The Countdown in Hong Kong Continues, and I Learn Packing Sucks!

The final days saga continues. No matter how many years go by since my study abroad, whenever I look back over these posts, it seems as vivid to me as if it happened yesterday. Don’t miss it – there’s a very fancy, schmancy date to be had!

June 5, 2010

On Saturday, I went to the mega-mall complex Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. I still couldn’t get over how big the malls are in Hong Kong! I walked for hours, and never even hit all of the stores or reached the end of the malls or even walked outside! After thoroughly exhausting myself during the afternoon, I returned to campus for a little rest just in time to say good-bye to another friend, Angela, who was leaving to join her parents and relatives in Shanghai for a week before returning to Virginia. Then I chilled in the evening in my room before going out to LKF with my roommate and a few other girls. Since every night that week was the “last night” for at least three people, we couldn’t very well say no (nor did we want to, what else were we going to do? Stay in? I think not!).

Yet another real-life shot of partying joy captured in the moment.

Yet another real-life shot of partying joy captured in the moment.

A huge group of people ended up at another club I’d never been to before called, Roxi where we danced the night away until 4 – we were the only ones left in the club at the end, and when we left some people continued the party at Drop, but I was so tired (and luckily a few others were too) that we took a cab home and I slept for about 4.5 hours. I’ve gotta tell you – the last week in Hong Kong, I doubt I got more than five hours of sleep (at most) each night. But whatever – there was fun to be had, people to see, things to do! I could sleep when I’m dead (or back in the States where LKF doesn’t exist).

On Sunday, I prepared to leave (and return to) Hong Kong one more time before heading out for good. So I went to Shenzhen for some last-minute shopping and one last taste of mainland China. The afternoon on the mainland was just what I needed to remind me how glad I was to have studied in Hong Kong and not China proper. Yes, it was wonderful how cheap everything was – I got a beautiful purple stone bracelet, a short dress (or top depending on your definition of ‘too short’), and (naturally) more street food and bubble tea in the best shopping area: Dong Men. Prior to that, I got off at the wrong stop, wandered in some very local (but still quite ritzy for China) grocery store and furniture warehouses, before finding a girl in the MTR station who spoke a modicum of English and could tell me which stop I really needed to go to.  It was all good though, I could cope with being a little lost that close to the safety of Hong Kong.

One final look at the utter chaos and energy of Shenzhen, China. Fare thee well.

One final look at the utter chaos and energy of Shenzhen, China. Fare thee well.

My final bubble tea from China. So, so perfect.

My final bubble tea from China. So, so perfect.

I returned to civilization in the late afternoon, had dinner early with some more friends who were preparing to leave the next day and then, since I had nothing much to do that night (for once everyone was exhausted from partying for up to six days straight), I decided to start the arduous task of packing for home. Big mistake. Big, ginormous mistake. One enormous suitcase and one and a half hours later I was feeling physically sick, unbelievably depressed, and hugging my roommate as we were staring at each other asking, “How did this happen so quickly?” Needless to say, this was probably one of my lowest moments since coming to Hong Kong, but lucky for me, some of my friends invited me to hang out later on and we cheered each other up a bit – but still, you could feel the time slipping away so quickly.

Monday was the day I stayed on campus all day – partly because of the rain and partly because I was packing in earnest. Around 3 PM, though, my girlfriend finished her last test (which she said she bombed, but at least it was over), and we grabbed lunch and hung out in one of her common rooms watching Internet TV shows for a couple of hours. At 7:30 that evening, I had another date with the guy from Pakistan that I’d met two weeks ago at LKF. He took me to yet another (even nicer) restaurant in TST called, “Aqua.” Let me tell you, this place absolutely knocked my socks off! I have never seen such gorgeous views of the harbor than what I saw from those full length windows on the 29th floor of the building! Not to mention the food, which was a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine, along with the champagne we had with dinner – it was probably one of the most romantic nights of my life (up to that point anyway).  After dinner, we ascended to the bar above the main dining area, which had views of the opposite side of the city. Absolutely spectacular. Words don’t really do it justice at all. And to top off the night, we went for a walk along the harbor after dinner to end a perfect date.  It was really magical.

Looking down from where we had dinner at Aqua. In the upper bar area, the views of Hong Kong were even more stunning.

Looking down from where we had dinner at Aqua. In the upper bar area, the views of Hong Kong were even more stunning.

It cheered me up immensely during a very tough few days too – I had no idea, I’d meet such amazing people during my crazy time living in Hong Kong, but I feel so incredibly lucky I did. Don’t miss my very last post when this whole saga comes to a close, please stick with me to the bittersweet end of my trip. 

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