Arriving in Hong Kong was as much of a shock as a delight: after spending months on small Pacific Islands and in New Zealand with its sheer unlimited space, we were suddenly surrounded by skyscrapers, traffic jams and millions of people rushing around. We had not been in such a huge city since leaving Buenos Aires and truly enjoyed it, not even being bothered by the noise and air pollution, so far.
Hong Kong is a city full of contrasts: On the one hand, it is full of ultra-hip shopping malls with luxurious designer stores, elegantly dressed people glued to their mobiles, top-notch hotels, restaurants and bars pricier than in Paris or London. Our top favourite is the super modern public transport system, the best one we have ever seen: cheap, efficient, well-organized and squeaky clean.
On the other hand, this city is truly Asian with small restaurants where neither the menu nor the staff is able to communicate with the foreigner about what there is to eat, buzzing markets with people selling just about everything, touts trying to lure into buying tailor made shirts and suits, fake Rolex and pirate DVDs…We just love it!
Our trip to the hairdresser on our very first day serves as the perfect example. Upon entering, we emerged into an almost surrealistic ambiance! The place was dominated by a huge flat TV screen showing a concert of Jackie Cheung, some kind of Robbie Williams in Hong Kong, with blond hair, glittery suit, blowing kisses into the audience. The staff was styled in a rather creative way! The owner had blond dyed hair and constantly watched the screen or checked his hair do, which was very similar to his idol.
There, we explained at great length what we wanted. Well, Gilles got the hairdresser’s favourite haircut and Heidi’s hair was dyed almost black, although she repeatedly explained she wanted her blond, sun-bleached hair only a shade darker…