Greetings students! Thank you for joining me today. I am your host, Victor, that Engineering student from down under. You are all cordially invited to this year’s Auckland Abroad Accommodation Awards, right here in the busy, bustling, and breathtaking city of Hong Kong. So, prepare some Hong Kong-styled milk tea, get comfy in your favourite chair, and let’s get started.
“The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.”
– Italo Calvino
“…what do you mean we only have one nominee?”
“Well, you only did live in one hall, so isn’t that…”
“Yeah I know that, but it’s going to look pretty…oh shh shh we are live!”
Hey sorry about that folks! We had some technical issues but it’s all fixed now. So without further delays let’s present our grand winner tonight, the humble abode where yours truly resides, the one and only:
LEE HYSAN HALL
Modest, yet respectable. Welcome to my hall! Location-wise it’s just a short bus-trip to HKU, and from listening to the testimonials of some local students who have to take an hour or even longer to get there, I think I should feel quite lucky (they do give priority for hall housing to incoming exchange students). As for travelling around the city from here, that shouldn’t be a problem as the Hong Kong subways are world class and they have a station right at the university, so your destination is just a train-hop away.
Now let’s just step to the left a little and see what’s around the corner…
The dynamic duo, 7-11 plus the student canteen, literally at the hall’s feet. This definitely scores well in my book. These have become an inseparable part of the hall life now that I’ve come to realize how much I depend on them. Class is starting in 40 minutes and you just woke up? Get that sandwich plus coffee deal from 7-11 on the run. Trudging your heavy steps back after a 4-hour lecture block? Treat yourself with a $5 (yup, that’s NZD) steaming plate of curry chicken or BBQ pork rice. I even had the pleasure of casually strolling down to refill my fresh milk supply for my cereal when it ran out. That’s right, affordable and accessible food and drink is a life-saver for a student living abroad, and probably for anyone else in general, too!
Now we continue the grand tour inside. Arriving at the 10th floor, you will see that the space is compact and the hallways narrow. Coming from the context of endlessly stretching farmlands and fields of New Zealand, this might take some adjusting to. After all, this is Hong Kong, which is so much more densely populated than Auckland, and people will have to be packed just a little closer together. But that is not stopping my hallmates from decorating the place in high spirits! They will gladly tell you that a home is what you make it.
The Common Room
Here we step into the place where your path collides with your hallmates, the kitchen and the dining/gathering/partying area all in one. To be expected, the place is quite messy and crammed to the maximum with everyone’s stuff here and there, which could be a little inconvenient. It’s honestly not that bad though, you do get used to it after a while, and with a bit of respect and consideration everyone gets by just fine. As a bonus, you can often meet and chat with others here when they are not busy dwelling in their natural habitat, their room…
Hey, nobody likes to do it, but it’s gotta be done. Living here by yourself, your dirty clothes pile up, and eventually you need to wash them. The hall provides laundry services on the top floor with several washers and dryers, with their service requiring a reasonable small fee. There is a balcony in which your clothes can be hanged to dry, but after several failed attempts due to the seemingly permanent cloudy and dank weather that is in Hong Kong, I have found it less trouble to just simply throw it into the dryer to get it done with.
I’m going to be a bit cheeky here and reuse the photo for my room from my last blog entry, because it’s honestly the best shot of the room I have (and now it’s…slightly less suitable for photography). My points from last time still stands: the room is fairly small, but it provides everything a room should. It’s got sufficient storage space for all your stuff, a great view, and above all a trusty old bed you can come back to every night. The prophecy has come true: my room is a big ol’ caveman’s mess, and thus it is now my home.
Give a big round of applause for Lee Hysan Hall, everyone! The well-deserving recipient of the “Place to call home” award! It may be a bit cramped, shabby, and a few holes here and there, but it’s everything you need and more to make your overseas stay at Hong Kong a cozy and welcoming one. Before long, I think I will start to miss this place, for it has, without a doubt, become a second home for me.
That’s all we have in store for you folks today. Stay tuned next time for more wonders and woes of Hong Kong, and good luck with all your studies back home!