Many thanks for all the birthday wishes. I have spent quietly my 49th birthday, working leisurely and having a modern Japanese dinner in the Hong Kong Mid Levels. It is a perfect season here: palms, but no mosquitos. I am impressed by the new HKU subway station, which just opened a few weeks ago (MTR they call it here). In 10 minutes I can be in Admiralty. Very kindly, the Faculty Office will provide me an office on campus from next week on. Cyberport has a great view and excellent facilities, but of course the main campus has a different aura and it is easier to mingle with colleagues and friends.
I am enjoying a lot to stay at a comprehensive University, which spans all faculties. Joined a talk by Prof. Lucien Bianco yesterday, comparing the role of peasants in the Communist Revolutions in Russia and China. Was interesting for me to realize that the Russian Communists had their waves of rapid modernization, leading to severe famines, well before Mao's Big Leap Forward. They could have been a warning for Mao, what might happen. He either didn't do his homework, or had other priorities.
My main focus is now on preparing lectures, which will start by tomorrow. This will be fun.