I’m sitting here in my hotel room in Hong Kong and feel such a strong love for this place. How is it possible to love an inanimate object such as a city? And one which I have only spent less than three months in over six years? I don’t know what to tell you, but this city seems to have a pulse. There are so many nooks and crannies, so many hidden alleyways to explore. The people are fascinating to watch, going about their daily business in ways which are so different from ours.
Since it was my third time visiting, I tried to live as a local would as much as possible. I explored different neighborhoods on my own, and was usually the only white person. I felt out of place, thats for sure, but I never once felt unsafe, even walking the streets alone at midnight or one am. I always felt like I was being watched over and cared for, even if those people around me could not communicate in the same language. The city is humongous population wise, yet I feel as if I make connections daily.
Hong Kong people are some of the most humbling, warm and welcoming people I have ever met. Hong Kong’s people are such a contrast from those in Boston. I love meeting people, and when I get strange looks from people in Boston Hong Kong is paradise for me. It is unnerving to me that in a city people can be so closed off and so isolated. Aren’t cities supposed to encourage collaboration and communication, not dissuade them? Don’t get me wrong, I love Boston and other cities in the United States are not like this, but its such a big contrast to me while being in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong simply makes me feel alive. I can be who I am and not worry about what anyone else thinks about me because there are simply too many people to care or worry. I can go off and be a typical expat in Soho, or I can be a local in Diamond Hill at a Korean restaurant. Being able to meet so many different people from all over the world in a small region is amazing. In my two weeks in Hong Kong I have met people from Finland, America, Australia, South Africa and beyond. I have met people my age, university students, families and the retired. I drank with American pilots, Finnish board game designers, Kiwi and British train workers, and met a myriad of other people throughout my days here.
Hong Kong is a pretty special place, and will always be my home. I love my hometown, but Hong Kong is where I get my passion and drive from. The city constantly challenges and encourages me. It entices me and invigorates me, and never forgets to surprise me around every bend and corner. Hong Kong, keep being you, you are the best.