I usually write my blog entries in chronological order. It's part of my OCD*'s to do so.

However, just once, for this particular entry; I am breaking this rule. All because I cannot wait to rant about losing precious vacation time visiting Hong Kong.

For those who actually read my previous entries would know that Eric and I live on different continents; and I, for one, spend months anticipating our vacations together. Due to financial and job restrictions (among others), we spend most of our time only seeing each other online. Hence, during these vacations, I expect nothing but a good (enough) time.

We made the mistake of spending the last leg of our vacation in Hong Kong. Rather than read reviews and personal opinions of other visitors (which can easily be obtained online), I have committed the ultimate blunder; I allowed myself to be influenced and confused by the tourism ads and word of mouth - and I quote "Hong Kong is soooo fun! Omg! Shopping! Sales! Sooooo fun!"

The above statement is nothing but a myth to me now.

Let me count the reasons why:-

1) It was hot as anything but admittedly it is summer and there is nothing anyone could do about it. I am just not used to seeing water evaporating off the sidewalk. Literally.

2) People were terribly or shall I say, sickeningly unfriendly. A good example; a street vendor cursed under her breath telling us to "Go and die" (I understood her loud and clear even with my limited Cantonese vocabulary) when we asked her the price of her merchandise and did not buy anything. Is it our fault as potential customers if the price was not displayed? Do customers have an obligation to purchase something once they have asked the selling price? I am utterly speechless. And confused by this.

3) Again, contrary to popular belief that HK is a hospitable tourist destination, I beg to differ. Officers at the airport were 'herding' passengers along like cattle; using authoritative tones:- "Take out your laptops!" (Note: Not even a "please"?)

4) The only polite greeting we got during our 3 days there came from the baristas at Starbucks. Kudos!

Other than that, there were no greetings from sales personnel or any waiter/waitress - other than the customary scowl.

(His smile defeats the purpose of this rant now, doesn't it?)

We dined at a certain Vietnamese restaurant (which had outlets in the US and in Malaysia) and had to wave vigorously for someone to take our order. We were ushered to a table right in front of the cashier's station and were just left there to fend for ourselves. With an international brand-name like that you'd think they would want to keep their customers happy. Le sigh.

5) You'd think that in this age of technology, there would at least be free wi-fi at Starbucks, but NO, they only offer free connection up to 20 minutes; after which you will be disconnected and would have to purchase a prepaid wi-fi card. Other places DO NOT EVEN offer free wi-fi. Our hotel is charging HK$35 for an hour's usage.

The nightmare is not over yet. Oh no.

We then decided to try eating at the local street stalls since proper restaurants would rather leave their customers to starve.

As a result,

6) I have now officially developed a phobia of the local night market there. Street vendors started harassing us to eat at their stalls when we as much as looked their way. When we declined, they started talking very loudly (sounded like KA-CHANG-LEI-CHANG-CHANG-KANG) among themselves in the local dialect. It sounded very much like they were scolding us! Again
, WHA-?

At this point, we didn't even bother finding out if tipping is customary.

So it comes down to this; is it the cost of living, the general demeanor of the public, or is it just the heat?

Oh and check this out:

Found this sticker (attached very crookedly I might add) on the back of our bus driver's seat. Apparently our hands might lose it's mind and smack us in the face! Gaaahhh!

I haven't even started on their airlines. But that's another story.

*Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
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2 Responses
  1. Chin Chin Says:

    Hahahah!!! Go and die? That's so rude...
    My friend was scolded by a taxi driver when she was there. She asked if he goes to this place and he just snapped, 'Yap cheh la, kong kam tor'

    And beware of your hands! You might go about typing all good reviews of Hong Kong!

  2. Jillian Says:

    Ohh yaya!! the "Kong kam tor"!!! The woman mumbled something I don't understand then said "man kam tor, *mumble mumble* hoey sei laa"

    So if possible, I'd say avoid HK...really, once is enough, unless you think it's ok dealing with rude people AND paying HK10 (RM5) for a small papercup of sugar cane juice by the roadside.

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