The next destination after Bangkok was Hong Kong. The flight was reasonably comfortable though it was just a business class as it was only 3 hour flight and no first class settings were available on the route. Actually I felt a little disappointment since they tried to serve a decent meal despite the short flight time but this is maybe because I've been acquiring extravagant tastes. I should try to remain an ordinary person.
This time, I stayed in Hong Kong for 5 nights. One of my friends let me use his apartment and the other ones gave me a guided tour around the area. During the trip, I really appreciate this kind of help from friends.
The very first impression in Hong Kong was "Kanji! (Chinese characters)". I, in fact, had big trouble with Thai characters in Bangkok. Although there were alphabets with some important signs, many things were written in Thai characters there and it was impossible to grasp the meanings. On the other hand, Hong Kong uses traditional Chinese characters which are very close to the Japanese ones. Thanks to them, using a local bus from the airport was not difficult at all. I could communicate with people by writing although the pronunciation was totally different. What's more, the ethnic proximity made me think 'Back to the home from abroad'.
Speaking about the language, it was a little bit surprising that not many people can actually speak English very well. I had prejudice that Hong Kong people have very good command of English as they used to belong to the UK. Nevertheless, their mother tongue was still Cantonese and their ability in English differs from person to person. Anyway the situations were far better than Bangkok again as I could order something in English everywhere. It was enough for me as a tourist.
The Night Market
The first evening, the friends of mine took me to a night market which was located in the Kowloon area. According to them, it was a very messy place but it seemed rather tidy compared with the Bangkok market. Probably there were no foods sold and it looked clean, with no stench. Mainly they sold sorts of souvenirs which were quite funny and cheap. Without buying anything, speaking and laughing about the products on the stores, we finished walking through a long passage before we noticed the end.
I must mention about the crowd in Hong Kong. Again, this was my presumption that, good or bad, Tokyo has a world-class crowd. Yet Hong Kong far exceeded Tokyo. It was just a normal weekend but I could see thousands of people on the road. Not only passages at the market, but also many pedestrian roads got floods of people everywhere. We even had to queue for an elevator at a shopping centre. Probably, Hong Kong people wouldn't be surprised at the notorious overcrowding in Tokyo.
A Terrorist Attack!?
Oh by the way, we were almost involved in a terrorist attack in the market. Just a few blocks away from the place we stayed, a stranger threw a bottle of poison into the street and dozens of people were hospitalized. We heard the news when we were eating dinner and the friends who knew exactly where the place had been got scared as we could've been there. I think there are quite a few incidents around me somehow. Though the terrorists are difficult to avoid, I want to have a safe journey anyway.