Was able to spend some time at home in March, then back to Mexico City and back to Seoul a couple of weeks ago. Still on an extended work schedule – so not much to report when I am in Korea….as spring comes around hopefully that will change. We are all able to meet up last weekend in San Francisco for Annelise’s spring break – just 3 days but perfect weather and did the tourist basics. Although I worked for a company based in San Francisco for 25 years, only spent a day and a half at work there way back in 1990 and visited only a couple of times – jealous of those who were able to spend significant time there. Ran into people from our neighborhood – twice.
On the way back from San Francisco to Seoul, I did a 20 hour layover in Hong Kong. Spectacular – perfect weather there as well and I was really spoiled with some of the best views in the world within a 24 hour period. Totally different than Beijing and the rest of China, not only the blue sky, but clearly more freedom. I can understand why the protests – it would be like going back in time for those who live there. Was much more British than I expected, like being in London with announcements in the subway of “Mind the Gap”, posters of David Beckham selling stuff and Robby Williams coming in concert. On the other side of the coin and just like London is the endless confusion over which side on which to walk – 50% of the people think since they drive on the left, walk on the left while the other 50% walk on the right for no obvious reason – resulting in 100% of the people running into each other.
Hong Kong is an island – on the north side is Victoria Harbor and the area on the other side of the harbor is called the Kowloon and the new territories (still free) and further inland is mainland China – all goes back to the Opium Wars (reading a book on it now). Through the middle of Hong Kong Island is a mountain with the south side separated will beaches and since it is a semi-tropical climate, it is like a resort.
Another major difference from other Asian cities in there is much diversity in the people and clothing. Whereas in Seoul & Beijing everyone strives to be alike and dresses alike (and has plastic surgery to look alike), in Hong Kong people express individualism.