Hong Kong and Kowloon
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Posted by David Chan on 2008-Feb-27 13:12
Strangely, I found HK disconcerting when I first arrived. I don't know whether it was the jet-lag or that it was so different from what I was used to. OK, the place is a magnificent monuments to man's ingenuity in cramming people in the smallest space possible but it felt alien to me on the first and second day. However, on this the third day, I grew comfortable with the place and got to like it.
It just hit me in the afternoon what Hong Kong is like. It is the living model of Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork! I even found a HK analogue of CMOT Dibbler who managed to sell me two out of date real fruit drinks. Yes, it is a city where you can get anything at any time. People here are always on the go. Indeed, my daughter observed that everyone looked tired. But its gaudiness and commercialism is bordering on the magnificent.
This afternoon, I walked through a street market selling live fish and even terrapins. I saw a decapitated fish head still gasping for minutes with people passing by not taking a blind bit of notice. I saw live chickens being sold for the pot. The smells and the colours were incredible so far away from the clinical pre-packaged foods in our English supermarkets. Here food is live and in your face. My son made the following statement. "I always thought that 75% of Chinese people in the UK worked in the catering trade. Looking at Kowloon and Hong Kong, I think 75% of Chinese people work here in catering!"
It's an early night tonight and I am looking forward to sailing up the Pearl River to Kaiping!