For all of today’s gawking, I deserve to be stepped on, shit on and slapped by every New York City tourist that I’ve ever cursed at for getting in my hardly urgent way.
This city, Hong Kong, is bursting with modernism, efficiency and tidiness. It is so technologically-excelled and energetic with bright lights, flirty advertisements and of course rolling human traffic- all of which opens the jaw and widens the eyes, no pun intended.
We flew here from Nepal and stepped off the plane to a large and pristine airport. Coming from a country untouched by time, I felt so crazed and stunned by the immediate opposition. Nepal lives in B.C. time, and I’d liken the airport here to a 15-years-in-the-future America with how digitally lit all the directions and designs were. The bus that shuttled us into the city had free wifi and continued the same spotless and flashy style from the terminals.
We grabbed dinner last night at a traditional Chinese restaurant. Greg got noodle soup topped with pork belly. I got noodle soup topped with nothing- or so I thought I conveyed in my order to the waiter.
Pointing to my self, waving my hands sideways then pinching my arm fat, I said, “I don’t eat meat. No eat meat. No meat in soup. Please.”
“Yes, yes, okay no meat,” our slender waiter tells me.
Couldn’t get much clearer cut, could it?
Well a few minutes pass by, I’m eagerly anticipating my first Chinese meal, and out marches the string bean with two bowls of noodle soup- Greg’s is clearly topped with fatty slices of pork belly and mine appears to be topped meat-free.
I thought I was all good in the hood so I started poking at the noodles with my chopsticks. As peeping as the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz, tiny somethings, somethings I was very, very afraid of though, began to creep to the surface of my soup. Dear God I wished they were munchkins and not pork bits, but it just wasn’t the case.
I know I sound crazy, but I become a vegetarian on these Asian adventure- though eating meat is a sign of progress, wealth and luxury, especially with China’s history of famine and poverty. But seeing the uncle of the chicken or even pig (gross) I’m about to cut into hanging as restaurant-window drapery turns me off entirely and sends chills through me twice.
Today, it took a bit more effort to guarantee truly vegetarian meals, but we did pull it off.
Anyways, back to the great, many, wonderful things about Hong Kong- the escalators are high speed, there are free and speedy Internet computers in the subways, hand sanitizer stations on most street corners and even a Chinese Mr. Softee. All of which we used or ate- and man were the computers delicious.
There are also short mountains in Hong Kong and an elongated skyline. There is one hill in particular, called Victoria Peak, that is 1800 feet high and has a nifty and historic tram that cruises to its top. From there you can see an expansive view of Hong Kong. It was a tad polluted, humid and overcast, but it was still an impressive shot.
We decided to follow a walking trail down instead of taking the tram again. Along the way there were super-fit uphill exercisers- some Chinese, some other kinds of Asian, some (a decent number really) western, and then a ton of dogs (sorry, not sure of all their ancestries).
It was a Sunday morning on our stroll and everyone seemed to be relaxed, laid back, in good health and enjoying their weekend. It just felt so comfy and I love comfy spots in big cities. It was on that downhill hike, I decided that I could definitely live in this international city.
The rest of the day we hopped around town via public ferries, unbelievable rail systems and our sturdy feet. We toyed with electronics, sat in lively parks, rummaged through street markets and like I said before, pushed my luck with lunch and dinner (for breakfast we just McDonald’d it- and even still had immaculate service and presentation).
To end the day, we headed down to one of the piers to watch the symphony of lights. The show plays every night- lord knows how much electricity it takes to power that- and lights up buildings in the skyline to an energetic soundtrack.
In one day of gawking at the impressive efficiency and crazy modernisms of Hong Kong (oh and boy did I go crazy over all the cutie Asian babies too), I can definitely say this won’t be the last trip I take to this town-regardless of the hanging edible pets.