Monday, May 02, 2005

May 2, 2005

Hong Kong.

I have spent a small amount of time in two previous trips to Hong Kong. This time I have a bit more time to myself. I woke up this morning to the braying and screaming of monkeys.

I thought I was dreaming. I am staying in the midlevels which is about half way up the mountains. This area is a marvel. Its steep angles, endless sidestreets and huge hills and narrow hairpin turns are a marvel of engineering. This area makes San Francisco look like Iowa.

Great views of the harbor and Kowloon are had from up here.

As for the monkeys, I realized the botanical garden, aviary and zoo are about 100 meters down the hill from me. So there weren't monkeys roaming this completely urban zone's streets after all.

Its a weird transition from mainland China to Hong Kong. While Shanghai and Beijing are in many ways as modern as Hong Kong, you get a much different feeling here. You get the feeling you are in a city that has been Western for 50 years.

Its very much like New York in its pace, look, feel and style. People here are very sophisticated, very hip and very good looking. Yes, the women of HK are quite hot.

Its also a VERY international city. People from all corners of the globe live and work here but the vast majority are still Chinese. The signs and language are a mystery to me. I don't understand a word of Cantonese.

This is a city used to wealth and Western ways. Everything here seems just like New York except with a Chinese flavor and population.

I spent the day shopping on Nathan Road on Kowloon and in the antique shops and kitsch shops of Hollywood Road and Cat street. Dinner is still to come.