How many cities can I think of where you can look down on the skyscrapers from lush green mountains? Rio, I suppose, also Vancouver. Not too many places. Ok, I’ll try to think of another distinguishing characteristic about my new home city Hong Kong…Yes, it’s the quintessential East-meets-West city.
Taking an evening stroll near my temporary home in the Mirador Mansion, a large comfortably lower-middle class residential block in the Tsim Sha Tsui district, I find myself in a truly multicultural world: tailors and pushers from around the developed and developing world (Sorry, can’t name any specific nationalities because the mix is so profound), street food vendors selling fish balls, intestines and other local fare, bros hanging outside a nearby closed shopping mall drinking 7-11 beers.
Cross the harbour to Hong Kong Island and you can find one of the world’s sprawling financial districts. However, behind the glamour of the glass and steel, there is a rout of local businesses who can no longer compete with the corporations in their ability to pay rents higher than New York or London.
The predominately Cantonese Chinese culture (Hong Kong demographics) is also a spectacle. It may seem on the surface that Cantonese speakers are arguing when in reality they may be discussing something as mndane as what they had for breakfast. My friend who grew up in Hong Kong says that Cantonese is “more lively” than Mandarin, particularly in its myriad slang that changes by the minute.
Before moving to Hong Kong, the city was my go-to holiday destination, as it was just across the estuary from where I was previously living in Zhuhai. At one point I thought that I might tire of the city, but living here only allows me to explore its richness in greater depth.
[Last edited: Feb 25, 2017]