(09) If you want a bagel at Starbucks, you have to ask. I never saw bagels on display at Starbucks in Hong Kong so I always assumed they didn't have it! Until someone suggested that I asked...apparently asking does you a lot of good even if it seems so obvious of the answer...because apparently they do sell bagels there...as they hide their stash...in the back...somewhere...
(07) Wifi is everywhere, for a limited time. Three of the four weeks we stayed in Hong Kong, we lived in a place that did not provide wifi. I was extremely happy about this, while others were on the verge of death. Not having wifi just gave me an excuse not to respond to emails!(; The 7-Eleven by the place we stayed provided 15 minutes of free wifi for five sessions per day, while the 7-Eleven by the school we taught at provided 30 minutes of free wifi for five sessions. My team had it down. They knew where all the free wifi was at. The most quality time people had were at the living site, once we were out and about in Hong Kong -- phones were out to use the free wifi for fifteen minutes at coffee shops, restaurants, train stations, etc.
(05) The people make the place. That's why I love Hong Kong. A year ago, I was a lot lighter, making my time in Hong Kong a lot different. (You know, back when I could tell people my parents were born and raised in Hong Kong and they didn't doubt that statement.) It's nice being in a country where I just look like everyone else. I don't get special attention, nor do people get super surprised when they find out I am bilingual. It's always nice to not have a million questions asked because they can't seem to make the connection between who I am on the inside with who I am on the outside. My students can care less about trying to impress me with the famous foods and sights of Hong Kong, rather they just tell me they ate at that place yesterday and would prefer if we eat at some hole in the wall because they think I can suck it up and sit in a low-lighted restaurant. Whenever I go back to Hong Kong, I end up sitting at McDonalds or some low-budget restaurant with my students as they catch me up on their life and as they try their best to speak English. We have developed our own method to communicating. I love that place because I love the people I have grown to love there.
(03) Instant Coffee. At the housing center we stayed at while in Hong Kong this summer provided us with instant coffee every morning. Yeahs, I am not a fan of instant coffee. Instead, I went for the canned version every morning at 7-Eleven. That was the ritual of the team every morning. After our hour long bus ride, we would go to the 7-Eleven right by our school and get coffee for the day (which meant more than one can) in addition to checking up on all our social media sites with the free 30-minute Wi-fi. Hong Kong sells little packaged 2-in-1 coffee everywhere (it's their most popular way to sell coffee). That means that coffee and milk are already in a package together. Yeahs, not a fan. At the same time, I got no time to be carrying my french-press around.
(02) It's cold. Well, not really. It's super humid in Hong Kong (yes, more humid than Cambodia). This summer, I slept with a sweater on every night in addition to two comforters. I had a sweater with me everywhere I went. There's air conditioning everywhere! Everywhere. Yes, it's hot and moist when you walk outside, but less than a two minute walk and you're in a room with air conditioning blasting. I wore a sweater while I taught, talked, and thought. I love sweater weather!