I just want to preference first that I really don’t want this blog to be a generic travel blog with the usual “quirky narrator” writing style. I’ll be trying to stay away from that but yeah, sorry if it comes across like that anyway.
So, first week was pretty eventful. Not much happened on the 14 hour flight (luckily), but once we touched down it started to kick in quickly. First impressions of Hong Kong: I absolutely loved the city straight away. Just how tropical it was and the large amount of greenery was super surprising. Yet at the same time all the neon signs and looming buildings reminded me so much of the original Blade Runner.
Our first night was spent in a super fancy hotel, probably the fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. I just wish we got time to check out the pool. However the next day we finally got to see our accomodation right by the Lee Gardens for the rest of our time here. After accidentally leaving my passport in our hotel room and making us miss our bus first of course. Jacky (our associate coordinator) had told us beforehand that the rooms would be small but it was actually a lot bigger and nicer than I expected! He gave us a quick tour around our area, showing us where we’d be spending a lot of time. Places like the subway. Most people had warned me how packed the streets and subways would be with people, so much so that I was actually kinda underwhelmed that it wasn’t as busy as I’d expected. Although it’s super quick and efficient down there, especially compared to New Zealand transportation so I’m pretty envious of that.
After the tour we were let loose to do whatever we wanted before work begun on Monday. So first things first of course: familiarize ourselves with our surroundings, finding the nearest supermarket, going to IKEA, a couple street markets, etc, etc. We all learnt quickly how expensive everything was. Everything except for the food thank god. Compared to New Zealand a lot of the meals here are much cheaper, there’s also a wide variety here! From bakery food, to sushi and Vietnamese food, the cuisine was really the highlight of the week for me. The main letdown: COFFEE. Coffee is extremely expensive here, the good stuff is about $12 New Zealand for a regular. So for our first weekend I almost thought I’d have to try and beat my crippling caffeine addiction.
First night at our accommodation: not great/10. But it got a lot better quickly.
Unfortunately I found a few bed bugs in my room just before I was about to go to bed. It happens. I messaged Jacky straight away and thankfully he was able to sort everything out super fast, which was amazing. I got set up in a hotel room for a couple nights and a brand new room back at the accommodation a couple days later. It was sorted so well and quick, I was super appreciative to everyone who helped me out! But I did make Jacky a little late to his dinner that night because of it. Jacky if you’re reading this I’m still sorry about that! Thanks so much for all the help!!
So work. Started working at the design based music company Soundbrenner in Sheung Wan. Soundbrenner is based around solving issue musicians have through innovative design. I’m a huge music nerd, so I was very excited to be working at a place that merged my two main passions in life. The first thing that caught my eye at the office was the Whiplash poster, straight away it told me I’d like working here. But what was really great on the first day was the people! There were so many personalities and dynamics that it felt like being on a sitcom. I really enjoy the work itself as well, so I think time might fly really quickly during the weekdays, which is a great and also sad thing. The office is super nice, it’s well laid out, has a lot of resources and always there’s always food in the fridge. No doubt the best thing though: THE COFFEE MACHINE. I really have to say Soundbrenner is an amazing company. I knew that on the first day purely based on the fact they gave their employees a coffee machine. It’s good coffee as well!
A couple other cool things we did during the week included going to the wet market, a few temples and other random markets. We also had an extremely nice dinner with Jacky! The eel and jellyfish were especially delicious. I’m excited about what’s coming! I’m definitely not feeling as huge of a culture shock as most people told me I’d feel. A lot of people speak English here (everyone at least knows hello and thank you, I’d say 80% know a lot more than that as well) and honestly a lot of areas have already reminded me of places back home, like Auckland and the Wellington train station. That might just be because of the hills and old western architecture though. I do have a couple side goals while I’m here, aside from getting as much work experience, connections and design knowledge as I possibly can. I’m mainly hunting for Foo dogs (Chinese Guardian Lions), vinyl records and just a nice teapot as well.