Hong Kong does not disappoint! It is a place of seven million people living in a very small space. They live up, not out. Imagine a place with seven million people and no visible dirt. Then, imagine a pedestrian intersection used by many thousands a day and not a single piece of chewing gum stuck to the tile crosswalk. Imagine an urban alley without graffiti.
Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong is the busiest place I’ve ever been. It may be the busiest place on earth. It makes San Francisco Bay look, well, sort of sleepy by comparison. The wheels of commerce are turning rapidly here. Boats of every description and size going in a thousand directions all at once. We saw a container port of almost unimaginable size. Goods from China, headed to every country on the planet, many to America.
There are thousands of skyscrapers here, most of them over 50 stories. The skyline is unbelievably impressive, especially at night. Despite the handover, the communists do not seem to have put much of a dent in the famed independent spirit of Hong Kong. Freedom and capitalism seem rampant. I think Hong Kong is the future of China, not the other way around. Eventually the old communists will yield to more pragmatic types who see what China could be by following Hong Kong’s example.
Concerned about $3.00 gas? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Reason: Hong Kong is what China is becoming. Bicycles are yielding to cars and motorcycles. There are a billion Chinese and in the next 20 years or so, many of them are going to start using petroleum for the first time. Demand will soar, and I predict we will be paying $6 a gallon by 2012. It doesn’t matter who the president is, or what American politicians do.
Highlights? Too numerous to mention. Fabulous dim sum lunch, The Star Ferry to Kowloon, the Peak Tram, and evening harbor cruise, Easter at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral.
But very high on the list would have to be the interview of my wife by 2 small school girls, probably third graders, on the Hong Kong Avenue of the Stars. They wanted to know why we visited Hong Kong. What our favorite attractions were, and if we would come back. They were honing their English language skills, their international relations skills, there people to people negotiating skills. While our kids are being taught that competition is harmful to their delicate self esteem, these delightful, small Chinese girls are learning the skills that will allow them to compete and win in the competitive commercial world. It is easy to imagine them, 25 years from now as the captains of industry in an emerging economic superpower!
We have already met a couple from South Africa, one from Australia, and one from Yorkshire.
I’ve wanted to see Hong Kong my whole life. I am not disappointed!
Tomorrow, we board the Statendam!