Exploring Hong Kong!

Time to catch up on the past days!!! Saturday was probably one of the most exciting days of the orientation week, filled with three amazing events: The Hong Kong Magical Mistery Tour, International Culture Evening and Canteen Party.

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During the morning briefing John, our chemistry teacher, gave us a presentation about Hong Kong and i’s history, summing up the most important historical events (colonial times, opium wars, etc). After that we were split in groups that each received a hint for their first stop of the Hong Kong Mistery tour that was designed to help us bond with new people, explore the city and get comfortable with the public transport. My group consisted of five Hong Kong students  – Alys, Arthur, Bok Wai,  Chris and Cynthia – and two overseas students which were Angelos from Greece and me.

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Touring around the city and looking out for our second-years to receive the next clue for our location was incredibly fun! We started at a mall and found our secondyears at the ice skating parcour. To receive the hint to our next location we had to complete a very funny task: laying down on the floor and spelling the word LPC with our bodies!!! While we could not stop laughing most of the people in the malls were looking at us, wondering why we decided to spell letters on the floor. Our next hint took us to Times Square. Yes, there truly is a place called Times Square in Hong Kong! It is right on the Causeway Bay MTR exit. There is a huge mall with over 230 stores selling “normal” stuff and luxury fashion and much more. Walking out of the MTR station it is very easy to recognize Times Square and the mall with the flashy displays and installations that are set up on the surrounding buildings. We could not spot our second years, but we spotted a group of people with pink shirts and “Free Hug” signs, running towards them and being happy and silly at the same time. The task that our second years had prepared for us at Times Square consisted of two components: laying down (again) but looking as if we were shot dead.

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Angelos was our gunman, standing above us with his hands formed to a pistol while we threw ourselves on the floor and tried to look as dead as possible (with a huge smile on our face). The next thing we had to do was to get at least 16 people to look at the sky. At first we started shouting “UFO! UFO!” as loud as possible but since this did not seem to work we changed our strategy and began pointing at a skyscraper and asking whether it was the IFC (Hong Kongs tallest building). Our next stop was Mong Kok, one of the densest parts of the city where you can shopping for very very good prices. Seeing Mong Kok was wonderful because it is so different from the neighborhood our school is located in. One of Hong Kongs most popular markets, the Ladies’ Market is also there – with  tons of shopping streets, clustered with merchants and different sections of the street dedicated to the sale of pets, fruits and clothes. We found our second-years quickly and in order to receive our next clue two of us had to buy traditional Hong Kong style street food (fried organs, squid or egg waffles) Angelos and me decided to get the squid and we have to admit that it tasted quite good.

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From Mong Kok we took one of the traditional double-decker trams to our next stop. The trams here are very unique and plastered with advertisements, moving through the streets like an elephant. They are clunky and slow, but an incredible attraction on their own. I loved taking photos of them! And guess what: One ride is only 2:30 Hong Kong Dollars (0.30 US Dollars!!)  The day was unforgettable and filled with so many more amazing activities: playing sword games, walking across the Avenue of Stars and enjoying Hong Kong’s breathtaking skyline, taking the traditional ferry and eating delicious noodles and fish dumplings. Our last stop was the Bruce Lee statue… guess what we had to do before going back to school: Build a human pyramid! The tourists were not just surprised when we started getting on top of each other, no they started taking photos! And just after twenty seconds we became THE tourist attraction!!

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Read about the international Cultural Evening and the Canteen Party in the next post!