Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Cosmopolitan HK

The thing I love most about Hong Kong is the mix of people and cultures. At work in Chungking Mansions I speak with people from at least twenty different countries every day. And these days, living on Temple St is more and more like being in a suburb of Kathmandu.

Last weekend I ran around from one activity to another, amazed at the contrast between the situations in which I found myself.

Friday night started with dinner at a tiny illegal Nepali restaurant with my friend Sue before the two of us headed to Soho to meet up with some other friends at a club. At the time, it didn't even register that our group of six came from five different countries - Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal and Scotland.

Going out dancing for the first time in months was fun. Sue is a regular at 'Propaganda' and I got introduced to a lot of new people. Sue's dancing, JLo meets Madhuri Dixit, was hilarious and I heard some funny new lines, my favourite being 'I'm foreign as well, my grandma is Japanese!'.

After sleeping in the next morning, I met up again with Sue who had stayed overnight at a new Japanese style hotel in Central. We went for a noodle breakfast before crossing the street to have smoothies in 'Kosmo', a funky health food cafe that mum loved when she was here.

After breakfast it was time to run to a meeting for groups working with asylum seekers, organised by Amnesty. After several hours of sharing ideas over cookies, I went back to the Nepali restaurant where I ate yummy dumplings and watched half an hour of a Hindi serial on the TV.

On Saturday night I had been invited by a Scottish friend to a dinner party with other English and Australian friends that I used to work with in Hong Kong years ago. I ate lasagna for the first time in I don't know when and I won a two hour long game of 'Ultimate Boulderdash', a game requiring a mix of creativity and lying ability. I tried to control the excitement that takes over whenever I am with a group of native English speakers.

On Sunday morning I woke up just in time for church. I was a bit late and I opened the door gently to be greeted by a Filipino friend on the other side. She was taking video footage of the service for an upcoming documentary on asylum seekers in Hong Kong. The sermon was preached by a Dutch guy who had been at the Amnesty meeting the day before. I enjoyed the service but unfortunately I had been too late to collect the notes which included all the liturgies and song words. This became a situation of extreme discomfort when the camera zoomed in on me during a hymn that I had never sung before! I tried my best to look like I was singing but I don't know if I quite pulled it off.

After church I headed back to the Nepali restaurant to try another of their specials. As I was eating, a Pakistani family came in for take away and the kids started watching the Nepali movie which was playing. I found myself in the weird position of trying to translate the dialogue from Nepali to Urdu!

Because the weather was freezing, I went straight from lunch to the newly opened Starbucks where I got a large hot chocolate and read a chapter of 'Teach Yourself Cantonese' that mum left with me. From there I went home where I chatted on the phone to mum and dad in Sydney as well as friend in Singapore.

And that was my weekend!

1 comment:

dsd said...

what a wonderful weekend! Wished i were there to join in the fun!