Eye on the Streets – Hong Kong

There’s always this lingering decision I have to make whenever I travel. On one hand I’d like to enjoy the place and absorb as much with just my eyes (and stomach) and enjoy the people who I’m traveling with, on the other I’d really love to explore and observe the place with my camera on hand. But as early as arriving in the airport, something tells me it’s going to be a “camera on hand” trip, Hong Kong is a place meant to be photographed.

The city vibrates with energy that comes at you in every direction. Everyone and everything seems to be moving, in a hurry. I take note of the rush of footsteps and roar of the buses before I become desensitized to it.

I am pleasantly surprised that there are people who don’t mind stopping for a complete stranger. We seem to understand each other with smiles and simple hand gestures. I guess being asian myself means I don’t have to break down certain walls.

Eyes looking forward means eyes off the phone, but then I see everyone else looking downwards. It’s a culture that can’t be helped especially if you have to take 30-40 minute subway rides. The smartphone is an efficient past time, plus their carrier’s signal is efficient.

Centuries of progress and they still use bamboo scaffolding. This gives me a few questions, is bamboo really that efficient for that particular purpose? Do they recycle the bamboos after use or do they just re purpose them into something else? They seem to have a lot of bamboos though…

Looking up keeps me as entertained as when I am looking straight ahead. The buildings may not have strong individual characters but together they seem like cousins of different ages, close cousins who share a good conversation every now and then, together their family tree is interesting.

The cool weather makes my going around more pleasurable, I would definitely wish the same for my country. I guess it’s something that can be taken for granted if one lives here, it’s like the whole city is under one cool AC. Well except for a certain few months of summer, they say it can get sweltering.

New structures gang together to overshadow the old historical ones, it’s like how new kids come into the block. In a few years this place will look different, but for now I love the coalescence of it all.

I can still remember the first time I came to Hong Kong, it was a family trip and my dad brought us to a place that serves roasted duck over fluffy warm rice, served on a styrofoam plate. The weather was cold and we were enjoying a simple warm meal together. Now whenever I go to this city, a nice roast duck meal is a must, it will always remind me of that good memory.

Buildings and bicycles make up my stereotypical image of Hong Kong. It’s still an image I see during this trip, a little less than before though, but it’s like how a person’s character will always be there even after years of change.

I look up every now and then and realize the city is only as organic as the people in it. As each individual moves, the city moves as well. I look down and notice again the noise of hurried footsteps and faces that rush by. People make the city’s identity.