Kasteel park

Supper at 5 am | 21 april 2017

All HMSM students spend a five-month operational internship abroad in their second year of their study. Developing a Global Mind-set is one of the spearheads of our programme. Therefore, the students blog about their intercultural experiences. Take a minute to read the blog of Tessa Krijnen about her experience in Hong Kong!

Supper at 5 am

Travelling alone is an exciting thing which I have been doing since I was 17. I got to know myself better. My horizon became broader and broader. I came across many new cultures and I always got the chance to be myself. But in the end, the most important thing of travelling alone is the fact that you will actually never féél alone. At least, if you are doing the things in the right way. How come?

Just say ‘yes’

Integrate successfully is a matter of respect. Respect for yourself and the values and norms of other cultures. It starts with being open minded about, actually, everything. In the very beginning, it was me often saying ‘no’. Saying no to activities, certain habits and especially saying no to people. Something I regret wholeheartedly. Since I have been saying ‘yes’, meeting new people and making new friends was the last thing I had to worry about.  

Work 10/7

So this is exactly what I did during the first month in Hong Kong. Working 10 hours a day, 7 days in a row: Honestly, it is tiring. Basically, the thing I had to do was finding activities or people I could get new energy from. Finding the people, as I already mentioned, was easy. We have a great multicultural team on the work floor, coming from all around the world. So the only thing you would like to do after work is hanging around with this bunch of people and getting to know each other better. On top of that, something people do not always realize that eating or better said ‘sharing food’ is actually one of the most social activities you could think of.

Open 24/7

Is it possible to share food at 5 am? Yes, in Hong Kong it! Because of one reason: they have real hard working people who open their restaurants and bars 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a somewhat restrained society, Hofstede would say. They don’t put much emphasis on leisure time because of the feeling that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong. Secondly, they are extremely success oriented and driven and, therefore, work for every single dollar.

Supper at 5 am

So yesterday it was again time for our traditional ‘supper’. We finished work at 3 am, went to a massage and had some snacks and drinks in a tiny little bar. Something I would have said ‘no’ to, 3 years ago, because I know how valuable a good night of sleep is when you are tired.

To cut a long story short, this is just why Asia has stolen my heart. Due to those people I met, I now know what hard working is. Due to those people we all meet during our internships, we won’t feel alone, even when we are. As long as you are open minded towards the people you meet and you share happy moments with them, such as a supper at 5 am in the morning.


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