12.12.2017

Pilgrimage to the motherland 20 years later. Victoria Peak. Hong Kong. 12.3.2017.

Since moving from Hong Kong at the age of 10 in 1987, I have only returned twice previously: 12.1993 and 12.1997 (in which I witnessed the British to Chinese change over). Both times were to do paperwork and filled with traumatic memories; hence my lack of desire to return. Since it has been 20 years, I was very curious to make this pilgrimage to see what it would be like for me this time around, on my own terms on holiday. Thankfully, I was able to make it happen this year and here are my findings.

It is still very densely populated. Hong Kong was the most dense country in the world when I lived there. It is currently the 4th most densely populated region in the world, which made it very tolerable for me this time around. It was at least twice as crowded when I visited back in 1997. Granted, it was due to the British change over and it was around Christmas and New Year's.

The air quality is terrible. It's actually worse than LA. I had to use my inhaler (a rarity) by day 4 as I could not breathe. On a day with worse air quality, you can barely make out the 100+ floor building outlines near the harbour. Yikes.

I was told that people spoke mostly Mandarin a while back; this is no longer the case. Everywhere I went people spoke Cantonese, which was both a surprise and a relief to me. I asked the lady that did my brows why this was and she told me that it was because mainland China allowed the Chinese to go overseas to Europe about 5-6 years ago. So the Chinese tourists no longer only went into Hong Kong for shopping holidays: they are now in Europe instead. Which explained the much less density when walking around Hong Kong. Retail in Hong Kong has taken a huge hit due to this however.

There are no obese people. The heaviest person I saw the entire week I was there would be a guy that weight 180 lbs at 5'6". People walk everywhere and there are stairs all over, including all along the hill sides. Also, people's diets are much more balanced and less meat and dairy based than in America.

Public transportation still work great all across the board and the most I ever waited for anything would be 3 minutes max. They are also very clean.

I saw a total of 4 homeless people the entire time. I see more than 4 homeless people walking 5 blocks in San Francisco.

I saw a total of 14 black people the entire time. Like most Asian countries, it is extremely culturally monogamous. My friend who traveled with me is Mexican, and he saw no other Mexicans until we were back at the airport, which we discounted.

Let me take you on my journey through Hong Kong, my motherland, as a willing adult this time around, in true Yu-Tang fashion.

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