Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hong Kong, Day 1

It's pretty nice that in the same amount of time it would have taken me to drive from Columbia to Charleston, I can go from Taipei to Hong Kong.

First off, my first views and impressions of Hong Kong:

While still in the plane, "looking above it all", the first thing I see when we fly over Hong Kong was a golf course. Fitting.

Second, coming from Taiwan, where it is very mono-ethnic (which some sprinkling of Westerners once you get away from Taipei central) I was pretty much shocked into a very multicultural area. To be honest, if I had come to Hong Kong in February, it wouldn't have been that big of a deal - in fact, it would have been pretty much what I would have expected a major international city to be.

But again, coming from 3 months removed from anything that smacks of multi-cultural, it's kind of shocking. To be honest, I think the people from Pakistan, India, US, UK and (guessing) North Africa outnumber the local Hong Kongians fairly easily.

Third, it's not cool when you have to pay normal prices for things after being use to getting meals for $3 and under.

Fourth, it's about as humid here as it is in Columbia in July. It's steamy, hot and downright southern here. I'm guessing this is just a taste of things to come for me in Taiwan in a month or so...

Well, I was a genius and managed to pack everything I needed...except for my cord for transferring pictures from my camera. I guess something important needed to be left behind.

One interesting thing did happen on the way here though. While at the airport in Taipei, before boarding my plane, I had an interesting experience with the customs dudes. You see, my visa was a 60-day visa - and that ran out at the end of April. But before it ran out, I got an extension - without having to leave the country. Now that is rare itself, but someone knew someone who knew someone...and it got done.

Apparently, these guys had never seen that either, so they pulled me out of line and started asking questions...then proceeded to let me go through the diplomat area to the airplane. It was nothing special really...just a sign above the door that read "Diplomats/Official Entrance" that ended up connecting to the same hallway that everyone else was using. But still...

Anyhow, I will be doing some exploring tomorrow, and hopefully can find a cheap SD card reader so I can upload some pics.

Until next time...

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