Hong Kong

December 29, 2011 § 14 Comments

你好嗎?I’m in Hong Kong and later China on vacation for three weeks, and let me just brag about how completely wonderful it is! When people ask why Hong Kong, I usually say, “to visit family” to sound less shallow, but here’s a secret: I’m just here for the food…
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Just one corner of the Wan Chai market.

Everything tastes spectacular here! In such a competitive and high-paced city, if the food isn’t up to par, the restaurant or food stand quickly gets renovated into something newer and flashier. Since everything has been well tested by the food-obsessed and very discerning crowd of HK citizens, only the best survives. Even their Starbucks was better! Not that that’s saying much. At least they didn’t burn my coffee. Not that I had coffee, because I quit two days ago, forever this time…

The hand-made tofu, vegetarian meat, and bean curd stall!

Not only is the food in Hong Kong salivatingly good, it’s also so alarmingly cheap you feel like you must be ripping off everyone you buy food from. When you walk around, you see full meals priced around $24-32, which are not uncommon prices in America. Then you get to divide by 8!!! (the exchange rate) and so you can get a large non-fast food meal for about $3-4. This morning I bought 8 loaves of bread for little over $1, and pastries start at around 25 cents.

Mochi on a stick with azuki beans! My aunt took a bite before I could properly take a picture...

You’re tempted to gain weight but it’s such a fast city that it’s nearly impossible to do so. I discovered this morning, through falling on my ass in rush hour people traffic, that even the escalators in Hong Kong run faster than ones in America! And if you don’t ram your entire body onto the subway train, be prepared to be run over by hoards of extremely violent and deceptively fragile looking old women. So you need to constantly be eating just to maintain your weight. I think I spend a good 5-6 hours a day here either looking for food, eating food, or talking about it.

Sheep tea set...by a contemporary potter.

If you’re a vegan visiting Hong Kong for the first time, don’t be scared! It’s easy to be shocked at first at the strung up whole pig heads, not to mention the snakes in a cage. If you’re at a restaurant and don’t know what you can eat, remember this line: “Ngo hai so sik” (pronunciation guide: ng pronounced like the end of sing. If you can’t say that, say “au” like Auckland, hai like hi!,so like so what?, and sik like sick.) That will get people to understand that you are vegetarian. If you want to go further and say that you are vegan, I haven’t heard a word for vegan yet, but you can say that you don’t eat butter, eggs, or milk as well. (“mm sik gai dan, ngau yau, ngau lai”).

A turtle family! I think I may need to recover a bit from the CUTE OVERLOAD!!

Other Things I Like About Hong Kong

1. Today I got a back massage for 45 minutes for HK $68. That’s about $8.50 in US money. Jealous yet?
2. A woman talking to me reeeaaaaaalllyyy slowly in English because she thought I couldn’t understand her.
3. Free admission to a conservatory and a teapot museum!
4. Extremely fresh produce (although practically none of it is local). 😦
5. Most of the English translations are spot on, but look at this fun one!

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Special disposal of CUM!

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