On My First Return to Hong Kong in Three Years

Potential titles for travel books on Hong Kong

  • Pollution (You Name It, We Got It)
  • Holy Shit, Chinese People!
  • What Personal Bubble?
  • Wrong Side of the Road, Dude!
  • ¿Hablas cantonés, mandarín e Inglés?

More seriously, some of the changes since the last time I was here (which was December 2008):

  • A lot of ads have Android/iPhone app icons, even Facebook links. QR codes doesn't seem to be quite as popular yet, although there's some similar system that seems local to Hong Kong.
  • All the steps on stairs seem really short. I can't tell if I've grown taller in the past three years, but I've noticed that I'm definitely above average height when on the trains. YES.
  • When I first got to the States I kept doing price conversions back to HKD. Now I do it the other way around, except that I have no clue what the baseline should be. 39 HKD seems instinctively more than 5 USD, but it's ultimately the same. Obviously, small numbers are inherently more likeable (since we see them more often). I wonder if there's literature on how the conversion rate influences spending...
  • I've lost a lost of my spatial memory of Hong Kong, even for places I would visit on a weekly basis. Then my parents' house has also been remodeled, so it's a little harder to get around.
  • Whenever I've stayed in the States for a while then come back, I get allergic to something in Hong Kong and would always have a runny nose and keep sneezing. This time I settled with a partially stuffed nose. I think being sick just before leaving somehow buffered whatever I was reacting to.

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