So I'll start off by explaining the title: In Hong Kong English, pronunciation isn't always... correct. Many words are simply said differently here. One of these words is 'pizza', coming from an advertising campaign by Pizza Hut in which the word is pronounced 'Pissa'. Thus, the general population only knows that delightful circular Italian cheese-bread with the incorrect pronunciation. Anyway, one day I was talking to my classmates about ordering some pizza for lunch (which by the way is damn expensive here) and they just started laughing and laughing. After a while they asked me what on earth I was talking about - ordering 'pizza' for lunch. After some more confusion it was discovered that the word Pizza (said correctly) matches the local (mis)pronunciation of the name Peter, and they really though I would talking about ordering Peter for lunch. So the happy ending to my tale is that a few HKers now know the real way to say the word Pizza. We never got it in the end either; far too small and expensive. But I really miss pizza actually... greasy cheesy tomatoey breadiness is hard to come by here. The Pizza places are all 'upscale' and its impossible to buy by the slice. Whatever, there are plenty of other greasy foods to tide me over until next June. And on that note I'll point out that I'm nearly half-way done with my time in HK. OH MY GOD!!! It's shocking; the time has zippppped by faster the speed of light. Not that I haven't learned, experienced, and accomplished many many things, but it just doesn't seem like I've been living in Hong Kong for 4 months already. But what have I done here so far? Well, apart from the fact that I've matured greatly, am much more independent, more capable of fending for myself, and have a new view of life, there are a couple of more calculable things I've done. My knowledge of the Cantonese language has jumped from 0 to extremely basic conversational ability necessary for life, plus I know many abnormal/random words and phrases good solely for the purpose of showing off. I am now learning to write a few characters too. Hard as hell, but I'm oh-so-gradually learning how to draw those pictographs legibly. For the past two Sunday's I've been going to Tuen Mun to learn some Kung Fu basics as well. It's a great release of energy/stress to smack those pads with all my might! Plus I'm learning South Chinese kung-fu in South China; how cool is that?!?! I'm not sure if I have enough time/commitment to become a master or anything, but just as a fun, unique way to spend Sundays, its perfect. What else? I'm in my school's singing contest (the whole class joined much to my chagrin) and we will be singing an old-school 70's HK song called ShaLaLa in front of the school. It's in English, but still getting on a stage, even collectively, is something I doubt I'd ever do in America. But circumstance is forcing me, so it shall be done. I'll give more info when it actually happens. Okay so I guess I'll just continue by saying more things I've done lately. AFS organized a volunteering activity for all exchange students at a charity in HK called 'Crossroads'. We did an interesting activity which simulated the daily life of the world's slum-dwellers, and it was actually quite eye-opening and enjoyable. After that we just did some standard volunteer work; packing boxes, moving furniture, carrying things around, folding clothes. Otherwise I've been having gobs of fun doing countless different things with my various groups of friends. Eating and window-shopping are recurring though. Hong Kong's malls are simply unescapable, and the desire/necessity to eat never seems to wane. I got a ticket to Muse, coming to HK next February! One of my all-time favorites, and I'm going to get to see them live! Sooo excited. Christmas is coming! Meaningless to me actually, but still I will mention that Hong Kong likes decorations. A lot. Almost every building is now covered in twinkly little lights, with generic Christmassy music playing everywhere, and specialized advertising for the holiday season has arrived en masse. Even the people who work at Tuen Mun Town Centre Information Centre are wearing Santa hats... I would be lying if I said all this wasn't PISSING ME OFF already. I am the grinch. No matter if I'm in Iowa or Hong Kong, the Christmas spirit just ends up making me angry. It's inexplicable really, but I just have a cultivated hatred for all things Christmas. And thats all my exhausted brain is capable of providing my fingers to type today. Until next time... byebyela!

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