I can’t believe I’m almost half way through my internship here in Beijing. While Beijing has a lot to offer me, I will admit that sometimes I’m tired of the commute, concrete, and claustrophobia of the city. For that reason, I feel that my trip to Hong Kong this weekend with my roommates was a much needed one.
I will begin by highlighting some key differences between Hong Kong and Beijing:
· Almost everyone speaks English. Even the taxi drivers speak English! While people still try to speak either Mandarin or Cantonese to me, at least they can switch to English very easily! I’m no longer a strange Asian that can’t speak Chinese!
· I’m literally swimming through the air here. I’m from Houston, where it’s just a hot, but it’s not nearly as humid, muggy, and tropical as it here. The air conditioning is no joke.
· The city rolls with the mountainous landscape. I’ve sped down winding roads and trekked up monstrous hills. All the while, there are trees and flowers spilling from whatever crevices they can fit themselves into. This place feels like Jurassic Park with the rolling scenery and mixture of old and new buildings.
· Hong Kong is incredibly clean and well-organized. A lot of people live here but it never seems that way. Crowd control is really efficient here, and there are laws against littering and even jay walking.
That being said, I really love it here so far!
Day one was spent at Times Square and Victoria Peak (where I found a picture of Texas etched into the moss on the mountainside!!). The views were spectacular and we were all completely surrounded by lush, green mountains, a pleasant change from the flat, concrete landscape of Beijing. The next day was spent eating dimsum on a floating restaurant! It was arguably the best (and most authentic) dimsum I had ever had. Afterwards we all rounded off our day at the Avenue of Stars, where I finally got my picture with the legendary Bruce Lee.
All in all, I’ve done almost everything I’ve wanted to do since I’ve arrived. Now all that’s left is to see the giant Buddha statue and eat a real Cantonese dinner and then I will be satisfied and ready to return to the Middle Kingdom.