Hankering for Hong Kong
Wedding party, Hong Kong subway
I’m here in Hong Kong, and I left my brains back outside on the roof. Mind officially blown, is what I’m saying, by this astonishing city. You know, I’ve been in some big cities in my time — got a number more coming up on this journey, too — but I have never been in a place so unapologetically VERTICAL as Hong Kong.
The view from my roof…
So, as you know, I’ve undertaken this little jaunt to add a little sensory realism to to my upcoming novel [which, I’ll just add, is going through a title change at the moment. More on that later!].
This is now officially a problem. I mean, there’s a little sensory flourish here and there, and then there’s what’s happened to me here in Hong Kong. Which is essentially a sensory frying pan to the skull.
But in a good way.
Hong Kong City from Kowloon
I have to save some of the coolest stuff, cause it’s going in the book [which — uh — is getting longer by the moment], but there’s so much — SO MUCH — that is cool about this city, it’s impossible not to share some of it.
Eggs hard-boiled in tea.
The food! This cosmopolitan city has zero trouble coping with vegetarians. I mean, don’t get me wrong. My first night here, I still saw a bunch of skull-less pig heads hanging by their noses in a marketplace, and roast everything is def on the menu.
The weather! You know, I did know cognitively that Hong Kong is in the tropics, but I had it brought home in a big way when I stepped off the plane at nine at night into 30 degrees C, 99 % humidity. But it’s worth it. This city is worth all the sweat, and tired legs and limp hair, because — it’s HONG KONG!
Hong Kong Night Market
The markets! Seriously, I’m not sure that there’s anything you can’t get here. Wait! I just thought of something. One thing I couldn’t find was a sticker saying ‘I love Hong Kong’. Everything else you can possibly emblazon with this sentiment is available, but not a sticker to be had. Luckily, I found postcards! But for everything else you could possibly want, and ESPECIALLY if what you are looking for a is a primo knock-off, this is your city.
Afternoon metro crowd
The crowds! Uh, yeah. With a population on the ground of seven and half million, there are a few people around. The metro system is amazing, complex and functional and always on time. I especially enjoyed following this bride and her groom [at the top of this post] through the subway one day, but in the end, I balked at joining the crowd at the end, and walked instead.
I have to say, taking the trains NOT during rush hour was a pleasure. And I only made that mistake once.
Well, I could go on forever, but I’ve got ground to cover. So, let’s take one last vertiginous look at this vertical city — from the un-fenced roof of my hotel, 30+ storeys up.
You know, I’ve really never had a problem with heights, and even looking at this shot gives me no qualms, but taking it?
Reader, I was terrified.
So good-bye Hong Kong, my new dear friend. I hope we meet again soon. I’m off again… can you guess where I’ll be next?
Edited to add:
Hopping back on the page here to say that I’m watching in horror as the anti-extradition protests are raging through the very streets I walked along last week. Good wishes won’t take anyone anywhere, but my thoughts are with the people of this amazing, vibrant city during these turbulent times.