Letter to my folks back home ... gives a gist of my journey to HK !!!
Hegiddhira ellaru!!! Ni Hao? That's how are you in Mandarin. :-) That's as much Chinese (Mandarin) I knew. Deepak has left behind a Learn Chinese through English book - so will probably put in some effort to pick up more over the next few months.
Naanu phonealli helida haage ninne madhyana reachade. Trip was pretty uneventful. Had a Indian Aunty next to me .. going to KL for some conference. Full conference'ge practice nanna jothege madidlu. She went on and on and on ... for ever about her life, her kid, her husband, her challenges at work, what she was going to talk about in the conference and so on and so forth. In summary, she didn't let me sleep at all and finally the last one hour when she had gone to sleep, sleep had run away from me for good. So picked up some book I'd carried along and started reading ... the tons of material that I had got from UST and not opened yet. Ashtottige KL Airport banthu.
Had a minor issue there. Reached KL at 7:00 am (Local Time) and took a walk around the Airport and at one point I saw some small line forming up. Didn't bother seeing what that was about and went on window shopping in the duty free stores. ..... Then around an hour before my flight, I thought I'd better look at which gate my flight is on and found out that small queue and grown into one huge one stretching to almost a
few 100 people was the one for giving further boarding passes. Damn!!! I was stuck in KL for the entire day since the next flight was in the evening. That meant reaching the University at night, no place to sleep (with offices closed, etc). I waited for some time to see if this line moved fast enough. About half an hour before my flight,
thought I'd try something ... went to the counter and asked for the supervisor. Approached him, told him that if I took the evening flight to HK, they'd have to put me up in a hotel since my University office is closed, or give me a Hotel in KL and put me on the next day's flight. He thought it was cheaper to bend the rules a bit and gave me a boarding pass right there. :-) Took my luggage cart and rushed to
the boarding gate and just about made it.
KL to HK was pretty uneventful. One serious looking American Business Executive who I didn't bother striking up a conversation with ... left him to himself and watched some movie (about Basket ball coach and his girl team .. don't know the movie name and don't care to know too).
Reached HK around 1:00 pm (HK Time) .. 10:30 IST. Met a friend Pradeep from College in Immigration area ... no problems there. My friend has his own company in India and he was here for some deployment ... might try and catch up with him over the weekend. Followed the directions I had from Deepak / Prathap to the T. Got on a bus to Po Lam (E22A) that is the closest a bus from the Airport goes to the University I'd heard. This journey got a little irritating at one point because he never followed arrows which pointed towards Po Lam (or in other words he took the longest possible route to Po Lam) and I was about to go to the driver and ask him if
we were going to reach today or tomorrow when he drove into a Bus Terminal. Phew!!! I breathed a sigh of relief. As I was getting off, my cabin bag gave away - couple of screws came off. Might just try and get another Cabin Bag on one of my shopping tours of HK - looks like there are malls everywhere out here and some of these Meat markets really really stink.
Just as I got off the bus and was looking for a Taxi ... I saw a couple of Indians - one of them I recognized as Prathap - an Indian in my batch waiting for another bus to the University. Since I was in no mood for another drive around the city, I suggested we go for a Taxi ... found one and hopped in. Reached Campus in about 10 mins, finished the formalities at the SKCC Hall Office and went in to look for my room.
The room's pretty small - probably 9ft x 6ft ... but good enough with a lot of storage space - one huge cupboard, a big writing desk with a keyboard stand and the works. One negative I learnt a little later is that my Room was not sea-facing, I was wondering if I should ask for another room when I learnt that the sea-facing rooms get pretty cold during winters and when there are thunderstorms. So thought better of it. There's a common Room in every floor (with Microwave and Fridge and a few chairs) which is sea-facing into which I'll probably head whenever I want a view.
About the campus - this whole area is on a hill next to the sea (actually a bay - called the Clear Water Bay - part of the address of the campus). Supposed to have pretty good Sports facilities ... still haven't had time to check them out .. might try and find someone tomorrow to join me in checking out the place. Most of the key offices are on or around what is called the Ground Floor (Don't think that
it's a sea-level) since the sea is much much below that area. Anyway, going to the Main Classrooms and all the offices means a few short walks interspersed with a few Lift rides from one level to another. Still haven't figured it out ... will probably write down the key walks somewhere and take it from there till I get familiar with this system.
I took a quick shower which freshened me up and I was wondering as to how I could get in touch with GD - maybe find a phone somewhere when I saw him looking around in the area below my Room window. Called him up to my room and after catching up with him for a bit on how things have been, hooked up with the other Indians in the batch. ... went and grabbed a Tea (Hong Kong Style Milk Tea with Natural Milk) which was pretty
close to Indian Tea. Might get hooked onto it soon to stay awake late at night, etc. But that's still some time away. Dinner was at one of the stalls where we had a Veggie Dish that two of us shared and still had a lot of curry left. So sharing when eating out or ordering in groups seems to be the way to go ... Student Life alva!!! It still hasn't fully sunk in .. but getting into student mode slowly but surely. :-)
This morning, got my Hong Kong ID done which is like the most important ID card in Hong Kong. Spent all morning jumping from one counter to the next with long bouts of waiting in between and finally got it done around noon. Came back to Campus ... got my Octopus card on the way (Used in all Public Transport like a Pre-Paid Use anywhere
card). I've got most of the cooking stuff (Utensils, Elec Cooker, etc) from GD who's going for an exchange till Jan. So will have some time to get ready with stuff by then. Might try and get most of the stuff (whatever possible within the weight limit in my India Trip).
Finished with the student registration and some work in the MBA office which would allow me to start using the Internet in the room. Bringing my comp was a good idea for sure. Still need to decide on the Laptop though. Tis stupid laptop has suddenly got a problem wit te "H" (No that wasn't intentional :-)) character now apart from the heating. Need to really strike hard to get it to work and a lot of backspaces when typing this mail.
After a marathon cooking effort and some food ordered from one of the restaurants, we had lunch. Group cooking takes a hell of a long time ... So self-cooking will need to start soon or will stick to eating out at the Campus cafetaria.
Got my Bank Card done in the afternoon, short nap followed by HKSM Tea in the evening, went out for Dinner to Town where I met a friend of GD's who works for an Infy client here. ...
Finally got time to complete this mail in the evening and send it to you. Had started writing the mail in the afternoon when I got interrupted by something. Anyway, don't think I can do such lengthy mails once classes start ... so making up while I can. :-)
Stupid me ... that I haven't got my camera. But will try and get some
photos taken by others and send it across. Sudhir - Try and get the
Nikon camera fixed plz!!
Take care and miss you all.
Lots of luv,