It's 5am and I'm going to Malaysia.
The past couple weeks have sped by, not because of their over-the-top events and experiences, but because their normalcy. The honeymoon phase well behind me, my buddies and I settled into a routine. Living in Hong Kong, not just visiting. We buy cases of beer and play games instead of going to clubs. We cook for ourselves and each other instead of going to restaurants. We play cards. We watch movies. And we love it. It's a new feeling for me, I finally feel like I have a place here. And of course, right as I get comfortable, things are going to change. This is the great conundrum of the study abroad program. Once you settle in, you're jostled out. It's how it goes, I guess.
So here I am. Way too freaking tired, eyelids heavy and belly growling. Keeping myself occupied to stay awake. My group- a Canadian, two Australians, and another American- is rolling out at 6am. My circadian rhythm being as it is (completely screwed), I'm attempting what my friend and adviser Fat Mike calls "a hard reset." I'll stay up all night, go about my daily business tomorrow, and sleep like a rock due to sheer exhaustion. Fat Mike is a friggin' genius sometimes, so again, here I am.
I'm spending 12 days in South-East Asia, starting with the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lampur. From there, I'll make my way north through the country, eventually ending up in southern Thailand. I might hit Singapore on the tail end. I'm incredibly excited, but I'll be a lot happier once I've slept on the ferry to Macau and had a McDonalds breakfast in me. I'm starting to feel like a straight crankster, sitting in my underwear, rubbing my eyes, getting a little more erratic by the minute. It'll be worth it.
Once I get back, I'm in a new phase of the exchange life. It'll be the home stretch, the last few weeks before everyone parts ways and I say goodbye to the place I've come to know and, occasionally, love. It'll be bucket lists and final exams, a mad whirlwind of last-ditch efforts to pack in experiences. Fleeting romance will happen. Fights will break out. 24-hour study sessions will be attempted. Some will succeed. Alcohol will flow like rivers. Many stories will be told of these last few weeks.
I'm on the fast track right now, prepping to be catapulted back to the US. When the time is right, I'll be ready. Till then, I need some goddang coffee.