I am in Hong Kong this week to take care of some visa business. This is my first time in Hong Kong! From the moment I landed, it felt like a breath of fresh air. I don’t even have a problem understanding Chinese, yet it was so nice to be in a place where most people speak English. Everything felt more orderly and less chaotic.
I am staying in the Wanchai District, which supposedly is more of the Old Hong Kong? I spent a few hours walking around, and the English influences made me nostalgic for London. Yet at the same time, Hong Kong actually reminded me of the US. The entire district feels like New York’s Chinatown.
I love the cars that drive on the other side of the road and the driver seat on the opposite side. The double-decker bus made me smile, as did the very English names for very Chinese things. The weather was gloomy with bits of raindrop here and there, and fogs (or maybe it’s pollution) covering tips of skyscrapers.
Hong Kong is not too much different from Shanghai, and maybe that’s why I didn’t get that usual sense of “ah, I love traveling alone” feeling today. The city feels familiar; it’s a combination of Taiwan, London, and Shanghai. It’s something that I know, and thus I didn’t get hit with a wave of travel existentialism, where I typically walk around in new places along with a stupid grin on my face and asking myself why I don’t do this every day!
Nevertheless, the first impression isn’t everything. And despite its familiarity, it’s still a place that is the perfect combination of East and West! And let’s not forget how nice people are. I always forget how rude and cold the Shanghainese can be, at least in the service industry, until I get out again. They should really take some notes…