Our First Trip Abroad
I actually was planning to write a first-hand narrative of what happened. In fact, I already have four paragraphs. But the lazy bug bit me (eww, stupid cliche).
So, I will just post pictures and write cute captions or something. Teehee :)
Picture credits (because most pics aren’t mine) to Mary Joy Molina, Keeshia Joy San Juan, and Ezra Hilary Ceniza.
We then checked in at Chung King Mansions.
I did not expect our rooms to be small. Really small. It was different from the pictures on our online booking. It was like one third of a regular Philippine classroom. Well, because it was our first trip abroad, we decided to think positively.
We booked in a travel budget hotel after all. Besides, even though the room was small, it had all we need – neat beds, towels, aircon, a toilet with heater, and even a hair dryer.
After leaving our bags, we then expolred Hong Kong…particularly Tsim Sha Tsui –
The streets of Hong Kong
Oh, yes. We walked. We walked till our feet ached.
Once again – group selca while waiting for the bus. (We also rode the bus.)
We were amazed by a certain fountain in Hung Hom. It looked like a shallow swimming pool!
There, a series of group selca began.
Then we took random pictures while we were exploring Hong Kong’s streets.
We then attended mass at a building for sailors (I forgot the name). Most of the mass goers were Filipinos. Hahahaha. I just found that amazing.
After the mass, we stayed in the building for a while because it was raining hard. Of course we took selcas once again.
We also visited the Avenue of the Stars. Since most of the stars there were Chinese, we only looked for Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Hahahahahaa. It was so cold. Fog was everywhere and the cold wind was blowing.
More pictures at the Avenue of the Stars…
Fa Yeun Street is a well-known shopping district in Hong Kong. Since we shopped and haggled and carried numerous shopping bags, less pictures were taken.
Joy just loves to take selcas <3
Our shopping bags were getting heavier. We got tired of haggling down. We all felt that our feet would go numb in any minute. In fact, I felt two large needles were piercing my feet.
So, we decided to rest at a tea restaurant.
It was a new experience. We bought new kinds of teas. Those which we considered as exotic.
Next stop – Victoria Peak.
So we rode the MTR (their train)…
…and a bus.
I have to tell what happened during the bus ride.
The road going up the Peak was a great zigzag. It didn’t help that my travel buddies were mostly not used to that kinds of roads. Also, the driver of the bus drove like he was filming Fast and Furious.
Bragging aside, I’m used to zigzags and fast driving because I am from the province. So the drive up hill wasn’t a problem. In fact, I enjoyed the ride. It was great to see tall building nearly covered by the fog. it was also good to see greenery.
So I was shocked when I saw how pale Keeshia, Ezra, and Joy after the bus ride.
Although we didn’t ride on a tram to go up the Peak, we had a picture with it :)
There’s a nature trail at Victoria Peak. Of course, we went through it. It was great!
as you enter the trail, all you can see is fog. Fog everywhere.
But somewhere along the trail, the fog lessens. There’s less fog that sun light passes through.
I finished the trail first.
It was already dark when my travel buddies finished the trail. They told me that they waited for me.
I felt sorry. But that only lasted for a while.
Anyways… After that, we entered a mall at the peak.
Each of us posed with Bruce Lee, too.
And before we left the Peak, we took a final memorial picture in front of our favorite ice cream shop.
We heard a mass in Chinese at a Catholic Church, Holy Rosary Church at Chatham Road.
It was clean. Inside, there was a fusion of Chinese and Catholic traditions.
The altar was simple yet fascinating. And since it was Lunar New Year, a pink tree with flowers and orange plants similar to the airport decorations were placed on the side of the altar.
Hearing the mass in another language was amazing. And, I found it even more amazing when the Chinese attending the mass were so participative – they sang and responded with fervor and in loud voices.
The next pictures were taken at the Clock Tower near the harbor at Tsim Sha Tsui.
This was after our ferry ride from the main Hong Kong Island. Although we had less pictures on the ferry, we (particularly Joy and Keeshia) took lots of pictures.
The ferry docked at a pier near the Clock Tower. We were lucky. We saw the light show and even bought more chocolates at a lesser price. :)
Finally, we visited two universities in Hong Kong. Actually, we went to Hong Kong to look for universities which could offer great master’s degree training in Linguistics.
Sadly, we were not entertained by the department. But, as we saw it, everyone was busy. It seemed that they had a meeting. Or ….
But we sent them an email three months before our visit. They didn’t reply. I guess they don’t entertain guests on a holiday. It was Lunar New Year after all.
So, we just toured around and took pictures.
Unlike CityU, the Department of Linguistics welcomed us warmly. We didn’t even expect to meet half of the faculty. We had our talk inside a conference room. Four professors welcomed us – Professor Diana Archangeli (the Chair), Professor Cathyrn Donohue, Professor Kofi Yakpo, and Assistant Researcher Jon Yip.
My friends and I asked questions. The professors answered our questions enthusiastically. They were amazed with our great interest in linguistics.
It was a rich and wonderful experience to talk with well-published yet humble professors.
We actually toured their library too. Sadly it was strictly NO PICTURE TAKING ALLOWED. We barely managed to get inside because Professor Kofi was with us.
Gosh, their library is AMAZING! Unlike my university’s library, their shelves are actually full of books from the floor up to the cieling! And I’m not even exaggerating.
Professor Kofi toured us on the floor with the Linguistics books.
BREATH TAKING. I could literally do my thesis there since most of our proponents’ and related literature are on their bookshelves. T.T
There were several interesting books and journals in linguistics, too.
Hong Kong – was very memorable. It’s distinct smell, the Chung King Mansions, the shop owners with whom we haggled with, their large food servings, their double-deck buses, and finally the thick fog. These were truly unforgettable.
We only toured two Hong Kong Islands. But it was fun and fulfilling.
We’ll come back next time. Whether it’s for leisure or for educational purposes – we’ll never know.