© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Grandpa and grandson having quality time

Day 345: Chungking Express

Taipei – Taoyuan, Taiwan – Hong Kong, China

One would think that I’m absolutely at ease when it comes to going to new places. This is not true. I always feel a pang of nervousness every time I move on to the next country. It’s something that I never seem to be able to get used to, even after all this time. I have had conversation with another RTW traveller Katrien (whom I travelled with for 13 days in Australia) and she shared the same feeling.

Tourist information center has always been my first place to hit on upon arriving in a new place. In Hong Kong airport, I gathered up all the information I needed, mostly pertaining to the cheapest way to get in town, luggage storage, commute card and whatnot. Armed with all that I learnt, I made my way to the city center, stored my backpack and walked around while waiting for my host to get off work.

My New York Aquarium dive volunteer friend, Jennie, moved to Hong Kong last year as an expat. She was kind enough to want to put me up for accommodation during my stay here. Jennie flew in from a 10-day trip from NYC just the day before. She’s quite a super woman. Imagine having to go through Hong Kong – NYC roundtrip flights, a triathlon, two weddings, 3 workdays in NYC office, all within 10-day time.

I met up with her at the apartment after she got off work. I had a hard time getting in touch with her cos apparently she fell asleep and no phone calls nor door bell ringing could wake her up. When she finally awoke, found me and got me into her apartment, she literally dozed off in the middle of our conversation. Poor Jennie!

As for my first impression of Hong Kong… it’s congested! It’s way worse than NYC, Tokyo and any other metropolitan cities I had been to. It seemed to me as though buildings are piling on top of one another. Weaved in between the countless buildings are a network of mid-level walkways. One can walk an entire city center of Hong Kong through these walkways in and out of buildings without having to ever descent to the ground. It’s rather… impressive? I wouldn’t want to live in Hong Kong though. It’s the first city that I don’t feel like I can cope with.

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