We were in Hong Kong for too short a time for me to get any but the most shallow impressions of this amazing city . . . but I do have some photos to share.
I’m baaaack! And so darn tired, I’ll probably be typing in tongues. What with traveling backwards over the international time line, I’ve completely lost track of time. I believe, though, that I’ve been awake for 30 hours now, which is fun when you’re a college student partying or a boast-worthy when you’re a young lawyer pulling an all-nighter.
Now that I’m solidly enmeshed in middle-age, I find it neither fun nor boast-worthy. Having said that, I will not give in and go to sleep before my usual bed time. If I stick to that discipline, I can usually bypass jet lag entirely.
What I can offer in my bleary state is a photo essay. If I have the energy, I’ll put up another post with a few thoughts I had during the trip.
There are a few things that need explaining. First, we arrived on an overcast day. There was a heavy fog and the temperature was about 90 degrees. It was exactly like the insight of a wet sauna. This meant that I missed out on all the views of both hills and bays. All I saw were buildings.
Regarding the buildings, Hong Kong is the most intensely vertical city I’ve ever seen. Because it occupies such a confined space (water on one side and steep, often forbidding hills on the other), all that Hong Kong residents can do is build up and up and up. The whole central area is dense with towering structures at least 40 stories high, in which people live and work.
To the extent possible, these same tall buildings straggle up any hill that is hospitable enough to support a skyscraper. Sadly, the heavy fog meant I couldn’t see more than the first few floors of the hill climbers. We walked through a market street in which the poor people work and shop, but I didn’t have access to my phone, so I have no pictures of that.
Instead, all my pictures are of a night stroll through Hong Kong’s main shopping and office district. Judging by that walk, one is left with the impression that life in Hong Kong is limited entirely to making vast sums of money and then spending equally vast sums of money on every high-end name brand thing imaginable. I know that’s only a slice of Hong Kong, but it’s the slice I saw. I’ve tried to capture those impressions — based upon a three-hour stroll — in the few photos below:
Seen outside what appeared to be an ordinary downtown restaurant:
And then, in the middle of all the tall buildings, a small, old-fashioned shrine from Hong Kong’s past. Behind it, on the left, you can sort of see a giant retaining wall.
This building is an official mainland China police station, complete with barbed wire and a guard station. On the wall around the corner are very Communist China-esque posters lauding the police officer’s good work for children and old people.
This is the Communist China government building as you can see by the red star on top:
I’m not a fan of Hong Kong Chinese food, although I adore mainland Chinese food. The fact is, it just has too much organ meat for my tastes. (Or as I like to say, “Hong Kong food is offal.”)
This dish, which we saw photographed on the paper placement, actually sounded interesting: A rice noodle roll with “pig sliver.” We assumed that “pig sliver” meant finely minced pork. However, we couldn’t find that item on the menu. It turned out that there was a spelling problem. The spelling on the place mat was wrong when compared to the spelling on the menu. It wasn’t a rice noodle roll with minced pork; it was, instead, a rice noodle with “pig’s liver.”
Please note the name brands in this photograph:
There are more malls than you can imagine, and they all seem to look like this:
Another faint echo of British colonization:
And last, a surprisingly charming, microscopic urban park:
Sorry if there are bizarre typos. Proofreading this, I realized I typed it almost entirely in homonyms, and I suspect I missed quite a few when it came to making corrections.