Friday, 18 February 2011

First impressions of Hong Kong...


And a good Saturday morning to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. So today's blog comes to you in 2 parts, the first being my initial impressions of HK, the second being some of the better quotes of the week.

So first off, Hong Kong - Asia's "World City," and an icon in the mind of so many James Bond fans (or Dark Knight, for that matter). Truly, it is something AMAZING to behold. The speed, the pace, the sheer VOLUME of Skyscrapers - WOW. I will say that, in 2.5 days of visiting, you really don't get to see much (especially since I was working, no matter what Big Cat says), but here are my first impressions.

1. I DEFINITELY want to go back. Like Singapore, Beijing, and other Southeast Asian capitals, business is BOOMING, and it's AMAZING to be part of that.

2. To quote Alicia Keyes: "Concrete jungles, what dreams are made of..." - Seriously -I have NEVER SEEN that much concrete, steel, and metal all concentrated in 1 place.

3. There are virtually NO sidewalks. If you want to go somewhere, you take a taxi - period. You honestly can't walk ANYWHERE, as this place just isn't set up that way.

4. The pace is truly frenetic. I was constantly mowed down by people half my size for the 3 days I was there (nope - joke's still not gettin' old). It's the mantra of "kill or be killed" when that elevator door opens, and LBRC - there are NOT gonna hold it open for you.

5. The food is utterly AMAZING. Dim Sum to DIE FOR (Yazz, you weren't kidding - I think you should have Dani or MKD fly you there for lunch). I even got to try Shark Fin soup, which was SO GUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies). It was NOT AT ALL what I thought it would taste like - much thicker and saltier (don't say it...don't say it...THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID - sorry, I couldn't help myself). The portions, however, are TINY. My Western ass as pretty much starving the entire time I was there.

6. It definitely has much more of a gritty, big city feel than Singapore.

7. The ferry and travel options to islands resorts, mainland China, and other North Asia destinations is SPECTACULAR.

8. The pollution is OUT OF CONTROL. Seriously - the mountains are only about 2 miles away from the city, and I didn't even SEE the mountains until my last day. Some days I couldn't even see the water. When I did see it, however, the view was PHENOMENAL - such an amazing mix of nature and architecture.

9. You have never seen, and WILL NEVER SEE, so many buildings packed so closely together and rising SO HIGH. Hong Kong just replaced Moscow as THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITY ON EARTH (Bob - I know you're curious - brewski's were about 55-85 Hong Kong Dollars for a bottle - that's about $7-10 USD). The reason for the expense is housing. You see, in HK, the square footage you're quoted is NOT the square footage you actually have in your apartment. They can take all the shared living space and add that in, so you get some RIDICULOUSLY inflated number. Case in point, one guy I spoke with was quoted 1000 square feet, only to find that his actual apartment was ONLY FOUR HUNDRED SQUARE FEET. Someone else said it's anywhere from 500-3000 BRITISH POUNDS PER SQUARE FOOT RIGHT NOW. I mean, that's just INSANE.

10. Simply put, I definitely want to go back to Hong Kong and visit. There is TONS to see, and I've met some great people who will definitely be fun to hang out with. That being said, my first impression is that I personally wouldn't want to live there, and I'm SO glad I'm in the Sing.

As to the other bit, we went out with P-Dawg last night. She brought along two mates, Luic and Oli, and we had an absolute BLAST. First up was Chinatown (CRUB STREET!), where we ate...Italian. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight...but seriously, it was SO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD. Can someone say Black Fettucine? OH YEAH, BABY!!!!!!

We then went to the Highlander for pints, where a great band was playing. Consequently, both Muffin and I are quite hoarse today. But Sam (Stone, Private Eye) - we did scream again to "Sex on Fire!" We recorded it (AGAIN), but I just can't seem to get the video to post. Oh well, next time!

The most classic moment was the story about how Luic and Oli went to Little India for lunch, and the newest member of their team said, "I will order you special drink." They both tried it, and apparently it was TRIPLE DONKEY TRASH. When Luic (he's on the left) asked what was in there, the new guy responded: "Ah, the drink is human seed." Um.....WHAT THE @#$#@$@#$@#$@#$@#$@#$? Luic tried to get a further explanation, but that was truly all he got. For both their sakes, I really, REALLY hope it was just the BIGGEST "lost in translation" moment to date.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print! Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

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