Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is a signal 8?

Last Tuesday, I awoke to the sound of a distant alarm.  It sounded like a cross between a fire alarm and a construction one.  I thought it weird but was distracted because of the gray skies staring out at me from my windows. (I <3>

Boarding the bus was a strange experience because there were no seats to fight for, no lines formed; there were just not that many people traveling.

Fortunately for me, right as I got under the shelter of my classroom, the rain began to pour, the wind began to blow.  Within minutes, there was a mini flood on the floor.

I was so confused as I have never been caught in the middle of a typhoon while going to school before. I asked my classmates, "what do you do?"

Here is further proof of HKU's poor administration system. No one knew. Some guessed that you would stay home if the typhoon is signal 8. When asked how I would get my hands on that information, they said to watch TV. What if I couldn't get to a TV? Online, but no one knew the website.

I go home early because I was afraid the buses would stop running later on in the day as it was rumored that we were going to hit a signal 8 typhoon.  

I get home and this was the destruction that greeted me.

Nonetheless, we at R.C. Lee Hall had a high table dinner to get to. So off we went to eat a better than usual dinner and mix and mingle with other fellow residents.  Outside, it may look like this...
But inside the safety of Bayview restaurant, we were having a grand ol' time checking each other out all dressed in black...

After a far too long speech by the warden and hall introductions (5 hours total!) We headed back to our beds, soaked and tired.

The next day, I still wasn't sure how to check whether I was going to class or not. Some lucky students had emails sent to them by their faculty telling them to stay home but I had not gotten anything from my faculty.  So I phone them.  Because no one picked up, I assumed that I would also have the morning off.  However, when I messaged a friend and found she was going to class, I got worried and called the specific department my class was under.  Turns out I did have class!  And only 10 minutes to get there!

Hong Kong University's lack of clear communication irks me to no end. It's hard enough being in a foreign country and not speaking the language but as a school, you should have some responsibility in informing us important, public messages. (Like...oh, say...a typhoon?)

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