Practical yes....pretty, not so much

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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the view from my aunt's apartment
It’s always funny coming back to Hong Kong for me.  As a Chinese-Canadian born in Canada, returning to the motherland is sometimes just weird.  Nothing reminds me of how Canadian I am than when I’m in China.  

First of all, I don’t speak the language.  In Hong Kong everyone speaks (I mean, yells) Cantonese but I actually know more Mandarin than Cantonese.  Most of all, the weirdest thing is that everyone looks like me.  I’m average height here!  No need to hem store bought pants here!  Blending in does have its advantages while traveling though.   I don’t get targeted by vendors or pick-pockets as much as other tourists.  Besides, I’m not a tourist in Hong Kong, more just a visitor.

I still have lots of family here, mostly from my Mom’s side of the family.
Hong Kong island as seen from Kowloon
  Whenever I’m in town I do the usual rounds.  These rounds usually happen over dim sum, lunch served a la carte as little appetizer portions of food.  Soooo delicious!  

Some differences here compared to home though.  The one that makes me smile the most is the practice of receiving a bowl and boiled water at your table once you sit down.  This is for “disinfecting” your dishes before eating.  The idea being that you can’t trust the restaurant to guarantee clean dishes.  This process doesn’t actually clean anything but I guess it makes us all feel better or something like that!  Only higher end restaurants don’t provide boiled water, basically saying that their dishes are clean.  Nicer restaurants also provide customers with napkins.
Mong Kok district in Kowloon
  Fancy!

Another thing that makes me smile is that things here revolve more around function than lovely décor.  The restaurants I go to often have elevators or escalators to additional floors but they’re not separated from the dining area.  You can step off the elevator and be standing directly in front of a family eating dim sum!  They like to use all the floor space to add more tables.  The floors are ugly, the tables are ugly, the chairs are ugly, but there are flat screen tvs on every wall.  It’s all about priorities people!

Well, right now I’m just hanging out at my aunt’s apartment in Kowloon.  I’ve been visiting this apartment since I was 4 years old and I know my way around.  Still, my mother insists on showing me the ropes and is always surprised that I can make it to the metro all on my own!  I’m still a child in her eyes, never mind that last year I backpacked all through eastern Asia and made it back in one piece.  It’s a Chinese thing I guess.
     
 
glennisnz says:
Must be a very strage feeling having everyone look just like you but not being able to speak their language! I found everybody dressed exactly alike in HK, black, black and more black with just a touch of a white blouse or shirt. may have changed by now.
Posted on: Mar 01, 2008
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the view from my aunts apartment
the view from my aunt's apartment
Hong Kong island as seen from Kowl…
Hong Kong island as seen from Kow…
Mong Kok district in Kowloon
Mong Kok district in Kowloon