took a bus. Then we walked 2k. No beach. Then we walked the 2k back. Got back on the bus. Got off the bus at the nearest civilized area and took a ferry. Beach! I get lost nearly everywhere I go, so I wasn't too concerned when the trip out took an hour longer than planned. The beach was gorgeous, and the water was warm. I did step on a barnacle and got a nasty cut, but I think the salt water cleaned it out....
My first dip in the Pacific Ocean

3. This campus is not wheelchair accessible. 
Let me walk (pun intended) you through how I get from my dorm to the humanities building, where I have only one class (thank god). I take an elevator down 10 stories, then a different elevator up 4 stories. Walk a bit. Up 6 flights of stairs to central campus. Walk a bit. Walk up 8 flights of stairs to the humanities building, and lastly down a flight of stairs to the first floor where my classroom is. Math tells me I've only gained 6 stories worth of elevation, but my burning thighs tell math to stuff it.

These stairs come complete with escalators, but none of the other walkways are that blessed. 

4. Check the language of the class before you go there. 
I was understandably nervous for my first day. New country, new school, new classes. My very first class was in the theology building which is way on the other side campus. I passed the metro station, the pond, the track, and the meditation garden. Overall a very nice walk. After asking several people for directions, I found the classroom - only slightly late. Sheepishly, I entered the classroom and sat in the back. I hoped and prayed that the instructor wouldn't pull a Prof. Blake Whitten and draw an unnecessary amount of attention to the late and apologetic international student. But to my dismay the entire class stopped and stared at me. I stared fixedly at the syllabus. "Excuse me, Miss. Do you speak Cantonese?" Uh oh. "Uh, no, I don't. Is this class in Cantonese? I'm not even registeredMy adviser told me to take this class. I thought I'd check it out. I'm sorry. I guess I'll just go. K. Thanks. Bye." Despite it being an honest mistake, I was embarrassed. I went home and checked the languages of my other classes, and even after triple checking, I was nervous each time I entered a new classroom. I think I'll start practicing my Cantonese.

5. Dim Sum is amazing. 
The shrimp, the pork, the spring rolls, the dumplings. SESAME BALLS. The food here: Yum. Admittedly there is a distinct lack of fruits and vegetables (good luck being a vegetarian here), but I will definitely miss Dim Sum.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like you're having a great time, Shelley! And your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

    Miss you and very proud of you for taking on such a fantastic adventure!

    PS - I would have bought the bag that would've helped me land a husband! lol

    -Alisha Wauters