HONG KONG HIGHLIGHTS (so far)

Friday, April 6, 2018
HELLO! Many of you were requesting life updates since my being here in Hong Kong, so here you go: currently I am sitting in bed, sans pants, eating pesto penne pasta with chopsticks, authentic, I know...

But really, as impressed as I'm sure you are with my chopstick vs. penne skills, I don't think that is what you are here for. Luckily, I'll do my best to provide what you are here for, highlights! And no, not any kind of Glossier or Jeffree Star highlights, so if you're here for that, best you clicked out now.

It has officially been two weeks since I've been living in Hong Kong. So far SO great. Besides going to classes everyday, (okay minus one day when I was super sick) ((everyone gets a travel bug at some point right?)) these are some of the fun things I have done since being here.
Art Central
Last Friday, my friend, Michele and I went to an amazing art show called Art Central. It's a massive showing of art from all around the world from artists who are just emerging, to highly established ones. It was SUCH a cool experience. I especially loved seeing not only pieces that brought me joy, but what made others stop and take a second look, and maybe even take a photo. Everyone has such different taste which I love. Glad I could spend the morning surrounded by curators, art lovers, collectors, and pleasant gallery goers that day, oh yeah and Michele, she's alright I guess...
We got noodles that day for lunch from a Michelin Star restaurant, it didn't disappoint and I felt fancy.
Exploring Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po is the neighborhood where SCAD is located. Just to clarify, the student apartments are on the Gold Coast, which is about give or take 20-40 minutes (depending on traffic) away from Sham Shui Po, which is in the city. Gold Coast is much more residential, where as Sham Shui Po and surrounding city neighborhoods are bustling with street vendors, smells of some kind of unique food wafting through the air, crowded cross walks, Peppa Pig merch-filled markets, and bubble tea, lots and lots of bubble tea.

Neon signs line the streets as do motorcycles and strangers, I love it. I'm working on getting my bearings, and beings comfortable exploring solo without getting lost. A major plus about Hong Kong is that it is super duper safe. No one is out to get you, scam you, rob you, hurt you, or harass you. Honestly! Obviously I still have all common sense in tact, but it's nice to not have to be on high alert 24/7 for sketchy strangers.
Flower, Jade, and Ladies Markets
Last weekend, Claire, Michele, and I decided to take a trip to Jordan and Mong Kok (neighboring neighborhoods of the Sham Shui Po neighborhood). To say the least, it was overwhelming. SO many people shuffling either too slowly or way too quickly through narrow paths. Claire's face in the photo above perfectly depicts how we felt at the Ladies Market. There, everyone was trying to get from one knock off to the other, bargaining and hunting for the easiest merchant to swindle for a lower price on cheaply made designer knock offs and knick knacks. I succeeded in this field multiple times, it's safe to say I'm not only proud but feeling kinda cocky, ask me about my new "Gucci" sunglasses, I dare you.

As for the Flower and Jade Markets, the Flower Market we just walked through, no swindling there. Just orchid smelling and succulent price comparing, none were worth it for me though, seeing as it would probably die upon first touch of my not so green thumbs anyway. The Jade Market was similar to the Ladies Market in the sense that EVERYONE was trying to get you to buy their jade, not the guys in the booth next to theirs! I didn't end up getting any, 1. because it was not real, however priced as though it was, and 2. I wanted to get something for my mom and sister, but thought I would wait it out until I'm further into the quarter, knowing there will probably be more down the road... ya know?

All in all it was fun to market (turning the noun market into a verb, meaning to go to the market... go with it).
Ma Wan Piers
I have been to the beach twice now, once the first weekend to the beach at my apartment, and the second time, yesterday, at Ma Wan Piers. After our market day, we took the public bus home (typically we will take the SCAD bus into town from the apartments and have SCAD be a launching point for any adventures, however it runs at weird times on weekends, hence: public bus) when we saw what looked like a cool strip of restaurants, shops and a beach on our way home. We made note of the closest bus stop and adventured back there yesterday.

We were right! It was cute. The beach, although shelly, has SUCH a beautiful view of mountains, the big bridges (they're pretty) and planes from the airport constantly taking flight (see above photo). We checked out the beach for a hot second, then walked around in the town, we came to the conclusion that this is a highly residential area and we ate dinner at one of the neighborhood spots.

It was a beautiful day, people were walking dogs, everyone seemed to know everyone and would run into all their friends on the sidewalks, we sat outside and enjoyed the scenery and people watching as we ate good Chinese food and drank tea. After dinner we went back to the beach where we watched a bit of the sunset over the mountains. The water felt so good on our feet, and I had purchased a tiny pineapple to match my swimsuit (bc I'm extra like that) which was delicious. Afternoon adventure well spent.
SoHo and Central
This morning, Tori, Hannah (my roommates), Michelle and I ventured out to Central, Hong Kong for a CUTE bite to eat. I hate to overuse the word cute but OH MY GOSH THIS WAS THE CUTEST FOOD EVER!! As seen in the first photo of this post, we went to an Instagrammers dream of a restaurant, Yum Cha, for googly eyed  dim sum and pineapple bird cookies that came in literal bird cages, does it get much better than that? Like... no. And the best part? They were actually delicious. We also got vegetable dumplings too, don't worry we are kinda healthy.

As a vegetarian, finding food I can eat is tough, but not in Central, they are quite accommodating in this more diverse part of Hong Kong. Central reminds me a LOT of Manhattan, if that helps at all. Just with WAY more alley markets and stairs. 

After breakfast/lunch/brunch we headed to SoHo which is just another part of Central basically but less sky scrapers, more boutiques, murals, small restaurants and local love. Oh but wait, it started sprinkling? Just another casual day in Hong Kong, a monsoon warning went out so we sought shelter in a Pret a Manger. Once that passed, we were back at it on SoHo where most of the photos above were taken. Today was tiring and wonderful.

***

Overall I really do love it here so much. I love my new friends, my roommates, my classes, and most of all this incredible place. I'm so, so tremendously grateful to have this opportunity, thank you Moms and Pops! And SCAD!! 

There will be more posts like this to come, just let me go on more adventures first ;) 
Until then, have you seen my latest vlog? I post them weekly! xo, O