Hello Hong Kong
I’m back in Hong Kong – we landed late due to some terrible turbulence out of SFO that wound up delaying our landing by 45 minutes kind of unusual, but it was sunny and bright coming in. On the ground, it’s overcast, humid and muggy here; it’s thunderstorm season. Indoors, the AC is cranked up and it’s a chilly 60 degrees. Outdoors, it feels and smells like you’re standing over a boiling pot of pasta, muggy and hot. I wound up missing my bus into the city; strangely, my Octopus card (a municipal transit card you can charge up to use as payment on bus, train, or even use to pay for a snack at the 7-11) decided to de-magnetize itself. I had to get cash from an ATM and I bought a ticket on the next bus. The ride in was quiet and peaceful. Sitting on the bus, we were driving past mountains and high rises, people waking up and getting ready for work. Newspaper stands opening, and children in their uniforms on the way to work, umbrella in hand in case there’s a sudden tropical shower, walking at a steady pace under the banyan trees. It’s 8 am now. Retail stores aren’t open and won’t open until 9 or 10.
Morning in Hong Kong is like morning in no other city I’ve ever seen. There’s a deep peace and grounded-ness that in other cities is usually replaced by grogginess or bleary-eyed commuters stumbling their way to local transit. My experience of morning in Hong Kong is a quiet awareness that seems to emanate from a steady sense of calm that is part the culture here. Don’t get me wrong, Hong Kongese can let loose and get crazy with the best of them, and I’ve seen HK as bustling as Times Square, but in the morning is it’s own special vibe. Now, I’m at the train station, Hong Hom, ready to go to Guangzhou. No worries, the next train is in an hour. I went upstairs for some delicious soup with noodles and a porkchop for breakfast and of course, HK’s famous “yeet lai cha” – Hong Kong Milk tea. The good stuff is so intense, it will take the enamel off your teeth, and it’s sweet creamy goodness will melt your heart at first sip.