Being a foreigner in Hong Kong seemed like such a natural thing, because you know you’re not alone. The areas that I mapped during my walk were very well marked by signs of many languages always inclusive of English. Walking as a foriegner I decided to begin my observations by focusing on transportation, people get around by way of metro (MTR), taxi, bus, and walking. Metro use is quick and easy once you understand how to purchase tickets from the automated machines or buy a pass from the customer service desk. A friend and I bought the “3 day airport pass”, which allowed for 3 days of metro use and one time use of the airport express line. The metro and trains are extremely clean and much more efficient than the Paris’s system. Also the Hong Kong MTR has glass walls around the train tracks for suicide prevention. Very smart in a big city. I didn’t take a bus myself but they were everywhere. Stopping and going and forcing you to breath gas for air. Some buses were property of the city, some property of hotels and others double decker tour buses. Buses were part of the moving landscape. They, like most everything else, had no markings or graffiti. When walking near the street you must be very alert and cautious of the fast and unyielding traffic. I was quite nervous about getting hit by a car and what would happen if I did. Cross walks are huge and provide a true feeling of safety in their width. I noticed having to watch where I was stepping because of the water that was perpetually dripping off the awnings of tall building.  After transportation, I noticed lots of neon money signs advertising money exchange saw all of the types of money that they exchanges…a very long ist indeed. It’s very humid this time of year in Hong Kong and as a foreigner from the dry desert heat I was thinking about A/C. Many restaurants and stores have it, many cheap hotel rooms do not. Sales people are in abundance who try to get you to read the menus of the restaurants, I glanced at a few on my walk and was surprised at all of the languages sometimes up to six. Taking time for a bathroom break, i notice the hole in the ground which I didn’t expect at all. Then while washing my hands I read a sign in three languages that gave directions on the proper way to wash ones hands. I think China became a clean freak after Avian flu/SARS. The sky began to fade and after passing by and promising to come back to the Hong Kong Museum of Art we approached the Pier and waited a bit for the light show. Slightly disappointed we left, all of the signs above were glowing brightly now as the sun set. Words like tour, massage and tailor stood out calling to all English readers. Much of the city is modeled for quick and efficient sight seeing and business travel, stores are set up to cater to those foreigners who come to see the hyped up China and buy cheap gifts. Foreigners fit right in here. The glitter and neon of Hong Kong seems to draw attention from politics to consummation. I don’t feel I know what China is like after being in ones of its big cities for three days. The “Foreigner” and tourist scene isn’t always the most touching, but for a change of scenery, cheap thrills and apolitical dialogue this is the place to be.

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