Archive for November, 2007

14th Nov 2007

Photos of Hong Kong, Xiamen and Chaozhou

October and November

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11th Nov 2007

Hong Kong – the city that imperialism built

My friend Melissa and I went to Hong Kong for the last weekend of October. We had decided to go and enjoy the restaurants, bars and shopping that we’d heard so much about. After two and a half months here in Xiamen, I have begun to feel that it is pretty western. At least in comparison with Curitiba, it has a lot of western products, people and is just a rather comfortable place to be a foreigner. People stare, but it’s not overwhelming. Then I got to Hong Kong.

I LOVE Hong Kong. It is now ranked among my favorite cities in the world. Perhaps it’s because I could find clothes (including shoes) that fit me, great restaurants with food from every country in the world, fabulous night life, shopping, vanilla, and other western products. Or perhaps it was the toilets without footprints on them, lines without people pushing me from behind, a remarkable lack of hawking, spitting, loud burps and babies in split pants. Not sure, maybe a mixture of both, but whatever it was I LOVE Hong Kong (did I already say that?). It’s just one of the cities that you look at and are a bit dumbfounded by. It’s a weird mixture of England and China (and every other place on the planet). I know that as a modern history teacher I am supposed to be aware of the problems that imperialism can cause and the ethnocentrism that causes imperialism, but in Hong Kong imperialism worked.

Other than that, life continues on. I’ve been to Chaozhou, China to shop for ceramics with a group of teachers from school. Not a really exciting town, but they have a lot of ceramics shops and factories that make formal gowns . . . beaded formal gowns. Really beaded. The kind of gown that looks like it would give you neck pains because of the weight. I also made my first batch of chocolate chip cookies (using my vanilla from Hong Kong). Proved a little bit longer of a process than I am used to, since my oven can only hold about 5 cookies at a time. Small batches.

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