I didn’t get around to writing anything yesterday because I came home so exhausted I basically passed out instantaneously. I could tell you about the Peak Tram, and the views from the foggy mountain top or shopping in Hong Kong’s Times Square but really, you could get all that from a brochure or any travel book so I’ll spare the writing. I did go to the movies though and that really was noteworthy. Not that the movie was groundbreaking, it had more to do with the theater itself.
So we went to see Hot Tub Time Machine but we went early in the day; the 12:10 showing so the theater was mostly empty. The funny thing is that the people who were there were old. If this were the states, I doubt anyone over the age of 30 would even step foot in that theater but surprisingly enough, there are about 5 or 6 geriatrics just chilling there and they actually sat through the whole movie, drugs, sex, and crude humor be damned. They never responded to anything that was on the screen but hey, they paid the $60HK and by god they’ll keep trying…
Just as interesting was the theater itself. First of all, no buttered popcorn… What? It was all this kettle-corn like stuff but with extra sugar–almost like caramel corn and let me tell you, it was damn good. I wish we had that stuff in the states. Secondly, assigned seating. Just as if you were going to a baseball game, you pick where you sit when you buy your ticket. This seems especially ludicrous when you consider that it was noon on a Wednesday. What’s more, we were seated by an usher who guided us step for step to our seats in what was really a very small theater. I don’t know if all theaters are like this but the screen was perhaps half the size of one you would see in the US and it was also raised about 20 feet into the air which was annoying and also strange considering how short most Hong Kong residents are. The theater itself was no bigger than an elementary school auditorium. But most striking of all was the complete lack of ads. We went in 10 minutes early and were greeted by a blank screen. That’s a whole 10 minutes we could have been learning about some upcoming movie we don’t care about or the most convenient pizza in town that was completely untapped! Perhaps there lies an untapped market for theater ads in Hong Kong?
On our way to the Peak Tram, we saw a giant protest going on as parliament was voting on something or other. There were demagogues with PA systems and crowds of eager listeners all over the place. There was even a stage on which drummers and dancers were performing in support of the protest. While Hong Kong does have a lot of autonomy from China, ultimately, China still decides who gets to say what so the fact that this protest was allowed to happen I think is a sign of China’s improving track record for human rights.
Today, I’ll be headed to Shenzhen with my host family to see where all the Made in China stuff is made. I doubt that I’ll be able to take any pictures but it should be interesting to say the least. Especially given the recent series of worker suicides… I feel like this is going to be a real departure from my comfort zone.
Other noteworthy tidbits:
We ran into the same couple both on the way out of the metro and on the way in… 3 hours later. It was trippy–especially considering the size of this city.
The micro-4/3 pseudo-SLR camera format is really popular here.
Again, when it rains, it rains.
Shrimp here are huge.
Sodas are tiny. Like smaller than McDonalds’ kids-only size. If you’re eating spicy food like I was, prepare to get 2
Most camera stores cannot develop black and white film. Photographers take note. I still haven’t found a place that can do mine.
I got a mosquito bite on the ball of my foot. It is really inconvenient.