A Week in Hong KongI have been in Hong Kong for a little over a week now, studying computer science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology…
I have been in Hong Kong for a little over a week now, studying computer science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Though I will be in and around HK for the next few months, and have a ton left to learn, I already feel like I am beginning to really understand the city.
There are several stark differences between the culture and lifestyle of living in Hong Kong versus say Arizona, St. Louis or anywhere else I have lived before.
While there are books and trilogies written on these macro and micro distinctions, I think the only way to truly understand what a culture is like is to live in it. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to live in different cultures over the past few years, and I have to credit this as one of the biggest accelerants of my personal growth.
So what is unique, different, and special about Hong Kong? Clearly, lots. But here is what sticks out most after just a week of being here.
1 — The Metro
The “MTR” is awesome and it is how we get around pretty much everywhere. It runs under the city and can take you from one end of the island under the harbor and into the other. It is super clean, feels safe and seemingly always on-time. There is a mall (more on this later) next to every metro stop.
The one downside is that it closes at midnight so we end up finding other means of getting home. Taxis are really hard to communicate with so we often take Ubers and Uber is great here.
(cool aside: I have taken a bunch of Uber Teslas because Teslas are so heavily subsidized here that it makes it very affordable for drivers to own/lease one).
2 — Malls
This may sound stupid but I have never, in my life, been in so many malls as I have been over the past few weeks in Asia. Malls are everywhere and always crowded.
I am not sure if people shop here more or just like walking around the mall because there are so many shops, food courts and businesses open and selling to customers at all times.
There are also cool outdoor markets that are mainly tourist traps but very cool to walk through.
3 — Food
The food here is generally really good but you have to make sure you are going to the right places. Overall, though, there is great dim sum, noodle soups and pretty much anything you are looking for.
The culture here, though, is to eat quickly and get out of the restaurant. The food generally comes really quickly so you do not spend a lot of time waiting around. All business.
This directly contrasts my previous experience in Barcelona just a few weeks ago where meals (especially lunch) would generally last anywhere between 2–3 hours.
I have a lot more to explore in this epic city and am excited to see what else there is 🙂
Originally published at gonen.blog.
Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.