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January 29th, 2002

Hong Kong, part II - random bits @ 09:52 pm

Current Mood: listless listless
Current Music: Lush, Sweetness and Light (it was used in a VW commercial!)

Stupid little things about Hong Kong:
  • The elevators are fast. Press the floor button and it closes literally one second later. They also zip up and down the floors much faster than in the US.
  • There are individual little tiny water heaters in apartments for each hot water tap. You have to turn them on explicitly, too.
  • Drinks generally go for $6-$8, and the cheapest beers for $4.
  • The clubs are usually not dance clubs, but rather places where people sit around and gab and listen to the music. I didn't find any dance clubs. (bc magazine looks like it's the definitive guide for clubbing.)
  • Bargaining and eating seem to be the two main pastimes.
  • Don't try taking any of the older trams if you're really tall, or some of the mall buildings. You won't be able to stand up straight. (Really Tall means over 6'2".)
  • Most everyone seemed to be at least somewhat fashionably attired, but there were almost no obvious super-trendy or outsider or 'alternative' styles of attire. I saw a group of three kids with dyed hair, and one (Chinese) girl with a nostril piercing, but that was it.
  • Cantonese and Mandarin are exhausting to listen to after a while, and it's pretty likely that you'll be unable to pick up any words out of context, 'cuz everything is on a syllable by syllable basis, and context means everything. (To be nerdy, the entropy is very low.) There's also no obvious "this is where a word/semantic unit begins, and this is where it ends." News announcers speak in a monotone all the fucking time, which gets painful real fast.
  • Being shy will get you nowhere in a shop/restaurant/whatever. You need to be very very assertive to get anything done (almost to what I'd consider damn rude.)
  • To mine gweilo eyes, it's hard to pick up on the ages of Oriental people - it appears that their facial features age in different ways than Whitey (Kill Whitey!), most noticably in terms of facial shape - around the eyes and lower cheekbones, in particular.
I had to wake up early this morning and do helpdesk for four hours, so I'm not thinking terribly straight. There'll undoubtedly be a part III or IV complaining about uncosmopolitanality and the seeming rivals HK has with other cities....
 
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