Day 40 – See you later Hong Kong

Hong Kong you’ve thoroughly impressed me but now it’s time to go.

Your convenience, your attitude, and your grit both impressed and scared me. It’s no wonder my grandfather can be so loving and scary at the same time.

Growing up in NYC, you often think you live in the biggest and best city in the world, but this is simply not true. While NYC may be the most well known city in the world, it does have some catching up to do. Certainly there are still things I think NYC are better at, but you simply can’t ignore the things that the other cities are better at.

For example when I was in Seoul, I was blown me away by the way they incorporate modern technology into everyday life. Have you ever tried paying for gum with your credit card? In Seoul you can. Walking from one train cart into the next? Easy! Press a button and the glass door opens for you. And just about everything in South Korea is not only functional, but cute, pretty or beautiful.

Then in Hong Kong, they’re unbelievably organized and efficient with the ways they serve their large population. Train platflorms have markers telling people where to go, where to line up to get on, and which carts are designated quiet carts. You can charge your transportation card in seconds at 7/11, and you can use it for all sorts of things like to buy food, or even pay for the binoculars on top of the famous Victoria Peak building. There are literally dozens of examples I can think of that the HK government has thought out to make things more convenient for their residents and tourists. Buses with TVs, buses with luggage compartments, train stations with conveyor belt escalators, free Wifi at malls and public spaces, soup and herbal kiosks, ect.

To date Hong Kong has 7.2 million people and NYC has 8.2. What is our excuse?

Another thing I’d like to mention about the people in Hong Kong is that they’ve got grit and attitude. What do I mean? I mean 80 year old grandmothers cussing left and right with no shame. Passengers who are not hesitant to tell my grandfather to grab one of the priority seats on the bus because it is his right, and people who are not afraid to tell off others when things aren’t done the way they want it. All this in contrast to the generally more passive attititude in China, makes Hong Kong a really different and special place.

Hong Kong I learned like New York is also a city of immigrants, and in the process of learning how my grandparents migrated to this buzzling city, I also learned that my great-grandmother had once lived and worked in Singapore by herself for decades before returning to China. A solo female traveler in search of a better life in the 1800s is by no means an easy feat, and I’m so proud to learn that she was my great-grandmother. It sounds kind of silly but in a way by going to Southeast Asia I feel like I’m reliving her footsteps.

Thanks everybody so far for following me on my journey. Hope to see you in Bangkok!

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