Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Hotel issues and Wan Chai
Every day there is something to resolve with my hotel and it is getting tiresome, I hope it ends soon. In the first room the fridge at first didn't work, then froze everyhing. The toilet wouldn't flush at first either. The bill was wrong and had to be recalculated. The move from one room to another. In the new room the tv reception was bad. They gave me a different tv, that tv blew a fuse or something--smoke came out of it and it no longer works. The tiny space has become the smallest issue. Actually I like this room better than the other even though it is smaller, it seems to be a better setup. Let's hope the tv is fixed today and that is it, no more hotel issues. What I have saved in dollars I feel that I am spending in effort. Something to keep in mind for the next trip.
Yesterday I went to Wan Chai via the Star Ferry. So far I have taken the airport bus, MTR, double decker bus, minibus and now the ferry--I love the variety of options one has here. First I went to Golden Bauhinia Square to see the big golden flower and the reunification monument. Then I was going to explore the area near my school but of course went the wrong way. Luckily figured it out in time to not only make it to class on time but to have lunch beforehand at a Thai restaurant.
Class was good. I feel familiar with much of the lesson that they gave, but I don't know it well so it seems like a good enough starting point. The only other student in the class is a chatty young American guy is fairly well established there.
After class it was raining and I had neglected to carry my umbrella. The covered walkways saved me! I wandered along them for awhile, checking out the shops and restaurants, even bought some books. The books are wrapped in plastic to protect them from humidity. I had wondered about this, thinking that it was very unlike Barnes and Nobles' philosphy of allowing people to browse but Dymocks kindly had a sign to explain the reason.
In the evening I met with a fellow blogger who has been great about giving me advice on how best to learn Cantonese. It is great advice but I can only apply it so far because I don't have the same access to native speakers as he has with his wife, but there is still plenty of his advice that I can apply. He made me realize that I have been haphazard about my language studies thus far. In fairness, I was working full time and doing a masters degree for a good portion of the time I have been learning Cantonese. Also it has more of a hobby for me than anything else. So I have no Cantonese learning goals. Right now I am okay with that. However if I do decide to move here that might change.