Time flies when you stop writing. I always tell myself that today is not so different from yesterday, and there’s really nothing to write about… and then before you know it, I’ve skipped too many precious details in my life. So anyway…
Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I left Haikou last Monday abruptly and flew back to Hong Kong. Before last weekend, I would have said that it’s a great thing, because I was getting so bored of the city. But that weekend was very eventful. We went for karaoke, we played soccer with some of our classmates in China, and we also went out exploring other parts of the city. That’s when I realized that Haikou is actually quite a big city – definitely a lot bigger than I had originally imagined!
It all started when we organized a game of soccer, and I didn’t have any soccer cleats to play in. I searched up where I could find soccer equipment, and found out that the old downtown area of Haikou is filled with stores selling various items. There’s a neighbourhood for electronics, toys, household items – basically every genre of item you could ever imagine – and among them is one for sporting equipment.
The website also warned me to negotiate the price. The ticketed price is never actually worth it – they expect you to push it lower. I’m not very good at this, nor do I like negotiating, but I don’t like the idea of people taking me for a fool. So I did try – and also practiced my Mandarin while I was at it. The owner of the store told me I spoke very good Mandarin, just for the record! In the end, we were both happy.
I finally walked through the park under broad daylight that Saturday afternoon, and there was a lot more going on compared to night time. Lots of people put out public Chinese Opera shows, and a lot more people were watching all around. The parks in China also like to put out table tennis tables for public recreational use.
Hong Kong and China are so different. In Hong Kong, you would never have such a nice soccer field to play on for free. But just like Canada, China is abundant in space. Even though there’s a lot more people in China, there’s still quite more than enough space.
On Sunday, we decided to go visit a beach on the west side of Haikou. We didn’t go into the water, or even suntan. We just wanted to see what the beach looked like.
As you keep heading west, you enter an area of new development. There is a huge convention center among quite a few hotels and new apartment buildings, but aside from that it’s pretty deserted. These are traces of Haikou trying to develop… unfortunately, it’s still nothing close to a financial hub.
We ended stumbling upon Marriott Hotel next to this convention center, and spent the rest of the day there. It was the most beautiful hotel we had seen in Haikou so far! And definitely better than some of the ‘standard’ hotels I’ve seen around America!
I left Haikou the next day, after our interesting excursion. It’s not like I won’t be back – I’ll have to go back to complete my training later in October – but it will be with a different group of people, and I was just getting to know some of my classmates! Oh well. It definitely forces me to continue practicing my Mandarin!
Hong Kong has been the same so far. I went to see Inside Out last week. It’s been out for a very long time now, but I never got a chance to watch it before heading off to Haikou. I loved it! I find that most animated movies nowadays are targeted towards adults rather than children. It’s a very meaningful movie, arguably even more meaningful than some of the ‘big kid movies’ out there.
I took the MTR to Kennedy Town Station, and that was my first time actually stepping into the station that I had worked on 3 years ago in Hong Kong. When I was there, we didn’t even have a base structure yet. They were still blasting away at the subway tunnel! It’s so interesting that I should know every detail about this station, and yet I don’t recognize it at all.
I went to the Hong Kong Food Expo last week, which is another new experience for me. I’ve been to the Book Fair and Anime Convention, but this was my first time at the Food Expo. I can see how its interesting, but for me, I’m growing less and less fond of crowded places. (Well I guess Hong Kong isn’t such a good place for me, eh?) And the Food Expo is pretty much like a blown-up version of the night market. I didn’t think it was worth the crowd, although it is an interesting experience.
So I’m back in Hong Kong for at least this next month. Out of all the disappointment of setting my training schedule a bit back, the one bright side is that I get to make it for the Imagine Dragons concert next week?