Moments Before Exchange Part 2

This series is not in chronological order. This time, it will be about the Hong Kong trip I took last week.

Hong Kong is by no means foreign land to me. I’ve been there at least five times and needless to say I actually know my way around certain parts of Hong Kong already. I guess it’s a blessing that I have a good sense of direction, because it helps me navigate easily and I’m not worried about getting lost overseas as long as I have a GPS. I love reading maps so I think I’m familiar with that. 

I go back to Hong Kong every year not because I want to, but because I have a little sister who loves playing at amusement parks. My dad tells me to wait it out a few years more until she grows up and gets tired of playing, but until then, we’ll return back to the same place again and again. No sightseeing anywhere because she hates it.

That’s one reason why I’m really looking forward to exchange. It’s been a long time since I flew to any other place other than Hong Kong, and it’s been a good 6 years since I went to Europe. It’ll be a good few years before I venture further again, so I’m going to treasure the next six months in Europe and make full use of it. It’s finally time for wanderlust.

Hong Kong is a city of memories. I was there before things happened in my life, and I have been there after it all happened. Old and new memories mix together in a mush that is Hong Kong although the really old ones have thankfully faded away from memory. The new ones are about play.

Hong Kong is famous for food. It’s by no means cheap, but dimsum, crispy pork and Peking duck is sinful and tempting. It’s sumptuous and absolutely a must to eat. I ate so much; from these few, to dumplings, beef noodles, meat, Ichiran ramen, Teawood, the famous Australian Milk shop in Jordan (you have to try this if you go Hong Kong), and more. I walked a lot and played hard too. Ocean Park, Disneyland, Times Square, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, Jordan, Tung Chung.

It was an enjoyable five days with my family, albeit some tension with my dad. What I enjoyed most was the weather which ranged from 18 degrees to 22 degrees while I was there. From a country whose temperature right now is between 26 degrees and 35 degrees, this is amazingly cooling and refreshing. Europe will be colder.

Hong Kong’s service, however, was dismal. The people were rude and impatient everywhere and it turned me off even though the food was delicious. I never went back to the places where their service was unacceptable. Maybe it’s because I come from a place where service is important, or maybe it’s because I’m a foreigner that they treat me badly. They are known to treat foreigners badly, but I’m also a Cantonese so I’m not quite sure why they would turn me off on purpose. Sure, I’m not from Hong Kong, but my dialect group is Cantonese and I can understand the nonsense they tried to put me up with.

The only places with good service were, unsurprisingly, Disneyland and the airport.

A short snippet on this photo can be found here.

Lesson learnt: you travel to embrace others’ cultures and not to expect others to adapt to you. It’s the total opposite. Do not expect service because you have chosen to step out of your comfort zone. Service is simply a bonus that makes everything better. It is not an obligation.


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