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Thoughts on leaving Hong Kong

July 13, 2011

Train Ticket for Hong Kong (Kowloon) -> Beijing. Photo by Tim Quijano.

I have been in Hong Kong for the past few days to resolve a visa issue. Upon arriving in Beijing, I will be returning to a more regular posting schedule. Below I have listed a few things I have been thinking about and seeing recently. A few of which, I will likely write on further in the future.

  1. This is not an inexpensive city. The cheapest bowl of noodles I saw costs 30 HKD (3.80 USD). This may sound cheap, but it’s remarkably more expensive than cheap noodles in China.
  2. There are a lot of foreign-born ethnic Chinese and emigrated Chinese here. I overheard many parents speaking to their kids in Cantonese, and the children replying in another language (usually English). I also heard many conversations moving between several languages. Hong Kongers seem to pride themselves on their international identity.
  3. There are a lot of very nice cameras here.
  4. Gentrification is rapidly marginalizing the parts of the city that I like most–the dingy ones.
  5. There seems to be some distrust among the residents of the HK government‘s collusion and dealings with the mainland/Communist Party.
  6. Learning simple Cantonese would not be as hard as I had originally thought, but it’s not a very “practical” language. After having lived in a Cantonese-speaking area, Guangxi, and having become used to how Cantonese speakers speak Mandarin, Cantonese seems much more within reach than before. That being said, advanced speakers of Cantonese are famous/notorious for speaking in a very poetic and metiphorical manner, thus reaching a high-level of the language would likely be impossible for me.
  7. I would like to see on a report on the amount of energy that is lost due to air-conditioning units being kept on with doors open. While walking through the streets and sidewalks of Hong Kong, and this applies to Chinese cities as well, you can feel the air-conditioned air escaping into the streets. Most stores do not close their doors, and many don’t have any doors, possibly hoping the air-conditioning will attract customers into their stores.
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