The Update – December

I think I finally have a chance to breathe!

It has been a long time since I wrote, partially because there hasn’t been much time and partially because there is nothing to tell except “studying”.

I can tell you that I’ve never studied so hard in all my life. I think this experience has strengthened a few wise words that have been imparted to me over the years:
1. Trust no one.
2. If you want something done right, do it yourself.
3. Don’t reserve a place in a party reservation unless you have the money in hand.

Group work here is extremely painful, with locals or otherwise. I’ve also decided just now as I write this, I need to spend more time on my own. I haven’t done nearly enough. Even if it’s finding a little hole in the wall bar, having a drink and reading a book. This may not be entirely by choice since everyone else is leaving.

My adventures the other day have helped me to come to this path of thinking. Last night I had dinner reservations with some family friends and ended up there quite early. So I took a walk around exploring an area of town I had never been in, Soho and the Mid-Level escalators. You can see those photos in my December album in facebook (

Tonight, I spend my first night alone in the room. No roomie, no neighbours. It is a nice feeling for a change. I know it won’t last, but it is peaceful.

Part of me just wants to sit here for the next few weeks, just making day trips out as the fancy takes me while the other part says “you’re in China…go and see the rest of it.” I know that the latter will be the result, but I’m having trouble finding the motivation. Maybe it’s just a temporary burnout. Tomorrow, I’ll go to Monkok, do my search for the books I want, Ravi’s gift and get some ideas for my shopping in Shenzhen on Monday. Go on Monday to Shenzhen, get my clothing, my shopping done and a massage! Then do New Years in style. Pick yourself up and git ‘r’ done! Going to get started on it right now as a matter of fact. See you all in a couple of weeks!

Tai Choon – Follow up

It turns out that contrary to my belief that no one witnessed our midnight training session during the typhoon in September, that someone did in fact see us doing tai chi. I talked with her a few nights ago and we started talking about the workshop that I am going to be running in a few weeks and she begins to tell me about this crazy thing that she saw during the storm a few weeks ago. “Was that you? I thought I was seeing things!” Guilty as charged. I think she might even sign up for the workshop. 😉


Finally having a chance to sit outside without dying of heat. There is at least a bit of a breeze. Have school all day today, so it will hopefully be productive.

Starting to come to the realization that these courses aren’t going to be as easy as I first thought. The engineering course (Corporate Networking) promised not to have too much algebra and formulas to remember. The last few classes have been all that. Though today, he looked at me, knowing that I have a business background more than an engineering background and promised to lay off the formulae for a while and focus more on theory. Gives me a chance to catch up.

The database course is working more like a computing course (which it is) but makes it difficult for translation from business. I am now really seeing the difference between business and computers! It’s almost like relearning how to do ERD’s which I used to do really well. Not good.

Then there is the other computing course in networking. I think I’ll do well in that one as long as I keep on top of it. Lastly, (yes, I dropped the Putonghua/Mandarin) the Japanese for Business. He’s moving way too quickly. I asked him the first day if I would have problems with this course, and he said that I would probably do better in some ways because of my English. But I’ve never learned a symbol language before, so I am at a disadvantage. Need to do some studying on those this weekend.

Lastly, was planning to go to Beijing next weekend, then thought we had a presentation and then put it on hold. Then realized, no we didn’t have it until the following weekend. Something is telling me that I should stay close to home, so I think this time since I’ve now made alternate arrangements for that weekend, I will heed that gut feeling. I will have much time to travel, so why not enjoy it close to home. I need some time to myself (since my roommate will be done) and I’ll go hang out with Cheryl for a couple of days on Lamma. I like that plan and I’m sticking to it.

Had a great email from a friend yesterday. Almost brought me to tears. I’m reminded of when he was away in a far off land (more than once) and we support each other when we are far from home (wherever that is at a given point). He’s returned the favour to me and made me remember why I’m here. Yes, I’m here to learn, but also to experience. I won’t try to cram everything in to one small time or space, but I will do the things I was sent here to do.