When we docked on Saturday morning in Chongqing, we had arrived at a very big modern Chinese city. The whole day was spent at the airport waiting for a 5pm flight to Hong Kong. The airport, built one year ago was bright, shiny and new. The city, vast and quite ugly was blanketed in fog or smog... no need to ever stop there to see it, I think.
In contrast, Fragrant Harbour (Hong Kong) was all twinkling lights and interesting buildings. This may now be part of China but it is nothing like the rest of the country. This is a Western city. Every building is identifiable and the cult of individuality is discernible. In China, there are multi-storey buildings everywhere you go and they are all utilitarian, colourless, unidentifiable. Hong Kong is like a cymbal crashing as it announces its presence loudly and with confidence, “I am Hong Kong”. You could never mistake it for just another city in China.
Upon our arrival, I found a fruit basket in our room so I peeled and ate an orange - as its fragrance engulfed the room, the sweetness of the first bite was a joyful reminder of how wonderful fruit can
The next morning I could see blue skies and real white clouds. I hadn’t fully appreciated how depressing that constant outlook of grey skies had been. China has paid a very high price for being the manufacturing capital of the world. It has sacrificed its people’s air to industry. This problem will be their next conundrum to solve. I am at a loss to understand how they can breathe the toxic air and not all be sick.
Our first day was spent on various hop on hop off tours of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. In amongst all the hopping, I found a jeweller who is going to remodel an opal ring I have had for about 35 years. Mark now also has a Hong Kong tailor. Quite by chance, we happened upon a lovely man, a second generation tailor who has been making suits for about 37 years. Mark’s new custom made suit by will be ready by Friday.
Hong Kong is a stunning place. Today we saw gorgeous scenery - mountains, islands, beaches - but the humidity was punishing. At times I struggled to breathe!
By night it is constantly breathtaking. There are people on the streets
at any time of the day or night but it feels very safe. This place is astonishing and I like it very much.
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