Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hong Kong - The Edinburgh of the East

So it turns out Hong Kong isn't 'the Singapore of the North,' as I'd been expecting, but bizarrely makes me feel like I'm back in Edinburgh. From paradoxical Scottish street names and First buses complete with distinctively unpleasant purple-n-turquoise interior decor to the city's persistent use of fireworks long after most people have become jaded by the expensive spectacle, this place made me feel oddly nostalgic for early morning work buses. I've got to get out of here.

The comparisons fall pretty flat after that, but that's fine. The lazy journalistic device of superficially comparing one place with another place is never obligated to stand up to scrutiny, though Hong Kong's history as a British colony at least means this comparison holds more water than Chiang Mai being 'the Chester of Thailand' just because there's a wall around it or Singapore being 'the Isle of Wight of Malaysia' just because it's at the bottom.

There are also more white people here than I expected, which always surprises me after I've got so used to being around Asian people. Though if you're racist, blind or an idiot, you could make a wry point about Britain basically being a Chinese colony these days, right? Ha ha! Please stop reading my website.

Mong Kok

I'm still not feeling homesick, but I was strangely delighted to see double deckers

Other British confectionery standards are also available
(or they were until I ate them all)

How are your trams getting on, Edinburgh? Never mind, your castle's nice

Actually, it does look quite a lot like Singapore... maybe I was right the first time

There's an Aberdeen an' all

Wan Chai

I took the ferry over to Hong Kong Island in the evening (Kowloon is the Fife of Hong Kong?) to see the fireworks, because despite having lived in Edinburgh for three years, where fireworks are the default reflex for any event more culturally significant than your Aunt Jean's birthday, it was an excuse to get on a boat.

These awful panorama shots are disappointingly getting better, but there's still at least one major split screen line to keep me comfortably amateur

I can only assume that the Cantonese dub of Blade Runner obscured the dystopian warning-from-the-future elements, so they thought it would be a good idea to actually build it

Golden Bauhinia Square monument.

Behind the scenes insight: When I angle photographs this far above street level, you can assume there are hordes of vain tourists scrambling to make V signs beneath the frame

It hasn't really dawned on me that I'm in China yet.
Am I? I don't even know

Is it New Year again again already?

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