18 April 2011 - 2050 Hong Kong
So, my time in Hong Kong is coming to an end. It’s a good time perhaps to reflect on my time here.
I think what will characterise my visit will be the people. By my standards, they’re generally rather rude here and always in a rush to get somewhere. The pace of life here is rapid, which contributes to the atmosphere considerably. I’ve now gotten used to the noise, the smells, and pace, the shoving, the bright flashing lights and the tall buildings, but coming from New Zealand as I was, it took a few days. On my first walk through the city streets, I was definitely falling victim to culture shock. It is very, very Chinese here. The people look considerably more ethnically Chinese than they do in Singapore and generally, they don’t really speak English.
I came expecting there to be some noticeable signs of former British rule. There isn’t. Hong Kong is much more suited to be a Chinese territory than a British one. Apart from tiny suggestions of the past, such as British designed road signs and number plates, the Queen appearing on some coins still and of course the presence of the English language, this is China.
I’ll go away with fond memories. The food of course has been fun. Lots of rice of course, but lots of different flavours to explore (and some to definitely avoid). Beef Innards on a stick anyone? As a fan if flashing lights, Hong Kong provides. Wandering the streets at night is an altogether different experience than by day.
And a quick reflection on the entire trip; Have I learnt anything? Not really. Perhaps I’ve learnt I’m much more capable of doing things i.e. social interactions, challenging myself, facing fears, jumping into things.
Have I missed anything? Beans on toast with HP sauce. That’s literally it! I’ve not missed home at all. I’ve not even thought about it. I’m keen to get back and see my friends and family so perhaps I missed people subconsciously. It’s hard to think of home when you’re having so much fun in such amazing places.
What was the best bit? So many things to choose from. That’s really hard. Singapore as a whole was absolutely brilliant! I really, really want to go back soon. I was really sad to leave. The people were friendly, the cultural mix was extraordinary, the city itself is wonderfully clean and open, and the food… My god, the food!!!
My time in New Zealand was incredible as a direct result of the Stewart family, my hosts in Auckland, who basically redefined kindness and generosity for me. I’ve genuinely never experienced that level of kindness. I’ll never forget the way they welcomed me into their home and the lengths they went to to ensure I had the best possible time in their brilliant, brilliant country.
I’m really keen to make a list of all the cool things I did. Thinking now, I walked through tropical rain forests, white water rafted, climbed a sand dune, went to a rock concert… That’s just four things. There’s six weeks of stuff!!! I am truly lucky to have been able to do what I have done. A majority of the worlds population won’t come close to doing what I’ve done.
If you are in the privileged position of being able to afford to travel, do it! This world we live on is incredible, and if we don’t take our opportunities to explore it, then it is wasted. We live only once (according to my own beliefs). Make the most of your time on earth and see as much of it as possible! I know I will continue to do so.
Tomorrow, I have to wake up at 0400 to get to the airport. My only option of getting there is to hail one of the thousands of red taxis. The front desk say it’ll cost about $400 and take 45 minutes. Keen to see if both of those are true. Should be a fun ride though and my last opportunity to see the city.
Top Gear on TV now. No escaping those entertaining morons.