To be flown over to Hong Kong by yourself, for two weeks, with your mission to market your school to agents and parents is pretty spectacular for a 19-year-old marketing and events intern.
Flying into Hong Kong was an extraordinary sight with skyscrapers all lit up and the lights of all the small toy-like cars whizzing around the motorways, especially as I’ve lived in a small town for the last eight years of my life. I was in total awe and I hadn’t even landed yet!
I quickly learned that in Hong Kong people live a totally different way of life. My host family (who were absolutely lovely and current parents) lived in the most amazing boat house overlooking Discovery Bay, but across the marina there were blocks of apartments 30 stories high where the flats were no bigger than my office at SDC.
Being sent out into Hong Kong for the first time was both overwhelming and just totally amazing. I got lost in the maze of skyscrapers, and would stumble across fish markets, clothes markets and tourist markets, trying to find the agents I needed to find, but I always say ‘getting lost is the best way to start an adventure’, and that’s exactly what I did.
As my trip continued I was meeting more and more agents and prospective parents and was so proud and honoured to be able to tell my St David’s story and as Mr Hall had now joined me we were meeting up with past pupils and I was learning something new about my school every day and getting the chance to hear other SDC stories and memories.
A very memorable past student I had met was Phil Chan, who currently lives in Hong Kong. He took us for a meal I will never forget as I’d never experienced anything quite like it before. He’d taken us to a typical Chinese restaurant. As Mr Hall and I had no clue what was written on the menu we left it up to Phil to order for us. Our first dish came, and the second, and the third, and the fourth, fifth, and sixth. It was never ending! Finally our last dish came, Peking Duck, which I was told I could not leave Hong Kong without trying. I was defiantly not expecting a full duck to be sat staring in front me, quite literally as the head was included. It was practically still quacking at me. Being a vegetarian started from that moment… and ended lunch time the next day when I had a very British ham sandwich!
I’d been told if I ever visit Hong Kong I have to visit the Big Buddha and that was an opportunity I wasn’t going to miss. The cable car up to the Buddha was beautiful and I managed to see a whole kingdom of trees and land-greenery that I had been missing. As I got to the top I was just simply in awe. It was just like a little town with small shops and flowers planted everywhere. It was beautiful. I also made a new friend up there, he was a water buffalo apparently, but to me he just looked like a cow. I was truly baffled as to why he was there, I thought he was just a tourist attraction but I turned around and there was a whole herd of them just lying peacefully on the grass. As for the Buddha, he was beautiful too, however the steps proved to not be as friendly as the wild ‘cows’.
Our final evening was spent having an Old Davidian’s dinner in the China Club, with thanks to past pupil Michael Stanhope. It was interesting to exchange stories about our times at St David’s and the opportunities St David’s had presented to us all, especially as there was five generations of students there. As for the food, yet again, it just kept coming and coming and to my relief there was no Peking Duck.