Happy Birthday in Hong Kong by Andy Duong

Another day in Hong Kong and today was particularly special. Today is my 22nd birthday so it was my first time in my entire life that I got to spend it without my family around. It was truly an interesting experience. At the beginning of the day, our group head over the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to have a special lecture from Professor Hong Fat Wong and Professor Fong. Professor Wong gave a lecture on Traditional Chinese Medicine.

After Professor Wong finished his lecture, Professor Fong came back to take us to the student lunch canteen for lunch. When we arrived, the PolyU canteen was different from our SJSU dining common. When you enter, there will be six tv screen that shows all the menu from each station, which varies from to curry, wonton noodle soup, rice with beef, and more. For me, I got the pork chop noodle soup and cost was inexpensive as the total comes up to around $30 hkd which also included drinks as well. The soup itself was delicious so I was delighted and wonder if my school can have this option as well. After we were done with our lunch, we brought our tray to the tray collection area and head back to the same room where Professor Fong will give us a lecture on Hong Kong health system and mental health.

Professor Fong lecture was quite interesting. She gave us an in-depth lecture on the function of Hong Kong healthcare system. She also later introduces an interesting exercise called “laughter yoga.” The purpose of this exercise is to improve your health and relieve stress by first clapping, followed by deep breathing exercising, and perform any kind of childlike playfulness while laughing. By the end of the exercise, everyone was laughing and enjoyed a new side of Professor Fong. The group will remember this one-of-a-kind exercise and I have seen some of my classmates do the same exercise on random situations.

When we concluded our lecture for today, we had back to the dorm to take a break, but before that, Professor Karen suggested we go out to dinner for my birthday. Among the options I decided an Italian restaurant, named La Taverna, to celebrate my birthday. So after a restful break, we head out to La Taverna, where the layout inside definitely has Italian influences to it. As we were ordering our meal, the main chef came out to greet us and was delighted to hear we came to his restaurant for my birthday. For my dish, I ordered a sea bass dish with spinach underneath and glazed with lobster sauce while everyone else ordered various dishes from pasta to a rib eye steak. Afterward, we ordered dessert where I ordered an almond cake with ice cream on top. To my surprise, the chef wrote happy birthday on it using chocolate syrup and put a candle on top and everyone began to sing happy birthday. I was extremely happy by this turn of event and I was glad that I got to share my birthday with my friends and teacher.

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