There is something nerve raking about the last few days before you travel. It reminds me of those minutes before an exam where you just sit there and wait for it to be distributed. You aren’t studying for the exam, yet you aren’t taking it either. You don’t feel like you have enough time to do anything, but you aren’t traveling either. Those last few days I did what I think anyone would have done in my situation: hung out with my friends, and ate as much of my favorite food as possible.
Two days ago I found myself in Hong Kong around 7:30AM and since then everything has been a blur. Jet lag doesn’t affect me a whole lot as far as being sleepy, but it does make my body feel very confused. “The sun’s up?? Well then, I guess I should be… awake..?” By the end of this week I will have spent a day and night in Hong Kong, 5 days in Taiwan, and will have returned to Hong Kong to study abroad. I am in Taiwan to visit friends and host families from when I had studied abroad in high school. My time in Hong Kong so far was pretty awesome. I was able to meet some pretty cool people in the hostel I stayed in, and explore a little bit of the main island. Right now Hong Kong is so hot and humid, that every non-Asian is coated in at least one layer of sweat. This is actually good for me because I sweat a lot anyways, so it’s nice to suddenly no longer be the only one haha.
The hostel I stayed at is a complete hit-or-miss. It seems like some people got really nice rooms, and others such as myself shared a room smaller than a Jester dorm with three other people. It was cramped and very little A/C, so it was also sticky. Despite this and uncomfortably cold showers, I enjoyed my time in the hostel. Most people there enjoyed complaining about the rooms, so we all had something in common. Occasionally though, there would be one person like “Really? In the room I’m staying in there’s a kitchen and a living room.” Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what others were living with. The owner was quite the character too. When my Swiss friend decided to book another night, he said “Okay, that will be 150. Wait, you paid less last time, right? Okay, gimme… 138, okay?” It seemed like everyone was paying different amounts for their room. It took me a little while to figure it out, but it’s because business is so slow during the summer since the weather is so shitty, and when you would book a room for whatever style (a private room or a room you share with seven others for example) the owner would just put you in whatever rooms aren’t empty and have openings. In my case, I booked an 8 person dorm room, but was instead put in a 4 person room, so some of the people in the room were paying for a 4 person room while others were paying for a 8 person room haha. So everyone was like “You’re paying 120? I just paid 132!”
Currently I am in Taipei, Taiwan staying with one of my host families. It feels so surreal being back. It’s almost like opening that shoebox full of pictures of people you once knew and going down memory lane. It’s weird being here without my foreign exchange student friends. It’s as if most of the people in the pictures are no longer in there and instead it’s just you with the background. There are some places that will be hard to revisit simply because I know it’s no longer the same as it once was. But I probably will revisit some of those places because they had some damn good food!
Alright, I’m gonna go ahead and get started with my day. I’ll write another post once school starts. The biggest lesson I learned so far is tell your credit card company all of the places you are traveling to (not just where you are studying abroad), or else you can’t use it haha. Definitely learned that one the hard way 😉