Say Hong Kong and across most people’s minds floats images of sparkling lights and towers of glass and steel floating in a harbour crisscrossed by a host of small boats with the occasional red sailed junk passing by. Yes that city with it’s metronomic MTR is here. But step out of your taxi or limo and walk the streets and discover a complex character. Within this bustling city lies many cultures, from the feisty local Chinese proclaiming their differences with the mainland Chinese, who just as strongly protest. In this mix comes cultures from across Asia and the world each demonstrating and retaining their uniqueness and traditions.
From the Filipino housemaids and nannies thronging the streets on a Sunday to the South East Asians maintaining their traditional dress and of course the expat Westerners seeking out the McDonalds and Starbucks. This richness and diversity is nowhere more obvious than in it’s food culture, every street offers an amazing plethora of small eateries offering culinary treats from all over the world, many strange to my eye but thronging with customers, so earmarked to consider in the future. Small entrepreneurs with their tiny shops and market stalls abound, all having fully bought into the market culture of the city and striving to grab their slice of the giant wave of money passing through the city.
This is Hong Kong, love it or hate it you have to respect it, from the little old lady pushing her cart of recycling cardboard regardless of traffic or pedestrians, the taxi driver who doesn’t seem to care if you get in or not. Up to the billionaire in his LED encrusted castle of glass in Central, they all play a part and they are all noisily reaching for more. This crazy, amazing city makes me smile.