With only ten days left before leaving Hong Kong, it is time to start wrapping up my experience here. When I created this blog, I was supposed to reflect – dissect – living in Hong Kong, and on some few occasions I actually did so. Now, I’ll make it easy for myself and just list what I will miss. Probably, I will not fully realize these things until much later.
- The skyscrapers, the buildings, the infrastructure, the airport, the skyline. Sweden has nothing, and I mean nothing that even compares. London seems like a village in comparison. I say it now, I can say it again – Hong Kong has the best skyline in the world.
- Public transport. Fast, efficient, cheap, clean, the Octopus card, always on time. There are basically no possible complaints against HK’s public transportation system. I thought Sweden had a good system, but… no.
- Shopping, especially the gadget shopping. Wanna do some shopping in the evening? Sure. 9 PM? Sure. 12 PM? Definately! Sunday, saturday, new year – doesn’t really matter. And although it can be confusing and hard to compare prices, there is a certain feeling to those shopping malls with loads of small stores, each crammed with gadgets, stuff, clothes or whatever. It is such an experience! And mostly, quite cheap.
- Being able to go in t-shirt from April to November/December. Sure, in the spring it is very humid, but it beats Swedish, or British, weather any time. I still can’t grasp how I will survive back in Sweden, when I am already suffering here with temperatures just dropping to 15 degrees C.
- Eating out. When a dinner costs from 20 HKD/2 Euro/20 SEK, up to 30/40, there is no point in cooking. I will have a hard time getting back to the kitchen in Sweden (either that, or coping with paying 100, at least, for a dinner). Sure, home-cooked food can taste really good, but honestly – most of the time somebody else better cook it 😉
- The Vibe. I guess it is the same in most big cities, but seeing such alive city, going to Starbucks, shopping, seeing all cultures, business, old and new, poor and rich is the vibe, and even though Swedish cities might be alive (in the summers), they lack the range of sights, events and cultures.
- Okay, I have to admit it. The women. My wonderful girlfriend Shirley is not an exception (and she have to excuse me for this… 😉 ), but there are plenty of very stylish/cute/beautiful girls in Hong Kong. In addition, the fashion is more colorful and exciting than typical for north European fashion. “Blond, tall and sexy”, the Swedish motto, just seems boring. Luckily, Shirley will come with me to Europe, so I won’t really have anything to miss in that department.
- The campus. Waking up everyday with a view like this beats most things. And then I discovered, the Chinese University of Hong Kong has even better views! I have yet to see a Swedish campus that is even remotely beautiful.
- Traveling. Hong Kong is a perfect hub for traveling, and I have still a lot to see. Like Japan. I have seen Europe before, and even though I surely will enjoy some traveling there I will wait anxiously for the day that I can go back traveling in Asia.
- International contacts. This is essential, but nothing that is specific to Hong Kong. In an international environment you will meet people from different countries and backgrounds every day. Sure, I am not the guy that starts chatting with everyone just to know their story, but in Sweden there are, more or less, only Swedes. I will try my best to get back in the international arena, ASAP.
Of course, there are a few things I won’t miss:
- The hazy sky. A few days, Hong Kong has wonderful sky. But most days, it is either cloudy, misty or hazy. Or all of them. It partly depends on the climate, partly on the massive pollution from China. At least I can say that Sweden can get some wonderfully blue skies, and that both in winter and summer.
- Being away from friends, family and hobbies. Of course, this is not really Hong Kong’s fault, but going back to Sweden, the one most important thing is that I can get back to the people I used to spend time with and do the stuff I like – such as roleplaying or having family dinners. There were no real substitute in Hong Kong, although I met many good friends and had some fun sessions of gaming, it was always temporary.
- The apartment. Sure, it was like a palace compared to student halls, but going back to Sweden, I can look forward to my own home, my own stuff, my own design. More space to store stuff, more comfortable chairs, better kitchen, etc.
- The food culture. I have mixed feelings about this. Some Chinese food is really good, but I can probably find that food in Sweden too. However, the food I can’t find in Sweden, such as pig intestines, strange seafood, old eggs, grainy sausages, will not be missed. I have tried it, and I didn’t like it. Let’s leave it at that 😉