Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hong Kong arrival


Here's a solution for you who (like me) would rather have root canal than experience one more Valentine's Day: skip it !! If you leave the US at midnight on V Day, as I did, and fly to Asia, you'll arrive the day after and can get on with your life.

Hong Kong is unusually cool today. Low clouds drizzly damp with temps in the low 50s, might even get down to upper 40s tonight.

Arrived here early Mon AM and it felt like the aftermath of the neutron bomb. It's the day after lunar new year and almost no one was visible, which, for Hong Kong, is eerie. Vast, nearly empty airport, empty train yerminals, a few open fruit stalls in the vicinity of the hotel and a few early AM stragglers visible on the streets (many, like me, talking to themselves).

To arrive in Hong Kong is, on many levels, to experience a 21st century future that we are not a part of.

Hong Kong is a satisfying blend of the old and the new (unlike Dubai, a blend of the new, the newer, and the newest). Well kept and renewed infrastructure---gorgeous and easily navigable airport with tall vaulted steel and glass ceilings, immaculate floors and walkways, and easy access to a high speed train that whisks you silently to Hong Kong or Kowloon in less than 20 minutes for $12. Modern office tower complexes in Central connected one to the other by covered or air conditioned second-level walkways that span the major downtown thoroughfares below. A great great walking town, with the option of moving from one level of the hilly city to the next aided by a series of escalators.

Had breakfast, cleaned up, and wandered the neighb, snapping pics of the empty streets and new year's signage posted on the drawn corrugated metal screens of the closed shops. Headed back to the airport to greet Jason, who arrived from Singapore to join me for the week here.

Now, the fun can begin....

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