- Restaurants don’t believe in cold water or napkins. They do, however, have abundant supplies of toothpicks.
- Milk tea – a blend of black teas and evaporated milk – is ubiquitous and delicious, and supposedly extremely caffeinated.
- It’s common for people to share tables with strangers at some fast food restaurants.
- Desserts are less sweet (paleo win!)
- No avocado sushi >_<
- Hong Kong boasts tons of Starbucks, 7/11, and McDonald’s and handfuls of Haagen Dazs, Pizza Hut, and Burger King.
- Light buses don’t have predetermined stops – you just wave your hand frantically from the sidewalk and tell the driver when you want to get off.
- Aggressive older women will push ahead of you on public transport if you hesitate.
- Transportation is cheap – less than a dollar for the metro, bus, tram, or ferry and $2.5 for the first 2 km in a taxi.
- People drive on the left, walk on the left, take the escalators on the left, but stand on the right on escalators.
- Random water drops on one’s head as one walks through the streets (usually from air conditioners).
- Most people speak English with a British/Australian accent.
- The swing scene is small but very friendly.
- Hong Kong is enormous, crowded, polluted, and (in September) humid.
We arrived last night and dove right in today–with dim sum, a tour of Wong Tai Sin temple, Hong Kong desserts, a ferry ride, a Chiuchow dinner, and swing dancing.
I was expecting some kind of minor culture shock–language, food, or otherwise–but the worst turns out to be the doors. Minimalism seems to be in vogue here, which is sleek but confusing. I was puzzled by our closet door (Fred had to open that), a gym locker (I furtively peered at another girl opening hers), and a diagonal-slanted bathroom stall. But otherwise the city is gorgeous–huge, tropical, and hilly. There are lanterns everywhere.
I’ve also experienced some culinary immersion by successfully downing chicken feet and goose intestine. The dinner waiter, however, was less confident of my digestive abilities and encouraged our dining companion to order sweet and sour pork “for the white girl.” (I admit, that was good too.)