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- Jem: You’re Miss Gray, aren’t you? The shape-changer girl. Will told me a bit about you.
- Tessa: Oh.
- Jem: Oh? You don’t sound terribly pleased that I know who you are.
- Tessa: It’s that I think Will is angry with me. So whatever he told you—
- Jem: Will is angry with everyone. I don’t let it color my judgment.
Hong Kong, City of Contrasts
It’s where towering high rises lean over scabby fishing shacks, it’s where lush vegetation and clear waters collide with pollution and smog.
It’s where both bankers in tailored suits and crude laborers wield iPhones while riding on the most sophisticated subway system I’ve seen. It’s where English and Cantonese are equally understood.
It’s where a dinner of Chinese roast duck over rice comes with a side of onion rings and a root beer float. It’s where East meets West.
It’s where the past and the present and the future coexist and mingle and sometimes violently crash.
Hong Kong is endlessly fascinating, always changing — beautiful and alarming in equal amounts. I grew up in Western Europe and the States, and I’ve never seen a city so full of life and dynamism. Standing in the middle of a rickety street, I see remnants of British colonial rule — people driving on the right side of the road, streets named Paterson and Gloucester (remember Beatrix Potter’s Tailor of Gloucester?) Across the street, I see deep roots in Chinese culture, with shops advertising ginsengs and herbal remedies for arthritis and back pain. I look up above me to see the modern Atlases of business and consumerism, J.P. Morgan and Gucci. I look down below me to see boba shops and 7-Elevens jammed between 300 square foot apartments for families of four. I can’t decide if Gangnam Style or Call Me Maybe is more popular here.
It’s as if Hong Kong hasn’t decided who it is and where its identity lies as it tumbles forward from year to year. One minute, its future lies in the footsteps of the Western world and another minute, its future lies in forging its own independent and distinctly Asian brand of growth. It wavers and totters and ultimately, adapts.
And because of that, I honestly cannot think of a more exciting place to be, right here and right now.
Since everyone has been giving fic rec’s for LBD here’s a great one I just discovered. It’s called Pride and Prejudice or First Impressions, written by @janeausten. It’s set in regency england though rather than in modern day America, its still really good though. It’s a multi-chapter fic and is really long. Here’s a link for anyone interested: