Hike Recovery

I woke up really tired and sore from yesterday’s hike. We got back at around 12:30, after taking the train for a cold smoothie in the cold wind (not the smartest choice), and had to be up and ready for 8:30. We first set off to the Hong Kong history museum, which was very well organized beginning with pre-history running all the way through the 1997 reunification with China. I would say that in addition (perhaps more provoking?) to the actual information I learned, two things stood out to me. First, somehow the topic of politics came up on the tour, and there was an awkward moment when the older tour guide said young people in Hong Kong care only about protesting. It was awkward because half of our group is composed of young Hong Kong students, some of whom participated in the 2014 Umbrella protests. I’m not quite sure what I think about these very complicated questions of identity and politics, but this moment made it very clear that there is a definitive political gap between the old and young here. Secondly, there was a special exhibition in honor of the 20th anniversary of the reunification, revolving around the Silk Road. Most of the history and artifacts did not have much to do with Hong Kong, but I definitely think there are political implications to the exhibit. After the museum, I went to eat Korean food and bubble tea with two Lingnan students who I had not previously interacted much with.  They were really great, and I hope to spend more time with them in the future. After lunch, we all went on an amazing tour around Prince Edward stop, learning about economic and social inequalities in the city. After the tour, Yu laoshi and I went to a nice restaurant nearby, and I also got to exchange my USD. It was a really wonderful meal and evening. I returned to school pretty exhausted, and also bumped into a cleaning lady that I had spoken to once before briefly. We chatted for quite a long time, about everything from local politics, to the new Thai king having too many wives, to her work here at the university. I learned that her father somehow ended up in Beijing many years ago , and her mother is from Thailand. She moved to Hong Kong about 20 years ago, doing manual work for all this time. At some point I looked up the word for 政府 in Cantonese, and showed her the characters to clarify something I was trying to say. I found out that she never learned to read, but has always wanted to learn English. After awhile I left to work, again feeling super grateful that I can speak enough basic Cantonese to get to know people like her.

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