Weird Differences

Sightseeing is good fun, but what I enjoy most about Hong Kong is the opportunity to see things being done differently.  Each time I run into these things, I usually embarrass myself.  However, it has helped me to not take myself too seriously.

For instance, apparently the way you place your chopsticks can mean different things.  I had the pleasure of going to Taiwan (essentially I ate food constantly for about 4 days), and while there I visited a small local cafe.  I got up from my rice dish to get some tea, making sure to place my chopsticks firmly into the rice before doing so.  Apparently this symbolizes death, and the Chinese can be a bit superstitious.  I didn’t see this part, but according to my friends, the waitress quickly strode up, fixed the chopsticks, gave a small bow, and left again quickly.  Rest assured that I was quite embarrassed.

On another occasion, I had been missing pizza (it’s all I eat in America!), so I went with some friends to a Pizza Hut.  To our surprise, Pizza Hut is a fancy restaurant in Hong Kong, instead of a fast food chain!  I felt under-dressed, but it was definitely a cool experience.

One huge thing I’ve also noticed is the attitude of the individual person here in Hong Kong.  In America, waiting in line is a fairly orderly thing.  However, in some areas here, if you don’t get a move on, you will be quickly skipped by the others who are waiting.  It seems to be just part of the culture of efficiency; cashiers may seem impolite when quickly answering questions and pushing you through the sales process, but it is necessary to behave this way when seven million people inhabit such a small city.

Anyway, those are just a few updates for now.  I’ll tell you a bit more about Taiwan in the near future.  Also, I may have a chance to visit the home of a guy who lives here in Hong Kong, so that should be interesting.  Peace!

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