Monday, February 1, 2010

Hongkong, I love

It's already February 1st. And it's always nice to start the month right especially since it falls on a Monday, a work day. I was supposed to gather my strength yesterday for work, but the moment I woke up my body was not cooperating. My mind wasn't that strong enough to pull a psychological battle. I surrendered to my body's needs to rest and rejuvenate. In a few minutes, I'll be going to our nearby mall to get a massage, foot spa and buy myself lots of salonpas.

My sore body and feet are effects of my last weekend, which is probably one of the most memorable weekends of my life. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation just after I was promoted at work. Though the travel was planned months ahead, the promotion isn't so you could just imagine how amazing the feeling was.

It was at that instance that I have gotten to appreciate Hong Kong's beauty and efficiency as a nation. Though this was not the first time I've been there. I went to Hong Kong with my parents when I was in grade school, but I could barely remember distinct streets and features except for Ocean Park and those long escalators. I just remember crying in the streets because I felt my heeled boots would cripple me. I remember cold and sitting on a tour bus for a long time. I remembered Jade Street and eating a soup with minced pork. But never did get the chance to know and appreciate the country. I was just a little chubby girl tagging along with parents who aren't what you would identify as exciting and adventurous "travelers." My recent trip last weekend tried to fill in the missing experiences from my first trip.

Due to extreme excitement, I planned a detailed itinerary which includes a visit to neighboring Macau. Looking at it, I realized my itinerary was so packed and stressed for a 2 1/2 days stay, but strong belief told me it was doable. I relied on my research and familiarization of MTR system maps and street maps brought by my boss on her most recent trip. Every minute was squished and options were presented to save time on figuring out what to do once we're there. I guess I outdid myself much to my travel-mates' discomfort and sarcasm.

I didn't care. I was in Hong Kong and I love it. I can easily accept the fact that they speak to me in Mandarin as if I could reply in Mandarin any minute. And they try their best to speak to me in English even in words or phrases. Simple things like that is more amusing than stressful to me. I love that Hong Kong, I believe, is a tourist friendly nation providing one of the most efficient, convenient and understandable train system in the world. A foreigner without a knowledge of simple Chinese or Hong Kong for that matter could survive perfectly and gracefully in Hongkong's MTR system. Hong Kong is a small island, but it becomes magnificently smaller and closer with MTR. I love the convenience it brings to tourists and locals as this is one of the country's best assets. I love good working trains. Period.

Aside from the technological breakthroughs of MTRs, Hong Kong is also known for its tourist spots such as the Peak Tram, Lantau Island attractions, HK Disneyland and a quick cross-country to Macau. The major ones I was able to visit while the rest could be done in Kowloon and Hongkong Islands, the perfect combination of shopping, authentic chinese food and entertainment.

I love Hong Kong. In Hong Kong everything is just a train station and a walk away. Everything is within reach and global. I love it so much that I entertained the thought of relocating. Hong Kong is one of the countries on my relocation list next to London and New Zealand. This country is modern, vibrant and dynamic. It's fast paced yet organized. I'm so impressed with this city. Even with the language barrier, certified experience of an ever-hurting feet and uncertain authenticity of hundred street food selections, I won't ever think twice of going back.

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