At the end of my Japan trip, I was flown to Hong Kong for business. Our company just recently opened a branch in Asia for production. The production facility is over in the mainland of china in the special economic zone. We have a small office in a nice office building in Hong Kong that manages the production facility and is in charge of logistics.
When I stepped off the plane I was immediately struck but the extreme western influence that has stripped Hong Kong of much of its asian culture. Japan is an isolated country and although it is not immune to the McDonalds and Starbucks that have invaded every corner of the globe, the majority of the cultural feel you experience when in Japan is purely Japanese. In HK which was a brittish colony for many years, until 1997, there is a uniquely western influence. Every sign is in English and Chinese and every shop owner speaks English… ok that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it is close to the truth.
I was also struck by the extremely tall apartment buildings, the likes of which I had never seen. They were nearly 100 stories tall and seemed to cover HK. I was told that an area in HK called Mong Kok is the most densly populate area in the world. Evertyhing in japan seems very new and modern. In HK everything seems weathered and well lived in.
Then there was the smog. I had never in my life seen smog so thick. Not in LA and not in Costa Rica which were previous to my HK trip, the smoggiest places I had ever visited. The smog was especially bad because of the lack of winds on that day and in the next couple of days it lifted.
I was picked up at the airport by a nice Mercedes benz, a first for me, I am acostomed to taking trains and shuttles. I arrived at my hotel and everything was arranged for me. Later that night I was called by my HK contact, Karen and she arranged a meeting and offered to show me around HK.
We ate some good curry and then walked through the streets of HK. It was a whole different feeling to jp and I was reminded of walking through the streets of downtown LA as opposed to walking through some kind of utopia as it felt in japan. We visited Men’s market which is an open air market that seems to specialize in bootleg porn vcds, bootleg music and bootleg bags. They also have a wide selection of sex toys and cigarette lighters. I really wanted to buy the Mao tshirt that I saw but it was too small.
The next day I woke up and met Karen down stairs in the Hotel lobby. We took the train, which there are only 4 lines on HK as opposed to the 38 lines just in Tokyo, to the office. When I got there I realized that I had much work to do. I finished it up pretty quickly and everything worked great.
The next day I flew back to Japan…