>My first 4 days in Hong Kong have come to an end and I am now at the massive Hong Kong airport on my way to Beijing for the next four days.
Since I arrived my initial impression of Hong Kong has changed a lot. I wasn’t sure about it when I first got here because it was really confusing. But obviously I didn’t get enough time. In the past few days I have become utterly fascinated with this metropolis. I”m so intrigued by it’s people, it’s mixed cultures, it’s priorities and it’s currency. No seriously, I have to carry around a calculator everywhere!
I’ve also really loved catching up with some of my best friends because they have been showing me a different side of Hong Kong. I actually haven’t even done any of the main attractions that Lonely Planet has told me to do. I have been experiencing the city just like people that live here do. One of the highlights for me was wandering around a neighborhood called Wan Chai on a Saturday morning. The Wet Market was full of Hong Kong….onians (?) going about their daily life, getting food for their family and trying to strech their dollar. For hours I didn’t see, hear or even try to speak English. The market is not for the weary. The fish are cut open so freshly that you can still see their heart beating. Chickens head’s are grounded off in front of you…alive. I tried to not be shocked or look concerned but it was certainly a different way of seeing how food can be prepared. Not that it didn’t stop me from always craving a McChicken.
Yesterday I was able to be a part of a real dragon boat team and try to keep up with them. My friends are on a team and they had an extra seat. So for an hour I was in Stanley Harbor, getting poured on, I even think I was sweating. It was crazy, intense and most importantly fun. During the hard parts I would simply drift away to my favorite “If I was on Survivor…” world, that I always find so comforting.
One of the most interesting things I witnessed yesterday was Ama Sunday. I gave it that name because I don’t know what else to call it. But basically, Sunday is the only day that all the Phillipino home care workers get off from their families. Since they have no other place to live, hundreds upon thousands of them swoop down on the streets of Hong Kong and set up shop for the day. They bring blankets and food and spend the day catching up with their friends that they only talked to usually once a week. It was amazing to see all these people doing the exact same thing. Every fast food restaurant was packed. Every park bursting at the seams. Streets are closed just so they have room to sit. Anywhere we went there were these workers who essentially take over the city for the day. It was really amazing to see and experience. I really want to read up more about this phenomenon when I get back to Canada.
Four days in I’m completely enamoured with Hong Kong. If you only get to travel once in your life I really think this might be the place for you. It is a mix of sooooo many cultures that you get to experience all the food, architecture and people from all over the world…all in one city.
I’ve also gotten an amazing foot and head massage and enjoyed some of the most amazing food. Who knew I would like Mongolian soooo much?
So that is it for now. My friend Kim and I are off to Beijing for the next 4 days. I am so pumped to experience a completely different culture that is only a few short hours a way.
If you want to see some pics of what I’ve been up to, please click here.