China Research

Last Week in HK (a bit late)

This post may seem a bit out of place and truthfully it is. I had intended to write this post during my last week of research in Hong Kong but as you can see I was unsuccessful and that is why I am writing it now.

Well my last week in Hong Kong was wonderful!

My weekend started off with a trip to Ocean Park, Hong Kong’s one and only amusement park, with my lab mate, Angel, and some of her friends! I will say that Ocean Park is a definite must-see and I really mean it when I say a must-see because truthfully the rides are in no comparison to American amusement park rides (although my lab mate was still afraid to go on some of them) but the views are just fantastic! Ocean Park is built on a small mountain overlooking the ocean and one of Hong Kong’s most prized beaches, Repulse Bay! And it was pretty cool because one of the coasters even hangs you over the side of the mountain and you really get some nice views! But fantastic views is not the only cool thing that Ocean Park offers, it also has a lot of fun educational exhibits with different types of marine life and when you are a bit of a nerd and a marine science major from Eckerd College you will definitely enjoy yourself! And the icing on the cake is definitely the Panda Bear exhibits! I think Angel could tell how excited I was to see the pandas because she asked me if I wanted my photo taken with them… and of course I did! This trip was amazing and it really was a great start to my last week in HK!

My work week was kicked off by going eel shopping with Oscar at one of the local wet markets! However, in all honesty, I was a bit disappointed because he had told me that we would have to go collect our eels, so as an Eckerd College student I automatically thought that meant that we would have to go into the field (or over the sea wall) and collect the specimens…. But this was not the case. Instead we collected our specimens from one of the local wet markets which was still pretty cool! So once this news was broken to me, I started to wonder how we would choose which eels to buy. Do we just pick the eels that seem the healthiest? Do we actually weigh the eels since we only use eels that weigh between 500-600g? How do we transport them back to HKBU? With all of these questions in my head I decided to risk sounding a bit silly and I asked Oscar, turns out he has to call them in advance because they have to prepare the eels and all we have to do is come and collect them in a huge bag and ride in a taxi back to HKBU…. So this process was a bit easier than I had expected but it was still very cool nonetheless!

As for the rest of my week, it worked like clockwork! We got to run through the entire protocol for two more eels! And I got to have a goodbye lunch with my lab and Professor Wong at the fabulous Dim Sum Restaurant with the famous, wonderful, and delicious milky yellow buns, which they made sure to order for me (very considerate!) J And then it was concluded with Oscar making me try tortoise jelly because it is supposed to be very good for you and apparently it is still even used in Chinese medicine today. Let’s just say I think it is an inquired taste. But it was a perfect ending to my experience in HK because I think it is a perfect example of my overall experience. Living and working in Hong Kong is by no means difficult because there is not much of a language barrier and it’s a very safe and accessible city but then once in awhile you get thrown a curve ball (maybe the menu does not have the English translation or the MTR has already shut down for the night) and it throws you off at first but you learn how to handle it which I think helped prepare us for visiting mainland China (well to an extent).

But before I got into that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this international research experience possible. This experience was absolutely unbelievable.

Thank you very much Professor Duncan, Professor Wong, Oscar and everyone in Professor Wong’s lab (Angel, Becky, Sue, JoJo, Kong, Alice, Milk, Sissi, Bonnie, and Ching), Eckerd College (specifically Professor Flaherty and Professor Cohen) and of course NSF!