Coming back to the Netherlands, where things still go the same way as half a year ago, felt strange in the beginning, but now after two weeks already completely normal. The last two months in Hong Kong went really fast, but I enjoyed every minute of it. The last courses were quite intensive with a lot of group work (read: meetings and drinking Chinese tea), case presentations, and report write-ups. Especially in the last weeks of the course, I couldn’t spend much time on my thesis. However, since the summer finally kicked in those last months, and summer in Hong Kong also means lots of rain, I had to enjoy the good days in the weekends, which are celebrated in Hong Kong by parties on a boat! Watching the first world cup soccer matches in the middle of the night with over hundred orange-dressed Dutcheese was also an amazing experience I will never forget.
After I finished all the reports, I was off to the Philippines for a week of sun, white beaches, cocktails and diving – I became a PADI diver! Returning to Hong Kong after being away for a week really felt like coming home. During my last days I visited all the outlying Islands I hadn’t been to yet – Macau (a former Portuguese colony), Chung Chau and Lamma and gave a last visit to the Peak, where, looking out over the whole city, I again realized what an amazing place it is, full of opportunities. In only a few months I met so many nice people, made friends for life and experienced living on the other side of the world. Chaotic and crowded, rainstorms and thunderstorms, sometimes smoggy, humid and hot – but also a place where it feels everything is possible, a unique mix of East meets West, old temples next to modern malls, beautiful nature just half an hour away from the busy center – Hong Kong has it all. With so many friends still living there it still feels quite strange living on the other side of the world again.
But, coming back to the Netherlands, with my family waiting at the airport, fresh air, no humidity and Dutch food was also lovely. I must say I did experience a little cultural shock when, straight from the airport, visited the weekly market in my small home town – the houses looked tiny ;-). Yet, the next adventure is already waiting because in less than 6 weeks I’ll be on a plane to Lisbon. But first, I have to finish my master thesis, where I will be working on for these coming weeks. I have already found a room in the center of Lisbon so I definitely look forward to going south – where I can taste the real Portuguese egg tarts (which were also sold in Hong Kong, together with a Chinese remake, since it has been a former colony). The Triangle Program really brings three places together ;-). My next blog update will be around September, once I am settled down in Lisbon. 再见现在 – Goodbye for now!