- People have a natural sense of fairness and law. They await the light at crosswalks, with no police around. The run after you at shops because you forgot to take your change. No one fears for their safety in any neighborhood.
- Hong Kong people are warm and expressive. Whatever my preconceptions about Oriental reserve, these people touch each other, laugh with each other, and enjoy each other’s company.
- They say the whole world loves lovers. And Hong Kong lovers are a delight. On a crowded subway car, they whisper and laugh, nose to nose, hanging onto each other as the car races along. They’re delighted to have you take their picture together.
- Public transportation is the best. The subways are clean and quiet, offering all kinds of amenities, and going everywhere. Stations always open into shopping malls! The buses are double deckers, and thoroughly modern. You pay for all fares with a single card that can be recharged anywhere, including any 7-Eleven (you’d think that company was based here!).
- Hong Kong society is generous. Real estate is incredibly expensive, so they provide public housing for 2 million of their poorer citizens. The public housing is clean, and many projects are quite modern.
- Whether they live on the 2nd floor or 42nd floor, Hong Kong people hang their laundry out to dry. (Naturally, the Clothesline Report goes for that!) It’s quite a spectacle to see skyscrapers bedecked with shirts and towels waving in the breeze.
- The apartments are small, so Hong Kong people spend their leisure time in parks, shops, libraries and playgrounds. Older people stretch and exercise in the park, or play games together on park benches. And because they’re outdoors so much, most everyone is thin and fit.
- Hong Kong girls walk arm in arm with each other. It’s nice to see people holding their friends close in a crowded place.
- There are churches and Christian social services everywhere. This is a place where mercy and justice really seem to be well connected with the gospel message.
- For a stranger, remembering the names of places is a fun game in itself. You need to stop at Tsim Sha Tsui. Easy, right? Or wait! Maybe it’s Tin Shui Wai. Or was it Sham Shui Po? Yoy!
- The people here will do anything for the elderly. They deeply respect the old and and care for the frail. Believe me, I know. Young women even offer me the open seat on the subway. (Maybe they just think I’m distinguished, no?)
- In church on Sunday, they pray for the leaders of China and the United States, and especially that they would act to spare the world from the ravages of climate change. “Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.”
So if I ever get the chance, I will gladly come back to this lovely place. Tomorrow, we cross that thin line, and enter the mainland for the first time, filled with anticipation.
Thanks for reading, and may God bless you.
J. ElwoodFollow @John_Elwood