Thursday, 5 February 2009

Hong Kong highs and lows

Now for some prose...Am taking a break from my dreamy, poetic self and in this post you shall find me at my usual prosaic and sometimes vitrilolic self (Wonder which is the real me? Me too!). I promise to be short because most people dont have an attention span of more than 500 words. And yea, I promise to post some nice pics in my next entry. While I wait for the airport coach to pick me up for the flight back home, I am sitting at the hotel's internet bar and keying in my HK memories while still fresh.

I don't want no freedom' ...George Michael's soulful voice sang. That was some years ago in my teens when we went ga-ga over the guy and his songs till it was discovered he was gay! But yes, my more knowledgeable friend those days, told me that this song was written for Hong Kong...about being included in the People's Republic of China and separated from the United Kingdom. I did'nt know whether to believe her and I still have doubts. But this thought definitely revisited me when an Indian colleague, a fresh joinee and a little wet behind the ears, remarked somewhat unpatriotically: "Imagine what would have happened if India would have got freedom forty years later, say in 1987? Would'nt India be like HongKong?

This remark hit me real bad. I was not even aware that a section of Indians would think like this. What has the youth come to? For me, family and friends it is very important to love one's country...Didn't we go crazy when Sania and Mahesh won the mixed doubles for Australian Open just a few days ago? And aren't we so very proud of our software industry and Bollywood and our Miss Worlds and Universes? I remember feeling real good when a British male colleague in London said he know where Kolkata was, because Bipasha Basu hailed from there!!!! giggle! giggle! but great!

Hitting HK was good. Excellent arrangements (Langham Place Hotel is a dream), rigorous training from world class trainers and fantastic networking opportunities from colleagues all over the Asia Pacific and Africa.

But I knew the drill...Desi and chinky babes doing their best to charm some of the Brit diplomats they had set their eyes on. It was almost laughable. Where was I? As usual, the amused spectator ME!

In the days of India 'mallicious mallisation', I had forgotten the joys of bargaining and street shopping (I did the brands here too...Zara, H&M and Esprit are the three guilty pleasures I fell for at the malls this time!). Kids things, muted gold shoes and a maroon and gold clutch purse ( for the forthcoming wedding....to go with my heavily embroidered bottle green and maroon sari and gold and maroon brocade blouse) were some lovely buys from a place aptly named Lady's Market at Mongkok.

And yes, the food. Steamed Bok Choi (green, green veggies) with plum sauce emerged a clear favourite. With such elaborate lunches and dinners, I tried to take the low carb route concentrating on the veggies and steamed chicken and not eating any carbs for two whole days.

But whatever, I still did not take to this place much. One week is ok for a visit but nothing more. I would prefer the UK anyday. The minute I land at Heathrow, I feel energised. I wonder how a cousin of mine has opted for permanent residency here and he has even started to look like a resident!!!. He is one of the most happening DJs in the club circuit here...imagine!! and he was busy with organising the HK Salsa Festival...but I gave it a miss.

But yes, it did feel good when yesterday a young Chinese girl at a shoe stall (where the gold shoes came from) told me "Thank you Miss India'. It was late evening and she hadn't sold a single pair all day...and yes, I did feel like Miss India, if only for that moment....

Please write in your comments and share your HK experiences with me. I have given all my readers enough food for thought. And hopefully will come back soon...and with the promised pics.
Love you..muah!

2 comments:

Tas said...

This post of yours on HK made a better read than De's recent post on S'pore.
The "Miss India' bit was the coolest! You must've been floored.
I'm dying to see you in all your finery-matching purse, gold shoes n all! Send me the pics asap. Pity, I'll be missing the big, fat family wedding of the decade.
Ah, the joys of bargaining...how I love doing that. Were they indicating the prices to you on their calculator? That's what they did in Bangkok-I found it very quaint. Maybe not since HK was under the rule of the Angrez so they must be knowing Angrezi.
Pity you gave the HK Salsa show a miss. It would've been fun to venture on to the floor and try a few moves or just watched the performance live. I'm told it is a mesmerising experience.So far as dancing is concerned, I've got two left feet!! Am wainting for dear bro to upload some new videos on FB.
You take care & have a safe journey back home.

honestinjun said...

Hey, thanks a lot dear sis. Please send me the link to Shobhaa De's post on Singapore. You are right---the shop girls still bargain through calculaters. They did that even in Mainalnd China when I visited in 2005. Strange but practical. Yeah will miss you for the big fat famly wedding the whole khandaan is attending.

Look at my latest post. Have put some pictures too...first of my own in the blog...