One Month Down!

(This is a long one, sorry, bare with me) Just 11 more to go! 🙂 Except really, whose counting. So far its been a wonderful experience, so I am sure the next 11 months will be nothing less. Currently, I am hanging out at my apartment as tropical cyclone Kalmaeigi makes its way to China. While Hong Kong isn’t getting the full effect, we are getting some intense winds and little drizzles every now and then. I am kind of loving it to be honest, mainly because I have never been through anything worse than a massive snowstorm (spring break ’13- I’m looking at you).

Hong Kong has tropical cyclone warning systems that let people know exactly where the weather is at, to make sure you aren’t caught off guard. It’s pretty sweet, except I am getting notifications about hot weather on the daily (as if we would be getting anything besides hot weather) as well as rain warnings everyday (it has hardly rained…). But when a cyclone is coming, they have a system that starts with T1 and that just means it might come to your area, its a little far away so it won’t be too bad and there are some strong winds. It is basically standby mode. This was issued last night. T3 comes next (I’m not entirely sure why the numbers skip but they do). This basically consists of strong winds that are between 26-30 mph. Still not so bad, but it’s kind of where it all starts. That was issued this morning. T8 is the next one and thats when shit hits the fan. If a T8 is issued, we would be expected to leave work within a half hour to get home, as the train systems shut down within two hours of a T8 warning. The wind speeds can reach up to 73 mph, and they want to make sure people are home and not stranded somewhere outside. T8 is kind of the warning letting you know that a T10 is coming, which is basically the storm pulling out the big guns. T9 comes after T8 though and then once it hits T10, its a full blown hurricane, which is both scary and so cool at the same time. Currently, we are still sitting in T3, but just received an alert telling us that a T8 will be issued on or before 10:30… so that should be fun. You should hear the wind whistling around my skyscraperlike condo apartment.

As awful as it is, I am mildly excited to experience this. Having seen nothing worse than some bad thunderstorms/snowstorms, this is an entirely different experience. If a T8 hits, people are not expected to go to work, so we would essentially get the day off… which would be great if tomorrow wasn’t already my day off. If only the storm had waited till Wednesday to hit… I realize I am being a huge baby haha. But in all seriousness, I’m hoping it won’t be too bad, but I am excited to go through it 🙂

We also celebrated my one month here (okay so really it was just me celebrating my one month, no one else actually cares lol) and went to Victoria Peak, which has the most stunning views of the city by far. You have to take a tram to get up there, and you are basically pressed against your seat on the vertical ride up. The views were spectacular though, both night and day:

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And of course it called for some selfies:

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Obviously my camera doesn’t give the pictures justice, but I promise the view was amazing. We also (stupidly) decided a hike down a steep pathway would be a great idea. We wanted to see the sunset, which was supposed to be incredibly gorgeous, and probably would have been! But the hike ended up being much longer and farther than we thought it would be. Even going down was difficult, as it was pretty steep. AND THERE WERE THE BIGGEST SPIDERS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I am entirely to terrified of spiders. I’m talking like, will run screaming and my dad/roommate/friend/anyone that isn’t me has to come get them out of my sight.. THIS THINGS WERE MASSIVE. Here is a photo a friend of mine took of one:

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LOOK AT HOW BIG THAT IS. THAT’S THE SIZE OF MY HAND. Nope. No thank you Hong Kong. I’m over it. But so anyways we get to the bottom and then make the trek back up.. as the sun is setting, and it was hard brutal to put it nicely. I am walking with my roommate because we are taking it slower and everyone else is a good 5 minutes ahead of us. Let’s talk about how I am terrified of the dark.. and it’s me alone with my roommate with woodlands surrounding us on both sides.. yeah. panic. Even running through the forest preserve when I had two of my guy friends who (hopefully) would have kept me safe, I was a chicken shit. Walks at night? Terrified. (oddly enough I am never afraid to walk home alone after a night out or coming home from the library even after 7,000 crime alerts- my brain is weird).

So here we are, walking by ourselves with these massive spiders on either side, bats flying above us (I never actually saw one, was just informed that they were there), and creepy sounds coming from all sides (again, could have just been my stupid brain messing with me). We are dripping sweat. Im talking like buckets full. I know, great image. But it’s beyond hot and there is no breeze when you have woodland surrounding you on all side. Plus, lets be honest, an uphill climb? Not my thing. Not quite anyones thing unless you are one of those freaks that enjoys that kind of torture (Just kidding more power to ya). My roommate freaks out because she feels something touch her leg…. realizes its just sweat dripping down her leg (yeah, THAT’S HOW BAD IT WAS). I am ready to call it quits and just lay down on the side somewhere and call it a night.. and then we see a biker. This poor soul is pushing on through on his bike. I have NO idea how he was doing it, but there he was. I kind of almost wished I had a bike. As he passed us, he turned around and goes (in the creepiest voice mind you): “It’s getting too dark for you two to be out here”…….. PANIC. You know that surge of energy marathon runners must feel at the end as they see the finish line (I’m assuming that’s a thing? If its not, whoops. Lord knows I’m no marathon runner), thats what I felt. I was in sheer panic mode thinking we need to get the eff out of there because something was going to jump out and get us.

Thankfully nothing did and we made it out safe and sound, but we also made a pact to never do anything like that again haha. At least until the next time we want to see something beautiful ;).

I’ve also discovered that other people’s accents (pretty much Kerry’s accent) is rubbing off on me. I find myself saying things like “that was so hectic” and “the queue is so long”… things I never in my life would have said haha. So we will see how much this vocabulary expands with my addition of South African slang :P. I’m also super excited because I sent out 11 postcards today to people back home. If you don’t get one, clearly I don’t love you enough. Except jk I just don’t have enough postcards or people’s addresses. So send those on over so I can send postcards and such.

Also… if some kind soul could send me ranch sunflower seeds, I will be forever in your debt. #deprived.

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