Hong Kong: Where the Money Meets the Road

Written by Travel

Posted from: Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a never-ending commercial paradise of pristine luxury goods, tiny cakes, delicate food and refined, respectful manners. No one shoves their way onto a packed subway car, smokes in enclosed spaces, spits gobules of phlegm in your general direction, breathes in your face, bothers you while you’re reading, screams in restaurants, or pokes you just to see what will happen.

“This city is lame,” I said to Charlie, as yet another person politely waited their turn for the escalator.

Walking anywhere on Hong Kong island is like wandering through a Skymall ad, and the city reeks of frenetic overspending. There are fine art galleries, upmarket gift shops and custom shoemakers in the scrubbed subway stations. I counted seven Ferraris on the ten-minute walk from the MTR to the restaurant. The streets teem with immaculately-dressed bankers sizing up your accessories and and a whole lot of women who clearly do nothing but smell good for living.

And for future reference, don’t acrobatically jump over a car while riding an ATV without a permit. It’s illegal:

“Where are all the poor people?” Javi asked, as we exited an indoor mall and ended up in an outdoor mall. Surely, I thought, there’s a seedy underbelly around here somewhere. But I never did find a place to catch a sweaty show and a cheap drink.

What we did find was a few amazing evenings with friends, some stunning vistas, a neighborhood temple:

A Magic: the Gathering shop in a labyrinthine office building (“Yup, Friday Night Magic, every week at seven.” – bless them), definitive proof that the Chinese have found a way into the Super Mario Bros. universe and are smuggling back backpacks made of endangered Koopa pelts:

Indications that the Hong Kong music scene may be having, um, issues:

And a comfortable seat on the third floor of the Hong Kong Central Library, the sign on the door of which reads, “This door handle is sanitized six times a day.”

Jesus, Hong Kong government, take it easy, have a Jello shot or something. Sometimes people need a few germs in their lives.