Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Icky Yicky Paperwork

When comparing food, give me Shui Mai over a burger anyday. 

When looking at transportation, I'd rather wait 10 minutes for the mini bus than drive my car through traffic hell.

When involving shopping, um, hello??!! shopping marts and malls and streets and plazas at every corner is a shopper's paradise versus the nightmare of driving 10 miles to a ghetto shopping complex.

But with higher education, I'd say the U.S. kind of has Hong Kong beat.  

All 2 weeks long, my fellow international students and I have had to suffer through confusion, agitation, poor living conditions, miles and miles of walking up mazes and stairwells and asking for things but only receiving blank stares.  All because Hong Kong University is soooo poorly prepared in accommodating international students.  

We arrive, say, from the airport.  No one tells us that an Octopus card is pretty much the most important thing you'll need here. With one swipe (not really a swipe, more of a pound) of the card, you can buy necessities from your local convenience store, ride the public transit systems, get drinks, etc etc.  

Next, you get to the place where you'll stay for the next FOUR months.  If you're lucky, you get Starr Hall, a swanky little newly renovated residential hall. If you're not as lucky (like me), you get R.C. Lee or Lee Hysan Hall where it's a little dingier, older and smellier.  If you're the most unluckiest of them all, you either have  Pokfield Residence, some nasty hostel, or no place to stay at all.  The process to switch out of your living situation is also difficult and frustrating. My friend has weak joints and is still stuck living in a place with no elevators!  Thanks for treating us like second class citizens, HKU!

And then there's registering for classes.  You register for classes on the first day of the semester. HUH?  And also, there's no central place for you to find the location of the classrooms. If it's not under the departments' timetable, you have to go to each department's website and look it up.  And you sign up for tutorials (discussions) separately and by hand.  

Everytime I ask a questions, I keep getting uncertain people directing me to the wrong place. I spent 3 hours this afternoon alone trying to apply for a student Octopus card.  

So thank you UCLA and thank you URSA. I took you for granted but never again.

1 comment:

helen said...

oh man! God is definitely teaching you patience! it looks like you're having muchomucho fun though! i miss you! so much to update you on but the longer the time away, the sweeter the reunion shall be!

oh and thank you for the compliments on the studio and thinking it is design sponge status! you're too kind

please eat some har gow in memory of me