I was originally planning to write about the things that happened so far but it was difficult to choose where to start – so I’ve decided to start by writing about our very first night in this awesome city. We arrived at around 6:30 pm and waited in the airport for the other exchange students arriving from other countries. We arrived at the residence halls at around 9 pm I think and we were starving. Thankfully, our student ambassadors took us out for dinner in Kowloon City.
We started walking out the halls, walking across the street to the park, climbing up the stairs and then kept on walking, and then some more walking, and then more and then we finally found this little restaurant. People at home weren’t kidding when they told me people walked a lot around here. Despite the lateness of the night, still, that tiny restaurant was packed. We were given the menu and they written in Chinese characters – just like all other small Chinese restaurants in the area. So, left with no choice, our student ambassadors ordered for us. Then suddenly, dimsum and siomai were piling quickly (literally, piles and piles of those steamers) and we had to eat with chopsticks. Of course. I thought I knew Chinese food and more importantly, I thought I was a professional chopsticks user, but I couldn’t be more wrong. The dimsums were a little familiar, sure, but the white buns which we call siopao did not taste anything like our siopao, it was filled with this hot yellow filling which until now leaves me wondering if it’s actually good or not. There was an appetizing soup which again until now I don’t know what exactly, some organ of some animal I suppose. As for the chopsticks, I thought I was fine and I thought I knew how to use it until they were using it for the dessert as well. The dessert was like these big cubes of gelatin and I was just, how can you pick it up with two sticks? It keeps slipping and breaking and well yeah, use your imagination. Amazing.
It was a pretty good dinner, I suppose. It left me full but even more curious about what this island has to offer. It was like a preview of the next four months for us, literally and not so literally. Literally because after this dinner we had two lunches that had similar menus if not exactly the same. Not so literally because walking for half an hour around the city looking for a restaurant, menus written in pure Chinese, chopsticks as the only available utensils and seemingly familiar food that turns out to be completely different seem like things that we will be repeatedly experiencing in the next four months.
So to the unbelievable long ‘walking distances’ here and to the use of chopsticks for everything, bring it.
Sometimes, I wish I could remove the part of my brain that does the overthining. Her mind is on a constant marathon.