Last night, I took a chance on a movie that popped up on my Netflix home page called Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (Emily Ting, 2015). The synopsis sounded Before Sunrise–esque and I’m a sucker for a good “right place, wrong time” kind of romance. I’m also a sucker for films about travelers or ex-pats. In this case, the story centers on Americans in Hong Kong. I consume these tales, even the fictional ones, with a sense of admiration and jealousy. They give me inspiration to keep adding money into my travel fund.
Coincidentally, I had been thinking a lot lately about my week in Hong Kong which kicked off eight months of international travel back in the summer of 2014. While I enjoyed my time there enough while I was there, the more I look back, the more I appreciate it. It may have been my favorite big city I visited during my entire trip. For all the tall buildings, sea of people in the street, and oppressive humidity, I felt comfortable there almost immediately. The energy was somehow simultaneously busy and calm. I look forward to visiting again one day.
At home, the bulk of my close friends are people I’ve known for years. A few are from high school. One is from diapers–we were next door neighbors when we were a mere couple of months old. A big chunk come from college. We met thanks to proximity; we all lived in the same dorm freshman year. I didn’t have to search far and wide for these people. They were living down the hall or right upstairs and we basically couldn’t avoid each other if we wanted to. Not like we wanted to! I’m so lucky we were all placed in Prado Hall at UC Irvine nearly 13 years ago (13!). We’ve remained a tight crew to this day which is good because outside of arts-themed dormitories, I’m not great at meeting new people.
I can let loose around my friends. They get me and my odd sense of humor and accept that the words “This reminds me of an episode of Frasier/Seinfeld/30 Rock” will come out of my mouth at some point during any given conversation. But I’m still an introverted introvert when it comes to meeting new people. I’m not one to extend my hand first and introduce myself at a party where I don’t know anyone. I can be extremely shy depending on the situation. This has not been the case at all since I started traveling.
It’s my last full day in Hong Kong. I’m so glad this was the first stop on my trip. The city is easy to to get around, almost everyone speaks English, and it was so much fun. There is so much to do here!
Before I came, anyone I spoke to about Hong Kong who’d been there said they loved it. They’d have a few recommendations on what to see and do, but mostly they talked about how it’s fun just to be in Hong Kong. I know what they mean now. I’d also heard that Hong Kong was like New York on crack. I disagree. Hong Kong doesn’t sleep and the streets are crowded but the energy to me is calm. It’s fairly quiet for a place with so much going on. Even in San Francisco, if someone bumped into me on a sidewalk, for example, I’d either get cranky or laugh and say “No problem!” Here, it’s really no problem. No one is phased by that sort of thing. You just keep going.
Here’s a rundown of my week here with a bunch of photos…