Since I’m here for only a semester, it was difficult to find a place to rent. (My school wouldn’t give me housing as a visiting student.) So I’m now staying with a family friend and have to commute to school each day. I’m used to walking 5 minutes to class, so it’ll be an interesting change.

It does have its advantages too though. I didn’t get lost from the airport because they came to pick me up. I also figured out how to use the public transportation system to get around, register at school, open a bank account, and get a local phone sim card with some help. While these might not be too difficult to figure out on my own, it might have easily taken twice as long.

The culture shock is only mild so far. I can understand some Cantonese, which is the main language here. I’m lucky that most things are written in both Chinese and English. However, when we go to little restaurants, I can’t read the menu at all. L Well, maybe a few random words, but not enough to figure out what’s in a dish.

Also the traffic flow is confusing. They drive and walk on the opposite side than in the U.S. I hope I don’t get hit by a car while I adapt to looking to the right side of the street before crossing! It is even more confusing than New York City. At least there the streets are on a grid system. Here, they twist and turn, making it even more difficult to keep track of where I am.

I was hoping I could avoid jetlag by adjusting my sleep schedule the night before and during my flight. While my mind is pretty much on schedule now, my body isn’t cooperating so well. Good night!

By the way, thanks everyone for the comments! I’ll try to keep this blog updated :)

Originally posted on