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May
07

Crumpled Paper City

If someone drew a city on a piece of paper, all the roads and pavements, the shops and offices, the parks and gardens, and then crumpled it into a tight ball, that would be what Hong Kong is like.

Hong Kong is a city of tight, twisting three dimensions. I got lost a hundred times because I kept overshooting, used to Chinese cities where a fingers width on the map means a half hour or more walking.

In Hong Kong, if you can find a gap between the buildings to look through, you will see a road rising over another road and a pedestrian walk way rising above that, which the cuts through the lobby of some multi billion dollar office in a skyscraper which two stories up houses also hosts a luxurious mall. Look past the skyscrapers to glimpse the rising green wall of one of many tiny parks; beyond it’s trees see a rising host of skyscraper after skyscraper until rising wall of green that is the peak outstrips them all.

In Hong Kong if you can’t find the place to cross a road, look up. Whole floors of skyscrapers are public passage ways. Female Workers coopt the edges of walkways and stairs, stretch out bare feet, talk and laugh and skype on small netbooks that still have their protective screens.

Tucked deep down between the buildings are narrow markets. English and Chinese – both Mandarin and Cantonese- jostle together on the plethora of signs. The metro announces each station three times. There are two different kinds of bank notes. One issued by the Bank of China, one by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. There are still some old coins that bare the Queen’s head.

Of all the places I’ve been I think Hong Kong is the first one I’ve fallen a little bit in love with.

 

2 comments

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  1. Mum says:

    Wow! Sounds exhausting but wonderful. I want to go there even more now. Keep the posts coming!

  2. D says:

    I love this description- although have never been you have made it very vivid and enticing!

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