Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HK in retrospect

it is finished.

6 days of senselessness and purposeful disregard for the plight of gazillions who are struggling to make ends meet have finally come to an end. 6 days of trekking kilometers of retails space; straining our backs, feet and ankles as we crisscrossed the territory looking for rare finds. 6 days of utter gluttony; sampling almost every hole in the wall food house we could get ourselves into even if it meant resorting to pointing (thank goodness for pictures) since our chinese was as bad as their english. never mind that the food is practically made of MSG stir-fried in oil. 6 days of hauling shopping bag after shopping bag; working out probably every single muscle in your body as you see yourself carrying bags in both hands and slung on both shoulders, straps slowly eating into your skin and you swearing that if you don't get back to your hotel soon to drop off the items, the bags will eventually saw off your fingers and dismember you of arms! 6 days... i sincerely doubt i would want to see another mall or have chinese food anytime soon. then again, having a warm bowl of noodles in the mall doesn't sound like that bad of an idea :) especially in such wonderfully cold weather.

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HK this time around was truly an overwhelming experience, far different from when we visited last May. apart from the weather, i sincerely do not recall seeing this many people. the place was PACKED with people. kuya commented that these were not tourists but local hongkies that were congesting the streets. in manila, we have gridlocks caused by inconsiderate vehicles. there, things are at a stand-still because people have no more space to move around! it was THAT packed! claustrophobes beware, for here there is very limited breathing space.

space, like all things in HK, is a luxury. unless you belong to the filthy rich (which abounds in HK with the territory having more millionaires per square meter than anywhere else in the world) who could afford the multimillion homes somewhere up in the lesser populated areas, ordinary hongkies would be housed in densely packed flats that soar along its city streets. don't be fooled however of these humble abodes for despite their rather dilapidated exteriors, therein lies untold value that could make your head roll! i was just reading the papers the other day about a company willing to by an old condo building along causeway bay for HKD 1 BILLION, giving their residents about HKD 8000 per sqft. for their units. now imagine that. the residents however got greedy and wanted more, asking for HKD 13,000 like what other flats were being offered... the company eventually backed out. tsk, tsk. still though... 1 BILLION!!!?? where in the world can you find a building, an old one for that matter here that is worth that much!?

but as it seems, price often is a trivial issue for the rich. how else could you explain these patrons of these super high end brands who buy as if simply purchasing everyday items from the rack. prices as ridiculous as Php 118,000 for a wallet, Php 170, 000 for a duffel, and Php 700,000 for a ladies bag are not enough reasons to deter ppl here, more so, it even serves as a feature for these items to be more desirable. ODB?! taray nila noh? this, my kuya explains is the psychology behind exclusive brands. what you pay isn't really for the quality of the merchandise, though a part of it is about that. what you really are paying for is the "right" to own something that not everyone can own.

seems like it however that a lot of people in HK exercise this "right" as you can get easily lost in a sea of people who are dressed from hat to boot in labels! i wouldn't be surprised if even their underwear is branded! or the water they drink, or the toilet paper they use to wipe their butts with.... wouldn't it be funny if they use evian to flush too? makes me wonder though, doesn't it make these brands less exclusive now that so many people have them?

anyways, i definitely was not here to give an analysis on HK's economics. i was here to be on vacation. i came, i saw, i shopped! thank goodness everything was on SALE!!! :) in the end, apart from my chucks, i was able to get a pair of dress pants, a pair of jeans, a nice tote bag, a jacket, a shirt, a belt and a tie. nothing much but it was really all i needed as far as i was concerned.

shopping aside, my trip, courtesy of my gourmand of a kuya, also turned out to be a food expedition! i sincerely could not believe i ate so much in the 6 days we were there. i really wouldn't be that surprised if we spent more on food than on our shopping since we were practically eating all the time. either we were having dimsum in a swanky resto, or noodles at a cafeteria, or bola-bola from a street vendor, or fruit from the supermarket, or chocolate from ROYCE NAMA, we were always in a state of continuous chewing! goodbye diet! goodbye workout! goodbye six pack! there's no way i can be saved now.

hay.... kakapagod. now i know why people said 6 days was too long.

2 comments:

gravity said...

wow! seems like you had so much of a blast in HK! bet that it's much colder in December huh? yeah, and people there are really fashionistas.

jamie da vinci! said...

i would think (as i have been informed by my reliable sources) that it would be colder come january :) how i wished we could have weather like that as well.

thanks for dropping by, gravity. get it?! DROP BY? GRAVITY!? hahahaha! corny. :)