The status is complicated. I love you. Cause you are amazing, just the way you are. Meanwhile, hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like you at the same time.
I was born in Hong Kong. 23 years ago. Just 1 kid out of 7 million population in a city with only 1104 square kilometre. We were deeply in love, but ended with a painful struggle. There are a lot of things I used to love about Hong Kong. Here I tell you why we make things so complicated:
MY DUEL LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH HONG KONG
01 | LOVE: THE PEOPLE
Let’s start with the good things. It is obvious that tourists are always fascinated by the diversity of people. This is a city of immigrants with a variety of cultural combinations. Foreigners are in love with me here. And of course with my family and friends. We are funny, smart and helpful. Plus, we are hard working with the longest working hours in the world. It is fast, it’s 24 hours. Not to mention the fabulous working efficiency. When I was in the other countries, their slow work pace drives me crazy!
02 | HATE: TOO CROWDED
It’s sad, but true. You couldn’t buy tickets. You couldn’t get on the train. You couldn’t find a seat in the restaurant. A long queue is everywhere. You wonder when is a better time to go instead? It is rush hour all the time. The traffic is so busy that you will be scared to drive, while the public transport is completely inadequate. You always see people stressed out. Too many people all over with too limited resources. It seems like everywhere is packed with locals and tourists in the city. Dislike.
03 | LOVE: THE FOOD
This is the moment which I deeply fall in love again: the food. The variety is endless. And delicious! Whenever you want to go, there are plenty of different restaurants you can choose from. You can eat almost any kind of wonderful food at almost any time of the day. Comparatively, everything closed at night time in many other cities. When I come back here, I just eat eat eat. I love the Chinese roasted pork, Taiwanese bubble tea, Japanese sushi, Korean BBQ… and the unique Hong Kong desserts. No doubt, Hong Kong is a food paradise. It’s amazing how food can get your friends together.
04 | HATE: TOO EXPENSIVE
Unfortunately, the price of housing is insane! The convenient locations are even more pricey. You may be told by locals that this city has the most expensive rent in the world with an unbelievable small amount of space. I wholeheartedly agree that is impossible to afford. It is getting more and more expensive by the time I am writing.
05 | LOVE: THE GOOD MEMORIES
This is by far probably the thing I love the most about Hong Kong. I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I had a happy childhood which was one of the best times of my life. I wish I could grab an iPhone, walk back to the past and snap dozens of different pictures of all sorts of lovely people and cool things, but Instagram was not invented at that time.
06 | HATE: THE POLITICS
The communist party is the main reason why my relationship with this wonderful city failed terribly. What has happened? Why did this city makes me sometimes sad or even depressed? The history started from hundreds of years ago, but long story short. I hate the overwhelming control of media press, education, legislation… I hate their unwillingness to give democracy to Hong Kong. I hate their corruption. I know they are sensitive against critics about this beloved city, but please, I wish the freedom of speech can last longer.
… AND NOW, I’LL MISS YOU ALWAYS
OK, I think you now feel the way I feel. We might not worked well together: the over-population brings me down, the cost of living gets me frustrated and the politics is impossible to be resolved. But I still love you no matter what, because of the good memories, the amazing food, and my family and friends of course I miss truly. My heart is in Hong Kong. Always.
Have you been to Hong Kong? What did you like or dislike about your city? Given a choice, will you choose to live somewhere else?
Originally published at victorleungtw.com on March 12, 2014.