Hong Kong

I visited the Harbour City Center on the tip of Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui) – it’s a hyper luxury mall which faces the island of HK. It’s easily as big as two airports side by side.
It’s huge – really, I don’t ever think I ever saw the whole thing – and incredibly varied and extensive. There are lots of international brands, especially the Italians, French, Americans and English.
The well known gourmet food market City Super is here – it’s internationally focused and has a lot of good products. It carries some organic products and that I use, although 360 Market is better equipped on that end.
There is a large French / Italian / English / Australian salumi, cheese area, Japanese sweets area, and currently they’re having a Taiwan foods promotion. It’s quite large on the 3rd floor within the massive Harbour Center mall, and is sponsors a regional food court. In Hong Kong many of the food courts are good and not fast food like in the US. I had lunch here…..the fried rice I wanted. Very fresh, without a trace of soy sauce. That’s how it’s supposed to be made! In Hong Kong it’s not brown, drenched in soy sauce, as it is always is outside China. Why do cooks feel they always need to add soy sauce, and tiny corn cobs abroad?
There’s a Japanese restaurant ‘Hip Katsu’, another called ‘Miso” and a myriad of French and Italian spots like Cafe Fauchon, and Cova from Milano. BLT also has a location here, but I was not interested in going.
I read an interesting book about Hong Kong cultural norms, what things mean, and what to do and not to do as someone who is not Hong Kong Chinese. Actually, much of what I read is quite familiar already
Funny, around HK, when you see public buttons for elevators, etc, it often says “regularly sterilized”. Some actually specify how often, like one or two hours. The city is attentive about hygiene which is a good thing.
I regularly notice girls on the subway doing their make-up. Especially their eye make-up.
Here, at least, many of the young guys do get up for the old ladies.
And as with most cities around the world, almost every young person has an iPhone. There are iPhone apps which enable writing on the iPhone surface in Chinese characters, using your fingers as a pen.

The locals love soccer, and there are lots of billboards around the city promoting players and the World Cup. They are even playing highlights on screens in the subway stations. China and Hong Kong don’t have a soccer team, but they love it as if they did.

I went to Wanchai to go see a new camera equipment rental place and meet the owner. I’m not a fan of the Wanchai area. There were quite a few bars filled with tipsy Western / Australian men drinking in the middle of the day, overflowing out on to the sidewalks with SE Asian women. It’s a bit like that Roppongi district in Tokyo, packed with visiting Westerners.

Then it was high time for a foot massage. Not at all as cheap as in Thailand, but I’m not in Thailand. The well known ‘Happy Foot’ does a good job.
The clients are both locals and foreigners stretched out reading their gossip magazines.
The place is always busy, and there was an older woman in charge who was like a Madam….she was very nice to me, but pushy and tense with here employees. There were many of them including a bespectacled 75 year old man who appeared with his special bag of tools and started attending to a man’s feet like a clinician. They do pedicures, etc, at this place, but wouldn’t do one unless I see the instruments in a sterilizer which they don’t have. But the cleaning of the feet and working on them in intense ways is very Chinese to me.
This older gentleman was clearly the legend of the place….the way he prepared himself to work on this man’s feet clearly showed his expertise.
There were about 20 chairs lined up, and all were taken…..everyone getting some sort of foot thing done, weather a massage or other.
Massages are the most popular.
On my way out after I paid, they asked me if I minded telling them where I am from.

To answer someone’s question, contrary to popular belief there is no spitting in Hong Kong. It’s illegal. :)
HongKong

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