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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Street Scene: Hongkong



The streets of Hong Kong is a combustive collaboration of people from all over the world. Its bustling and filled with energy so robust it'll make you set aside foot pains and aching knees brought about by hours of walking. I spent most of my five days stay walking around as much as I could. I would hop on trains and disembark on random MTR stations and come out each time with splendid anticipation at what kind of human parade awaits me at every stop.

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From underpass pedestrian lanes to the sidewalks protruding between giant establishments, restaurants, apartment complex and shopping malls, arms swinging by my side and neck churning to all directions with the occasional of turning back to follow some beautiful stranger with that one last stare of admiration.

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People minding their own business, some going to and from work, others like me with a camera in hand and a picture of amazement on their faces. Every street you traveled to exudes rugged and even sometimes, a charming authenticity. In Hong Kong, theirs is a jovial and accommodating mood, though even it is crowded with what seems like a never ending flood of nameless strangers, the idea of running into someone either from the past or a visitor from the future lurking in your present is ever probable.

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I was at the Kowloon Food District and amid chatters of Mandarin and Fookien and some foreign language in the background, I hear a shout from a distance coming from a familiar accent. "Mark, Mark" and I turn around and I saw a former classmate waving from across the street. He yelled in Tagalog "What are you doing here?" while he attempts to cross the street. I waited for him to cross to my side and I told him I was just here for the holiday, but is open for a job at the shipyard. He was with Sally, his wife for three years and they are based in Hong Kong for the past couple of years and It was great seeing him there of all places, since the last time we saw each other, was the day we presented our badly-written and ill-programmed thesis in Computer Science back in college, which we unbelievably still got a passing grade.

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Most of the time I was there, I'll forgot about lunch and just continue walking, skipping it like I was chasing a ghost. I didn't mind because I always feel that, getting lost in a strange city that slowly becomes familiar is what adds to the addictive factor of traveling. The more I thread my weary feet forward, the more I get to know Hong Kong like a lover reaches out and explore the body of a beautiful lover over a lowly shiver of conversations.

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I ended up on the part where many expensive boutiques and store were located and saw for myself the spending habit of those living and even tourists in Hong Kong. Looking at the people lining up just outside the door of such pricey stores like Hermes, Cartier and Armani was like perplexing to me, I can't imagine myself waiting for my turn to spend a lot of cash on a piece of bag or a suit. But, hey it's their money and I don't give a sheet of debris on how they spend it. It's how the economy of Hong Kong rolls anyway, it is built on commerce, consumerism, people making money and spending em (like the Kardashians), if it what makes it such a cool place then so be it. Me? I'll just walk around and be a spectator of the kind of life here.

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I told myself, I could not remain single for a long time here. Walking around you'll meet beautiful ladies in their stylish boots and black leggings and some in short skirts. Most are snobbish of course, who wouldn't be if they see me looking like Gambit. A few did give out a nice smile though and a nod that travelers usually gives to each other followed by "How was your trip so far". I think walking around with a clueless demeanor and eyes wandering around, coupled with a camera in hand gives away that impression of being a visitor and others do recognize that and its a good thing that a simple nod gives that assuring thought that, "hey you're not the only one".

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From shopaholic but lovable girls, to "Kababayan" OFW's, to monks, to yuppies and expats to local residents and fellow tourists, Hong Kong is filled with a lot of intangibles that makes living there such a great experience. According to my former college classmate, "Life here is so fast, challenging but exciting". I bet my ass it is. I know five days is not enough and even an eternity here will never be enough. Good thing Hong Kong is just an hour and a promo airfare away. I'll definitely consider going back here in the near future to go along with my planned cheap holidays to Tenerife

I might have to update my resume and seriously consider finding a "shipyard" job in Hong Kong soon. 

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