06-10-10

068 / King Kong

068 / King Kong

When I used to think about Hong Kong, images of eye patched pirates would blend with those of British colonials who drink their gin & tonic, showing tanned forearms in shirts full of sweat.  After a couple of days in this metropolis who benefits from the Chinese “One country – Two systems” policy, my adventurous vision needed some updating (which Hong Kong can provide via Wifi, Bluetooth, ESPN :-), 2G, 3G+, UMTS, SMTP and a selection of another 29 digital protocols).

 Travelling is often about experiencing changes, and contrast, and maybe because I was arriving from India there was a slight perception bias, but Hong Kong has a service level that high that it makes you believe that ‘they’ have put a spy chip into your brain that reads your thoughts, even before you do. By the time you actually think “I need to go to the loo”, “I’m lost, where’s a map” or “Frozen Yoghurt would be soooo good now!”, they already come up with a service, a sign or a yoghurt that matches exactly what you were dreaming of . I did produce a couple of thoughts that were not followed up by an automatic solution, some of them involving the Pope promoting birth control measures or Belgium forming a workable government.

 

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Hong Kong was also my first Couchsurfing-experience as a surfer (after the numerous times I was hosting people in Paris). I was lucky enough to meet Margot, a media professional/writer/polyglot/host/cat-lover/energy guru/sales director/gastronome… She received me brilliantly in her 15m² flat in Chanwai, in the heart of the city. The 1st of October, more than 20% of the world population celebrates her national holiday, and this is done with massive fireworks orchestrated by the master-creators in person. Front row seats. A lucky traveler moment.

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On the second day, when I thought for a second, “it’s cool this city on the water side, too bad there is no place for a decent beach at this hot temperatures”… Hong Kong immediately came up with Stanley Beach, just across the big hill… You feel really on holiday, not aware of the 8 million people that live only a decent stone throw away. It’s Victoria Peak that divides the skyscrapers from the green beaches. The view from up there alone is worth a stop in Hong Kong. After a visit to the night market in Kawloon, with some very local dishes (the most remarkable is an omelet with oysters baked inside…), I was ready to discover Macau.



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Macau has been described as the Las Vegas of the East, but in my opinion, this is like saying that Donatella Versace is the Italian Sharon Stone… I found the place as ugly as it’s landmark casino (The Grand Lisboa), where overweight Chinese with golden watches lose money and chainsmoke cigarettes… Even the misleading veil of darkness could not hide the emptiness. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, even the art of making an artificial, plastic city worth visiting.

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When I was all alone and sad around midnight in a karaoke bar, Johnnie spoke to me in very clear terms : Keep walking. An that’s exactely the action plan for the rest of the trip.

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Direction Java & Bali.

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18:54 Gepost door Wouter* | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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