As usual, will be a breakdown of what I've been up to recently. Hopefully it's keeping all you crazy people who read my blog satiated with news from South China... if not, COMMENT and tell me how to improve.

At my school, last week was "Formal Test Week", meaning that all junior form students have a series of rigorous exams to suffer through, one for each subject they study, but for us senior form students all it means is that we get off at 1:15 every day! Each lesson is shortened to 30 minutes, and lunchtime is removed from the schedule. Anyway, it was very pleasant.

Friday was a very exciting day. After school, I ate some noodles with classmates, then went home to change, and then went to Wan Chai to meet my afser friend Jordan, to go turn in our monthly reimbursement forms to the head afs office. We get transportatin fees to and from school reimbursed, as well as $20 per day for lunch (about $2.50 US) and any textbooks we have to buy for school. Anyway, after locating the office with the help of a Russian bank security guard who knew the street, and multiple phone calls to the AFS 'workers' for further instructions, we turned in our forms uneventfully. Then, it was time for fun! The AFS/Hong Kong University Halloween Party was about to start. But, of course, it was a Halloween party, so costumes were needed. Me and Jordan had put some forethought into this, and I decided to be a random scary guy with crazy makeup and Jordan was an Asian Vampire. Anyway, we went to Jordan's house, put on our crazy makeup for a LONG time, made ourselves look as creepy as possible, joined some other partygoers (afsers as well), and took the train to Central, then a Taxi to the University, then trekked uphill to the building where the party was taking place, and finally we arrived. Actually, we were 2 hours late to the party, but still it was worth it. We were definitely the best scarily-costumed people there! Plus, riding the MTR in costume is the most fun thing in the world... More about that later. The party itself was nothing special; just meager snacks, crappy music, everybody dressed up in their costumes admiring each other and taking photos, and the University students who were the real hosts dancing and socializing a bit. It was fun just to have many people together though. After the party, it was quite late and nobody had really eaten dinner, so we went together to McDonalds and got some cheap food, then I went home to beat my curfew, while some others went clubbing. Riding the train in costume, is one of the strangest things I've ever done I think. Every single person either stares, pretends not to notice after taking a few glances, or talks to you. I met some crazy people from Atlanta, and Indian guy who (rightly) accused me of being a day early, and some local girls who insisted on taking photos with me. It's one thing to be a gwai chai (white boy) in Hong Kong, but to be white and in crazy makeup is just toooooo much! It was incredibly fun, because ALL the attention of passersby was on me, they all took their turn to stare, point, gawk, laugh, cry, scream... okay I'm exaggerating too much now. Basically, I got a look of odd looks, and had fun by staring down random people in an attempt to scare them a bit.

I got home, washed off my makeup, and had some good fitfull rest.

Then it was REAL Halloween!

In the morning, I just relaxed, ate breakfast with my family, relaxed, and then went to lunch with my family as well. They took me to an ancient Taoist Temple, situated really close to where we live, that serves traditional Taoist Vegetarian cuisine. The food was great; vegetables, noodles, rice and congee from the restaurant's communal rice pot, and all inside the gorgeous temple. It was a wonderful meal, and I believe the cost is quite low as well. After lunch, I joined some afs friends in Causeway Bay, where we window shopped for a while, drank overpriced coffee, and then went to Mong Kok. In Mong Kok, I bought a man-bag! All my life, I have thought of man-bags as being... not for me. But in Hong Kong, they are a must. Every guy seems to have one, and they are indredibly useful becuase they are smaller and lighter than a backpack, but allow you to carry infinitely more things with you than just using pockets. Anyway, we went to the ladies market, and I half-haggled half-got lucky with the price. Originally it cost 120 HKD, but I got it for 90. Maybe I'm stupid for thinking I got a good deal, but its still waaaay cheaper than you could ever find it in the US, plus the one I got is the perfect size for what I needed. So whatever.

After MK, we needed dinner. Then began the journey of a lifetime. Haha, we all decided (Me, Jordan, and Axel) that we wanted Indian food. I hadn't had any Indian food since coming to Hong Kong, and as it is nearly my favorite cuisine in the world, so my wait needed to come to an end. We decided that Tsim Sha Tsui was the best place to find good cheap Indian food, because that is the district of Kowloon where all the Indians live/work, plus Axel had been to an Indian place there before. But, once we took the train to TST, we got lost walking around the confusing streets. TST may just be the craziest part of Hong Kong because the Indians are incredibly pushy. They grab your arm, try to hand you pamphlets, adversitse fake watches and other illegal merchandise openly, and the mix of rich and poor people makes it a strange area. As white folks, we are thought of as 'stupid people with money to spend', or at least thats what it felt like. Anyway, after getting totally lost, we took a taxi to the main Indian area of Hong Kong. Finally, a man on the street called to us "Indian Food!". So we took his pamphlet, read the menu/prices, and decided to go for it. Well, the restaurant happened to be in Chungking Mansions, one of the most famous buildings in Hong Kong. It used to be the center of crime in Hong Kong, housing triads and drugs dealers and other illegal activities. But now, it is somewhat better, being a place where Indian and African immigrant have settled and formed their own sub-communities. Still a lot of dangerous folks inside (the building is a gigantic maze of small, sketchy looking businesses), but now it has its own professional police force and security cameras everywhere. Plus the man-on-the-street who originally enticed us to go inside was our guide. He took us to the elevator, then asked us if we wanted to take the stairs (we refused of course, we didn't want to be alone in a stairwell in that place). After making some semi-racist comments about Nigerians, he left us in line for our elevator. We made it to the restaurant alive and well, the elevator ride and small walk through a corridor after alighting were uneventful. And we did well in our choice of restaurant! It was a well-lit, busy place, that had other white and chinese patrons, meaning that it was safe and 'high-class'. But still not too expensive. Anyway, I had Chicken Vindaloo, and it was a great meal. After paying, and exiting the crazy building, we went to Central for the Halloween festivities in Lan Kwai Fong, the bar district of HK. It was crazy; thousands and thousands of people in costumes walking around. Of course, I didn't go into the bars/clubs and just stayed for a short while to embrace the atmostphere. Then I went home to meet my curfew again, and had a goooood rest.

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I wrote all that on November 5, now its the 9th. I'm slow at finishing these things...

Anyway, another exciting weekend has passed by now, but I'm just gonna leave it at that. This post just needs to be published!

Ben

Comments (2)

On November 10, 2009 at 5:03 PM , Kim said...

Great blog as usual. You are linked on the AFS USA blog page! I have an idea. Can you illustrate these posts with some of the great photos on FB?

 
On December 6, 2009 at 7:17 PM , Jordan said...

You totally forgot to mention that crazy guy with small pupils who attacked me!!! HAHAHA