I went out for drinks with some other PhD students.
It wasn’t really planned, or at least I had no idea of the plan. Friday is one of my heaviest coursework days and in between I met a friend for a very nice lunch. At some point, I nipped into office and another of the newbie students asked me if I knew of the plan. I didn’t, and asked him to keep me posted. I was ambivalent about joining a plan I hadn’t really been included in to start with (probably due to my lack of presence during the planning stage) and left it up to him to text me details, which he did. I was knackered by the time I got done with my last class at 6 pm, but decided to go.
Glad I did because it seems like a very laid back and sweet bunch. I liked that local, Mainland and foreign students were doing dinner and drinks together. There were two students from another university and I realised one of them was a transgender person. I must have stared a bit when the realisation hit me – because it did after a whole 45 minutes of sharing a table – though I hope not too much. Thereafter, I went back to treating her as the only other girl in the group.
The other foreign student, the loopy girl I had written about earlier, came later. I’m increasingly not sure I like her. There’s a slight I’m too intellectual for all of this attitude to her. “So where have you been, I haven’t seen you,” she asked me with a smirk. And I must have sounded defensive because she said, “I rarely come into office either.” Okay then. She also was very condescending to another guy who I can tell they’ve decided is not the sharpest tool. But he’s sweet and I see no reason to diss him, so early at any rate. The girl is falling into the category of people from the Western world who cannot quite believe that the world is not the same the world over. Being in Hong Kong is a good experience of living Otherness, but I find a lot of white people especially are bemused that Hong Kong is not more Western in its functioning and then put it down to being lesser. And that annoys me, because aren’t we all supposed to be critiquing that?
While it was all very laidback and friendly, there was some discussion of conferences and I know this is something we’re supposed to do and I should be raring to go, but I feel totally not up to it at the moment, and also maybe the sheer idea of travel and hanging out in a group while travelling doesn’t galvanize me the way it does them.
Later a whole bunch of them added me on Facebook which was very sweet but I felt myself wondering if my wall is intellectual enough (hint: it’s not). While others are posting activist type things, I have baby pictures. The being-a-mother is one of those things that is a good talking to point to start with but I know it could get me dismissed from the serious business of academia very quickly. The girl for example posted a list of books as part of that tag that is going around with a introduction on how she has been forced to and it’s impossible to choose and then listing 10 very serious academic and intelluctual books, then sighing about how she’s compelled to choose fiction and listing very obscure and intellectual fiction books.
Don’t know whether to laugh, cry or put them all on limited profile (which I can’t figure out how to do anymore) but there’s a part of me that insists on being defiant.