Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ever since arriving here, I've been stunned at the similarities to New York City. It's the same crush of people, the focus on business, the great restaurants, and the energy permeating the area. The biggest difference, however, is the camaraderie. In New York, you see people in restaurants eating alone all the time. People walk alone down the street, sometimes talking on the phone or texting, but also just on their way to whatever destination.

Here, everyone has someone, if not many someones. The social vibe is unmistakable, whether it's ex-pats or natives, no one eats alone. It seems to be almost a compulsion for groups to meet, people to walk arm in arm, and all other manner of socializing seems to be the most vital part of Hong Kong's life.

Maybe it's because so much is focused on materialism here in terms of the buildings and industry; it's finance or shopping for at least 75% of what's here (or at least in Central it's probably 90%). Maybe this provides the sense of home that's needed to penetrate the impersonality of an area that has grown much faster and farther than many other cities, and certainly more so than New York, which has developed over the past century with skyscrapers instead of 20 years.

I may not have more pictures to post, but watching the cultural phenomena of Hong Kong gives me plenty to think about, even on days I'm in the office and not sightseeing. Especially those days. This weekend I'm off to Kowloon for the first time, and I wonder if it will be the same there. Right now I live in the heart of business, Kowloon is the heart of tourism. I'm sure it will be equally fascinating, but in a different way.

No comments:

Post a Comment