It almost makes me laugh how relaxed I get when I hear Cantonese being spoken. I can't speak a word of it, but ever since I was little I've heard my father speak Cantonese, watched Hong Kong martial arts films, and went "yum cha" every week to meet up with friends and family. My father always jokes that I have a HK "mouth" and palate, but the true irony is that I can't speak a word of Cantonese.
Maybe it's my father's influence, but whenever we touchdown in Hong Kong it feels like "home." I always have a good time when I'm in Hong Kong and I love revisiting my family's "old haunts." Making your way around the streets of Hong Kong you can't help but notice the odd he juxtaposition between the old alleyways and the large stainless steel and glass mall behemoths that take up most of the island's space. It almost seems like everything is in Hong Kong. People, things, cultural diversity, brands, and FOOD. It's lovely.
Like I said previously whenever my family and I go to Hong Kong it's like a cavalcade of eating, shopping, meeting old friends, massages, and eating. Did I say eating? =) Inevitably every blog post of mine will degrade down to food analysis it seems. There are some things I always have to eat when I'm in HK: HK "pantyhose" milk tea, gai dan jai, sugar cane juice, lung soup, soft serve and of course dim sum/yum cha. My favorite part about Hong Kong is how international it is...not only in it's social diversity, but in its culinary diversity as well. I can eat French, Cantonese Street Food, Italian, Northern Chinese Food, Mexican and the best white chocolate cheesecake in the world if I wanted to!
I remember the first time I went to Hong Kong I was still in middle school and it was one of my first trips to Asia. When I went it wasn't too long after Hong Kong's sovereignty had been transferred back to China from the British...."the Return." So dramatic. However, to be honest I don't exactly remember much, but I remembered how exhilarated I was to be in Hong Kong for the first time and how everything was shiny, clean and foreign.
Here I am coming back a couple of years later and it's so different. I think time is accelerated in all developing parts of Asia. There was an ever present feeling of building and construction...on almost every street we passed there was bamboo scaffolding wrapped around a gutted out cadaver of a building. The whole world is changing and shifting, but I feel that Hong Kong is on an accelerated path. The number of mainland Chinese tourists had gone up dramatically, the streets have gotten much dirtier, and the feeling of living in a small crowded place, I feel, has only been amplified. It makes me wonder what Hong Kong will be like in say...ten years. However, going to Hong Kong made me miss my family more than ever. I think I might be ready to go home. =P Sorry Taipei!
However before I sign off...one of the things I love about Hong Kong is that even in a crowded iron metropolis of at city you can still accidentally stumble into some verdant green parks, so lush and so quiet you can forget that you're surrounded by a city. I think it's the fact that I'm so in love and so intrigued with Hong Kong is simply because it has so many faces. If you've never been I encourage you all to go. =) If you've visited already....I encourage you to visit again! You'll be surprised at what changed and what hasn't. <3
Thanks so much for coming! <3