“One country, two systems” is the idea proposed in 1984 by Deng Xiaoping, the leader of the People’s Republic of China. This proposal was made in the negotiations with the British over the future of Hong Kong when the lease of Hong Kong to the British was to expire. So, in 1997 after one and a half century the UK returned Hong Kong to the Chinese making the Chinese chief executive to exclaim “Now we are masters of our own house”.
The initial idea of “One country, two systems” is still used today as Hong Kong has a very high degree of autonomy with separate immigration controls, an own constitution, own government, own laws, own financial system and even an own passport. And more than that it is completely democratic as opposed to mainland China and there is total freedom of speech and Hong Kong people are free to criticize their government.
Hong Kong is definitely in the top of the craziest cities we have seen. In the same league as New York, in HK you see the same high number of people on the streets no matter if it’s 2 PM or 2 AM. In fact when we first arrived at our hotel it was 2 AM and we were pretty sure that we messed our calculations with the time difference as we couldn’t believe that all the people were around in the middle of the night. Probably the main reason for this madness is the love for buying stuff or just going out for dinner with the family. I read an article that said HK people go out to dine with their families 5 times a week.
Another attribute that defines the Chinese not only the HK people is their belief in superstitions. In fact a big part of their life is based on being careful with superstitions. We also encountered some of them.
For example the number 4 is considered the unluckiest of them all because it’s pronunciation is similar to the word death. This will mean that you will never see the number 4 on houses or license plates and sometimes the buildings even skip the 4th and 14th levels.
Another superstition which drove us crazy is that in shopping stores you cannot try out the clothes that you want to buy as this is supposed to bring bad luck. Fortunately there are also other stores, though it’s the exception, where you can try them out.
You also have to be careful with your behavior as you could be considered rude if you leave your chop sticks in the rice bowl because this is a clear sign that you wish the death of somebody…. And the capital NOGO is that you should never give somebody a clock as a gift because this action has also the same pronunciation as saying goodbye to somebody who passed away so it again is a clear sign that you wish his/her death. But HK is probably the capital of watches so giving somebody a watch is fine. Without exaggeration but I think the business of at least one in every 5 shops is selling watches and you cannot walk more than 50 meters without being asked at least if not all of the 3 questions “Copy watch??? Copy handbag??? Tailor suit???”
But don’t get me wrong, we had a very nice time in HK and enjoyed the city with all of its crazy attributes. And it’s one of the safest cities in the world, at the same level with Singapore or Dubai. It also has lots of must see-s with the view from Victoria Peak or the light show on the skyline being at the top of the list.
Home sweet home
We’re currently in the train from Frankfurt and the feeling that one year of travelling is ending is indescribable. It’s not like we don’t want to go home but it feels unreal that a trip like this is over…
China Eastern Air forgot our luggage in Shanghai because of the short stopover but then again, we’re not that excited about wearing the same clothes which we had for the last 12 month :=)
I will add another blog post in the upcoming days with a complete review of our trip and probably the strange feeling of adapting to a “normal” life style.