Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

It's easy to get frustrated in Hong Kong, especially if you're still adjusting to the culture. 
People walk slower than I'd like. They are on constantly on their phones, and give you the greasy eye if they bump into you. It gets to you. The city was designed by Dr. Seuss. There are a million dead ends, and being a pedestrian in HK gives you an idea of how that rat felt when it wanted some well-hidden cheese. Taxi drivers will flat out refuse to take you anywhere, or decide at their leisure when the trip is over and it's time for you to leave.
But you deal with it. You deal with it, because it's part of the city and it's a part of your life. It's a part of the beauty and the charm. I'd be lying if I said that I've never thought about raising my elbows, lowering my head and blasting through a crowded metro station, but at the end of the day, I love it. I didn't come here for a ghost town, and I didn't get one.

I went to a protest today. Joined a couple thousand HK college students and staff, protesting the People's Republic of China's educational reforms of the HK school system. It was quite the experience, sweating bullets and listening to chanting in Cantonese and Mandarin. I felt a little useless- just a big white guy adding to their numbers. But I do feel a connection to the cause. The average HK college degree takes around 3 years, and I'm here for a solid third of that. It's my education as well, and I want to have a say in it.

I want to immerse myself as completely as possible into life in Hong Kong. I want to be more than an academic tourist.

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