Marseil in Hong Kong

Marseil in Hong Kong

Marseil
Marseil

March 28th, 2012, 4:15 pm #1

Hello,

After a trip in the US, I have the chance to be traveling in Hong Kong now... So here are some thoughts to complement y "Marseil in America" series:

. Lines
Hong Kong like everywhere (almost) in Asia always gives you the feeling of a crowd. And Hong Kong still have strong British influences that can be seen in the way people form queues. For instance, people stand in an orderly line on the pavement at a bus stop, and get in the bus in order, something you would never see in mainland China. Also Hong Kong is all about efficiency, so if there is a need to cope with crowds, usually there is enough staff to take care of the crowd. So three are not so many lines actually.
I saw a few lines in front of restaurants, but, I checked, the places were actually full. Not like Vegas, where they keep you wanting to be seated even if the restaurant is empty.

. Nature
EVen if Hong Kong is primarily a city, there is till some natue here. It is quite tame nature, though, that gives you the feeling a British park. I've been to a couple places in the New Territories, where you can see some forest, hike around, but always on a good, well signposted footpath, with a few warnings to make sure any risk is taken care of.
As I was dependent on public transport, I wa s not abel to go to very remote areas if they exist.

. Tips
No mandatory tipping here. Prices are posted with tax and service included, but when you get a restaurant bill, the service is itemized, and is 10%. No one expects you to leave a tip, and no one would risk loosing face in asking for a tip. On the other hand, if you leave a few coins, no complaints are heard.

. Elderly people
I've not seen any elderly person working here. You get the feeling everything is managed by energetic youth!

. Culture vs. war
Cultural offer is limited here. There are some good museums. And the very popular and very extensive Hong Kong International Film Festival is happening now. They have a greta, very international, very open program as you may see here:http://www.hkiff.org/eng/main.html
Hong Kong is not getting into a war with anyone. PRC army stationed in Hong Kong is totally invisible. The police is visible, but a lot less noisy and demonstrative than in the US.

. Highways
AUtomobile traffic is limited in Hong Kong, thanks to a very good and efficient public transportation system. Public transport here includes subways, trains, buses, minibuses, ferries, tramways, escalators, and probably more. They run efficiently, and the public transportation payment system, Octopus, is the world reference.

Maybe I'll get back to you with more thoughts. Feel free to ask questions too.

Marseil.


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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 28th, 2012, 5:20 pm #2

But it's hard to generalize. Even here in America there is tremendous diversity- from tiny towns in the boondocks to huge megalopolises like New York or Los Angeles. And for that matter- look how different even NY and LA are from each other. So imagine if you only visited one place in the US how misleading it would be.
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Marseil
Marseil

March 30th, 2012, 7:52 am #3

I'm shocked, but actually not surprised, at how the American posters on this board lack openness on the world.

My posts on the US, attracted some comments. My post on Hong Kong just attracts one two-line comment from Nat, basically to dismiss what I was writing with: "But it's hard to generalize." just to be explicit, I never wanted to generalize, just to give the readers of this board some thoughts and impressions.

At the same time the 100th or 1000th post about religion in the US attracts lots comments, repeating what has already been said and repeated for ever.

Marseil.
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Joined: May 9th, 2005, 12:05 pm

March 30th, 2012, 10:15 am #4

Yeah, but do they drive on the left or on the right (generally speaking)?

On a more serious note, I once worked briefly (he was an auditor) with a man from Singapore, I believe it was. He had gone to school in the US but was only working here for a while on an exchange basis with his employer, who I think may have been Arthur Anderson at the time.

Singapore is, or was, a lot like Hong Kong in some ways. I had asked him where he traveled for vacations and he mentioned Hong Kong. I wonder if it is still an attractive destination for vacationers around the Far East?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 30th, 2012, 1:46 pm #5

I'm shocked, but actually not surprised, at how the American posters on this board lack openness on the world.

My posts on the US, attracted some comments. My post on Hong Kong just attracts one two-line comment from Nat, basically to dismiss what I was writing with: "But it's hard to generalize." just to be explicit, I never wanted to generalize, just to give the readers of this board some thoughts and impressions.

At the same time the 100th or 1000th post about religion in the US attracts lots comments, repeating what has already been said and repeated for ever.

Marseil.
I didn't mean for my remarks to be a rejection of what you said Marseil, only to note that each country has a variety of characters. But I can not deny your comment that we Americans are too self-centric- and too hung up on certain topics.
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Bob
Bob

March 30th, 2012, 4:58 pm #6

I'm shocked, but actually not surprised, at how the American posters on this board lack openness on the world.

My posts on the US, attracted some comments. My post on Hong Kong just attracts one two-line comment from Nat, basically to dismiss what I was writing with: "But it's hard to generalize." just to be explicit, I never wanted to generalize, just to give the readers of this board some thoughts and impressions.

At the same time the 100th or 1000th post about religion in the US attracts lots comments, repeating what has already been said and repeated for ever.

Marseil.
I was planning to post some questions regarding Hong Kong, but I admittedly don't know a lot about the place and wanted to give it more thought and at least some chance that I could pose semi-intelligent questions (still working on it).

The topics I post a lot about are those that I think I might be able to discuss and debate based on my current state of knowledge. Also, they are things that affect my life here in Ohio/USA and thus impact me. It is not that I don't have interest in other countries/cultures -- I do. But, what goes on in other countries, or even just outside of Western countries (since US and Europe are culturally more similar), does not affect me or my loved ones as much as something that occurs closer to home.

Actually, my first question would be: Do people in sub-Saharan Africa, or in southeast Asia, think or talk much about what occurs in the US? For example, do they care if a Democrat or Republican wins the Presidency? Do they care if U.S. adopts the universal health coverage plan currently being debated by our Supreme Court? Do they hold opinions as to whether U.S. should continue to build the wall along our border with Mexico, to discourage illegal immigrants? Do people in Hong Kong converse amongst themselves on these topics? I am curious.
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Marseil
Marseil

April 5th, 2012, 12:38 pm #7

Yeah, but do they drive on the left or on the right (generally speaking)?

On a more serious note, I once worked briefly (he was an auditor) with a man from Singapore, I believe it was. He had gone to school in the US but was only working here for a while on an exchange basis with his employer, who I think may have been Arthur Anderson at the time.

Singapore is, or was, a lot like Hong Kong in some ways. I had asked him where he traveled for vacations and he mentioned Hong Kong. I wonder if it is still an attractive destination for vacationers around the Far East?
Indeed, Hong Kong is still an attractive destination for everyone in Asia. nowadays, the most numerous (by far) visitors come from mainland CHina. Depending ion their status, they either run to buy perfumes, baby milk powder, medicine, etc... as Hong Kong products are the originals whereas counterfeited products about in mainland CHina. Or they form lines in front of Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Fendi, etc....

Hongkongers recognize the income from these mainlanders, but at the same time are often pissed off by these wealthy uneducated peasants.

There are still many visitors from SIngapore too. To go into comparisons, I'd say Singapore is greener, with parks, tree lined avenues etc. but at the same time more boring, as the government still has strong moral positions. You feel the city density more in Hong Kong than in Singapore, but everyone recognizes Hong Kong is a better place to have fun in restaurants, bars, dices, etc.... Along with this goes more prostitution, drugs, etc.

Marseil.
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Marseil
Marseil

April 5th, 2012, 12:48 pm #8

I was planning to post some questions regarding Hong Kong, but I admittedly don't know a lot about the place and wanted to give it more thought and at least some chance that I could pose semi-intelligent questions (still working on it).

The topics I post a lot about are those that I think I might be able to discuss and debate based on my current state of knowledge. Also, they are things that affect my life here in Ohio/USA and thus impact me. It is not that I don't have interest in other countries/cultures -- I do. But, what goes on in other countries, or even just outside of Western countries (since US and Europe are culturally more similar), does not affect me or my loved ones as much as something that occurs closer to home.

Actually, my first question would be: Do people in sub-Saharan Africa, or in southeast Asia, think or talk much about what occurs in the US? For example, do they care if a Democrat or Republican wins the Presidency? Do they care if U.S. adopts the universal health coverage plan currently being debated by our Supreme Court? Do they hold opinions as to whether U.S. should continue to build the wall along our border with Mexico, to discourage illegal immigrants? Do people in Hong Kong converse amongst themselves on these topics? I am curious.
> The topics I post a lot about are those that I think I might be able to discuss and debate based on my current state of knowledge. Also, they are things that affect my life here in Ohio/USA and thus impact me. It is not that I don't have interest in other countries/cultures -- I do. But, what goes on in other countries, or even just outside of Western countries (since US and Europe are culturally more similar), does not affect me or my loved ones as much as something that occurs closer to home.

Maybe decisions made in Ohio have a more direct impact on you. But in this globalized world, every decision, everywhere gets a global impact. CHina is such a power hat the way Chinese politics are conducted has a permanent impact on our life. Also Hong Kong is a major financial hub, so financial decisions made in Hong Kong will have a global impact.

Besides impact, I'm curious, maybe that's why I keep on reading this forum and others. Only recently have I realized (but not totally admitted) that I will never be able to know everything about everything. ANd I'm desperate about it! SO I can't understand not being curious.

> US and Europe are culturally more similar
I believe the gap between US and EUrope has been widening along the most recent years. Especially the Bush Jr era triggered lots of opposition in Europe. Also the religiosity of Americans, and the pervasion of religion in every aspect of life makes a high difference between Europe and the US. This leads to a subject often pointed here: in the US, no one is surprised at violence, killings, weapons etc. but people are shocked when the see a tiny part of a nipple for a fraction of a second. In Europe, we don't have weapons, many people are pacifists, but go to nude beaches, and suntan nude in city parks in Northern Europe.

Marseil.
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Marseil
Marseil

April 5th, 2012, 12:57 pm #9

I was planning to post some questions regarding Hong Kong, but I admittedly don't know a lot about the place and wanted to give it more thought and at least some chance that I could pose semi-intelligent questions (still working on it).

The topics I post a lot about are those that I think I might be able to discuss and debate based on my current state of knowledge. Also, they are things that affect my life here in Ohio/USA and thus impact me. It is not that I don't have interest in other countries/cultures -- I do. But, what goes on in other countries, or even just outside of Western countries (since US and Europe are culturally more similar), does not affect me or my loved ones as much as something that occurs closer to home.

Actually, my first question would be: Do people in sub-Saharan Africa, or in southeast Asia, think or talk much about what occurs in the US? For example, do they care if a Democrat or Republican wins the Presidency? Do they care if U.S. adopts the universal health coverage plan currently being debated by our Supreme Court? Do they hold opinions as to whether U.S. should continue to build the wall along our border with Mexico, to discourage illegal immigrants? Do people in Hong Kong converse amongst themselves on these topics? I am curious.
> Actually, my first question would be: Do people in sub-Saharan Africa, or in southeast Asia, think or talk much about what occurs in the US? For example, do they care if a Democrat or Republican wins the Presidency? Do they care if U.S. adopts the universal health coverage plan currently being debated by our Supreme Court? Do they hold opinions as to whether U.S. should continue to build the wall along our border with Mexico, to discourage illegal immigrants? Do people in Hong Kong converse amongst themselves on these topics? I am curious.

I've got no idea what people in sub Saharan Africa think and do, as I've seldom been there. I've a lot more interest in South East Asia. I think people are shocked when they see the international politics of the US. The Bush Jr era, especially the war in Iraq, has been disastrous to American image.

In Europe, people are shocked there is no mandatory health insurance in the US, and can't understand how a modern nation can exist without it. I think all countries that have a global health care system cannot imagine living without it. Besides Europe, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, etc. are recognized for their universal health coverage.

When we see how extremist the Republican candidates you have are, I think most people on the planet are concerned if they are elected. This would mean more wars, more corruption in terms of links between major companies, and wealth holders and government decisions, more aggressiveness on all matters leading to a globally more unstable world.

I believe there is a lot more resentment against the wall built by the Israelis and their colonization policy that against the US - Mexico wall.

People in Hong Kong are well informed by "the South China Morning POst", and a to more free press, both on paper and on television, radio, etc. Of course, their #1 concern is decisions made in Beijing. ANd local subjects. But I believe they are quite open to the major issues in this world.

I think that generally, the smaller the country where you are, the higher the interest you have in the rest of the world.

Marseil.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 5th, 2012, 2:09 pm #10

I must be living in the wrong country because I find myself more in agreement with you than stereotypical American attitudes.

But I've always been a misfit- although born in the southern US and lived here all my life, I'm nothing like the stereotypical southerner. I don't like guns or hunting or fishing or farming or any of the characteristics associated with southerners. I guess the only reason I live here is I don't like cold weather and my family ties are here.

And I certainly agree that George Bush was a disaster for America. He was a fluke in the first place since Al Gore actually got more votes, and were it not for Ralph Nader siphoning off Gore votes and our crazy electoral voting system Bush would have never been elected. Then to make things worse, 9/11 happen right afterwards giving Bush an excuse to put his disastrous policies into action.





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