Friday, September 14, 2012

Dancing Queen

You can be anyone you want to be in Hong Kong. 
By day, we're students. We study finance, economics, business, psychology. We go to class every day, we eat at the school's canteen, we study a little bit. But tonight, we were cut loose. We were dancers, and singers, and screamers and groupies. We jumped and we sweat and we had the time of our lives, along with a rooftop garden full of expats, locals, tourists and travelers. For a few hours, you're someone different. Impulsive and released, maintaining your identity in quiet moments by the air-con and the elevator. Tomorrow, we'll go back to fiscal policy and coffee between classes. But tonight, we're different.

Today marks the end of my first complete week of school, and I have to say, it couldn't have been better. My classes are interesting and engaging. The teacher knows me in just about every class- I tend to stand out. It's going to be a hell of a semester, possibly the best yet. I feel things changing for the better. I don't know if that will fit within the guide rails of my current life plans, but I'm not concerned. I'm becoming who I'm going to be for a very long time, and I need to go along with the ride or the process could go awry.

I also had my first experience with modern Hong Kong cinema today, catching the new release "The Bullet Vanishes" in my local movie house. It was incredible. A period crime-thriller in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, with twists and turns and humor and action. I absolutely loved it, easily one of my favorite movies of the year.

I'm grappling with some things, some elements of the exchange student life.
First off: money. Here's some quick background. I don't have a working bank card. Mine is a temporary card that's been deactivated, and my primary card is in the mail on it's way to me. That leaves me without access to a bank account. All that I've had left was a couple US bills that I've been exchanging as I need. Now, I realize that I have the incredible safety net that is my parents. I'm incredibly grateful for them, and this experience has only made me more so. Because my temporary reality is kind of a frightening one. Living with only the money in your pocket, budgeting for food and that's about it. Having to borrow money from friends, complete with the apologies and the promises to pay them back. It's hard. It's scary. It's given me just a fragment of perception. At the end of it all, I'll go back to my bank account and my financial security. But it may not always be like that.

Next issue: Women. But that's a story for a different night.
Till next time, keep the funk going.

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