So a few days ago, I found out that I was accepted to participate in my third exchange - the Ontario-Rhône-Alpes exchange. This is where a handful of students from Ontario universities all head over to a few different places in France where they live and learn the language for a month.
Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited and very much looking forward to it. I was planning on traveling around France this summer anyways on my way home, so instead it looks like I'll be living in Saint Étienne for a little while (a city a little bit away from Lyon) from Mid-July to Mid-August.
Immediately after I'll need to head home for RLS training (and I do mean immediately, like, the day it finishes). So I'll be nice and jet lagged, but in Canada none-the-less. It almost seems like I'm planning my summer backwards.
Aside from the month in France, I'm in desperate need to plan my summer - and am still struggling between learning Mandarin and traveling.
If I went traveling, there are a few places that I definitely want to visit; Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Israel and the Netherlands - a strange list I know, but it's what I'd like to see. Though some of those places aren't necessarily "safe" or well-backpacked, which concerns me a little. That (and the price) is my main con against going traveling over the summer. My other option would be living in Taiwan for a little while, and then catching a flight over to Europe.
Much like the time I discovered I was driving my car for a month without insurance (thanks to a miscommunication with my parents), I've also just realized that I have no health insurance in Hong Kong, aside from the minimal coverage by my University and my mother's health plan. I'm gonna need to get some travel insurance I think if I want to move around to lots of places with infectious disease this summer.
Unfortunately, I'm right now in the middle of exams and finals, which means that those 6 courses I've been ignoring are catching up for me, and I'm needing to do an insane amount of work - something I'm working on today.
Hong Kong Apathy
The title isn't what it sounds like. There's this thing about living in Hong Kong (and it holds true with most of the exchange students) in that the city is constantly exhausting. I feel constantly out of energy, and drained of everything - it's sometimes difficult to do everything I'd like to do because of this. We can't tell if it's the pollution, or the water, or the sensory assault we constantly receive when going anywhere beyond Kowloon Tong, but it's making it very difficult to study for exams.
Tomorrow I'll be heading out on a Yacht with 70 or so people (many of them my good friends) where we'll spend the day at Sea (or just outside the beaches) chilling, hanging out and having a good time. I'm hoping it doesn't rain, but even if it does I'm excited, because this is something I've wanted to do for a while now here.
Haunted House (Dragon Lodge)
A few days ago my friends and I snuck under a fence into an old abandoned haunted house on the top of victoria peak, and when I say house, I mean mansion. The entire place was terrifying, and we kept getting the feeling that someone was there. Though I don't believe in ghosts, or anything that's not scientifically provable, it still scared the hell out of me walking through that children's room and up to the attack. See this video:
Okay! That's it for now! I'll try and post something a little later with how I'm dealing, but I need to study for French, Mandarin and my Cell Biology Lab course, all of which I have exams for next Tuesday... Fantastic.