Hong Kong – Wednesday October 30, 2013

I’ll recount this trip as chronologically as possible, with a couple of other entries for specific things worth highlighting. None of those things will be my job interview, which brought me to Hong Kong. It went okay, in that I didn’t faint from fright or challenge the committee to a duel. But the only way I got through it was reminding myself that this was a chance to see a major city that I never thought I’d see. So this is the evidence, largely in photo form. If you’re stuck in a dissatisfying job or city, here’s a vicarious escape for a few minutes.

The top of my hill at 5am. Any time I’m up for travelling this early, I feel like I’m sneaking out of a prison, about to embark on a top-secret mission. Which, given I’d booked the day off work, I guess I was:
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Deserted. There was no coffee shop open inside, which makes sense given it was 5:20am, but still bothered me – too much Korean customer service has made me feel entitled to it:
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Coffee and croissant in Incheon airport at 7:15, as the sun briefly passes eye-level:
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My first glimpse of Hong Kong from the airport railroad:
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I was excited, thinking I’d seen the skyscrapers. How wrong I was – that was the outskirts. This is the view from my hotel window, in Kowloon on the north shore:
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Hong Kong is a vertical city, as 7 million people crammed into a shoreline must be. This is a little further along the street. I can only guess at the millions of dollars a flat in this building costs. Still, looks like a nice place to live:
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After an academic presentation where I managed to insinuate that I was a dangerous radical, I went back to my hotel and changed. I just realized that it looks like the building below is shooting flames:
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This is a minor shopping street close to Nathan Road, a major shopping street. The picture doesn’t do the scale of the place justice. It was big enough and crowded enough that it had a short horizon: Those signs in the distance had their own signs in the distance behind them:
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Although I love mega-urban centres, I admit that at this point, after a 15 hour day on 4 hours’ sleep, in the middle of an interview process, the lights and noise got a bit too much for me. I didn’t tarry but found a drug store, to replace the toothpaste and hair wax that had been so rudely taken from my carry-on at the security desk. Really, if they contained explosives or poison, then how would dumping them in a nearby rubbish bin, as the security guard did, help matters? If they were genuinely toothpaste and hair wax, as they were, then why couldn’t I keep them? Anyhow, in my search through the cosmetics I came across some counter-intuitive tooth powder:
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Some signs along Nathan Street:
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There’s a logo I haven’t seen in a while. I thought they went out of business years ago (and that they were only Canadian), but here they were attached to a giant hotel – though, since every building in Hong Kong is giant, I suppose that’s not so remarkable:
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Yes, everyone in Asia loves America’s favourite depressive:
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Suitably refreshed by vegetarian food – worthy of a separate post – I grabbed a pint of Irish stout by the waterfront:
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Sorry for the repeat. I thought the second photo captured the candy-stripes on the water better.

This place is taller than it is wide:
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At the hotel, I was too tired to properly go to bed. I lay down on the bed, stretched out and awoke an hour later, somehow having gotten my shirt off but nothing more.

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