Hong Kong, I Think I Love You

Dear Hong Kong,

You’re everything I like about China, and nothing I don’t.

With you, my options are endless. Together we can do anything from lounging on one of your clean, beautiful beaches to hiking your lush mountains; from enjoying a local delicacy on your busy streets to savoring some of the world’s best cuisine; from shopping at the Ladies Street Market for delicate souvenirs to buying Tiffany’s jewelry and Gucci purses; from drinking cheap local Hong Kong Beer to splurging on some of the finest wines and pineapple brandy my tastebuds have ever touched.

You really are one of the most diverse, multi-cultural cities I’ve yet to meet, and each time we part, I dream of our reunion. Hong Kong, I think I love you.

Two weeks ago, you and I had our second date. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as I was just beginning my bout of homesickness, and you, in a weird way, are a little piece of home – if only for your western ways, all of your available amenities and the fact that you’re far different from my current affair with mainland China.

It’s clear that England raised you right during your adopted time with them – from the 1950’s until 1997, when they returned you to the People’s Republic of China – because I can see traces of the way your British parents trained you almost everywhere I go.

Crossing the border from the mainland means an instant switch to the other side of the road (you still drive on the left, like the UK) and merging into traffic that actually understands why those narrow white lines were painted on the pavement. I mean, your people actually drive in their own lane! And they stop at red lights! And they don’t scare pedestrians when we try to cross the street!

Hong Kong, I’m so happy you haven’t forgotten these things from your childhood. It really does make you more attractive.

My first date with you was on my long journey home from Thailand. Something about you – was it your charm? your diversity? your food? your shopping? – triggered something in my mind that said, “We should move in together!” 

I know it was a bit fast, but I did look for jobs on your island and in nearby Kowloon, and I did learn a fault of yours that apparently I can’t live with – you have very expensive taste. Quite frankly, I can’t afford to live with you.

Peizheng and it’s free apartment (provided solely as a perk to foreign teachers) was a fantastic second choice. Now you’re only three hours away, which is still a bit farther than I would like because, after all, that still makes this a long distance affair, but I can handle it.

Plus, I’m pretty sure you’ll be waiting for me when I return.

Love always,

Jessica

P.S. On our last two dates I’ve seen your beaches (Shek-O and Stanley), so next I’m going to venture up a mountain or two. I’m fairly certain you won’t disappoint.

Shek-O Beach


Hong Kong, I Think I Love You
Written by:Jessica Hill

14 Comments

  1. Beautiful post! I love your style in this piece!

  2. Edna says:

    Oh Hong Kong, it’s so easy to fall in love with the place isn’t it? I felt the same way the first time I visited and would love to live there for a year or two soon!

    • jessicajhill says:

      Yeah, it was probably love at first sight! I would be flat broke if I lived their for a year or two, but it sure would be a fun way to go into debt. I hope you can make it back!

  3. feyoung1906 says:

    Excellent article Jessica, keep them coming…

  4. I like the format of the love letter, and you make me want to go to Hong Kong. I will have to go now.

  5. James says:

    Ha! Great way of describing HK, Jessica. Your writing is fun to read. I have to admit that Hong Kong is a happening place, with some surprising landscapes, beaches, small restaurants and a rich culture hanging on for dear life under a Westernized wave. An awesome city to visit for a short period, but the crowded streets and high prices turn me off from actually having any desire to live there!

    You should check out this article recently posted on our blog with a different take on Hong Kong and the TEFL opportunities there compared to the mainland and Taiwan:

    http://mytefl.net/blog/tefl-hong-kong-worth-it/

    I think you’d find it interesting!

    • jessicajhill says:

      Hi, James! HK is definitely amazing, but I see what you mean about living there. I’ll definitely check out your post. I’d love to learn more about teaching there. I looked into while I was teaching in China, but found the salaries too low to afford the outrageous prices on the island.

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