A Minimalist’s Hong Kong Packing Guide

 

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  1. Umbrella

Expect rain during the rainy season in Hong Kong.  Bring an umbrella. Alternatively, don’t expect rain during the rainy season in Hong Kong. Live life on the edge. Sometimes running in the rain is more fun anyway.

  1. Portable Charger

The typical amount of time that I am away from home on a typical day *is typically longer than the amount of time my phone battery lasts. If you have a phone, but it’s not charged, it’s really just a heavy paperweight. A portable charger solves this problem and opens up a world of possibilities. However, if you’re looking for a way to dis-connect from the virtual world, definitely do not bring a portable charger. Sometimes you need to recharge.

  1. A Great Attitude

A great attitude is essential for any packing list. Expect things not to go as planned. Expect to have fun anyway. The opportunity to travel and spend your time however you would like is an opportunity that you might not have very often. Make the most of the opportunity by having a great attitude.

*was, fifteen times was one too many times to drop my IPhone, and my IPhone is no longer.

Laryngitis: The Best Kind of Sick Day 

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If you have to be sick, laryngitis is the way to go. An illness that mostly results in an inability to talk, although painful in some ways, is great  because you can still do most things that you would want to do.  I went to work with laryngitis on Tuesday, and got sent home almost immediately, Hong Kong style, with a medical mask. I didn’t go home though. I took the tram up to the Peak and hiked down. Then, I went to the Botanical gardens, aviaries, and primate exhibits. I toured some art galleries. I saw some traditional art, some contemporary art, and also, a Picasso. Like a Picasso, Picasso, drawn by Picasso himself. For lunch, I went to a restaurant with menus only in Chinese.  I used all of the Cantonese that I knew. The cashier said ” your Cantonese is soooo good“, and asked the couple waiting behind me to translate for me. We had a nice conversation about Hong Kong, the weather in the UK, and American politics. They bought my lunch. Then I wandered around. I went to a coffee shop. For dinner, I met with friends from Hong Kong. I was not upset about being sent home.

Model G-20

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I can imagine that very little gets accomplished at the G-20, where global leaders represent the best interest of their own countries. Just like the real G-20 not every country is represented, and the leaders who are present control the conversation. And also, the terms of the agreement are not legally binding. The model G-20 really was a great experience though. At the model G-20 I listened to inspiring talks, had meaningful conversation, and met people from all over the world with diverse perspectives on global issues. And, at the end of the day, the leaders of Russia, South Korea, and the United States worked together to write a cohesive message agreed upon by the leaders of the G-20. Which, sort-of, happened at the real G-20, and that’s kind of cool to think about.

As President of Russia, this was my message to the global leaders of the model G-20:

Russia stands for peace, democracy, and security.  Russia has provided peace and security to millions of people. We have been willfully misrepresented by the world, and excluded from economic talks.  Going forward, we demand greater representation at future international economic talks, and the elimination of trade sanctions wrongly imposed on Russia. With the money from trade we will be able to build a more sustainable finance system.

…Crimea made a democratic choice to join Russia…Ukrainian nationalist groups rebelled against the government…The UN has yet to take a stance on Syria..Russia has strong intellectual resources… a strong cyber presence protects intellectual property…We fully support the Paris Agreement…

The global leaders agreed on the following:

We, the heads of states of the G20, agree on the following:
*We will continue to increase the transparency of international trade. We will monitor and promote foreign direct investment with a priority for developing countries. We will continue our commitment to a strong financial safety net. We agree on the development of renewable energy technologies. *We encourage collaboration among information agencies to combat terrorism, and increase cyber-security.

*Yes, “[w]e will continue to increase the transparency of international trade,” sounds vague. It is very vague. The United States and the rest of the world, India in particular, couldn’t come to an agreement on bilateral vs multilateral trade.

*Terrorism was a top issue for all countries present at the G-20, especially European countries.

 

Mission for Migrant Workers

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This summer I am interning with Mission for Migrant Workers.The Mission’s objective is to serve domestic helpers in Hong Kong. There are over 330,000 domestic helpers living in Hong Kong . A majority of helpers come from the Philippines and Indonesia. The Mission is organized into two sectors: service and advocacy.  The Mission’s service cluster works directly with domestic helpers. The Mission’s advocacy cluster makes policy recommendations based on the information collected from clients. I will be spending a majority of my time at the Mission in the advocacy cluster.

 

 

My Room is Exactly Like my Freshman Dorm Room

My room in Xuesi Hall at New Asia College is exactly like my freshman dorm room in Munsell, except instead of a view of Main St., there is a view of the Harbor. And also, it’s on the other side of the world, but other than that it’s pretty much the same.  In the background of the picture that I took right outside of my dorm there is fog rolling off of the mountains. Majestic right? So zen.