Purpose one: writing a travelogue to describe my various trips.

Purpose two: muse.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fairytale City

Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

You walk down an immaculate street, wondering if you can make your itinerary for an ambitious day. Your shoes never stick, you see no discarded paper cups, no errant paper blowing in the wind. The tiles are even and none are missing or cracked.

You come through a beautiful park with green shrubs, colorful flowers and an elegant fountain.

Fairytale Fountain

You descend into the metro station on a ramp that is smooth and shiny like marble. You get to the sprawling underworld with several levels and halls leading in all directions. Bilingual signs everywhere guide you to where you need to go, past neat shops and automated ticket dispensers that always work.

The train arrives on time a few minutes later, and you get into a car with clean, comfortable seats. The train moves quietly and fast, and you get to your destination as scheduled.

Again using the helpful signs, you exit the metro station by one of the numerous ramps within a block from where you need to be.

You get to the teahouse you want and a friendly waiter seats you and immediately serves you refreshing tea. You feast on sumptuous dim sum and other little meals until you are fat and happy.

You go outside and hail a cab. You get one immediately. The cab driver is polite and turns on the meter automatically. You drive down an even road with no cracks or potholes. The markings look like they were put there yesterday.

As you drive past the Louis Vuitton and Gucci stores, you notice that while it's a crowded city, and there are people everywhere, the traffic moves and you are never stuck or crammed.

You get out by the harbor to wait for the ferry. Unsurprisingly, it departs on time a few minutes later. The ocean air hits your nostrils and you get an incongruous whiff of sewage. As the ferry carries you to another scenic island, you take in the view of the stupefying expanse of high-rise below the green hills.

Fairytale Ferry (I cheated here: of course the commuter ferries didn't look like this)

You get off the ferry and walk down a lavish promenade. You are getting a little tired, so you take one of the ubiquitous escalators up the hill to your destination. You notice the handrail looks new and its motion is perfectly synchronized with the stairs.

At the top, you turn around to enjoy another arresting view of Fairytale City. You are well ahead of schedule in this town where everything works and everyone hustles. You relax and enjoy.

You are in Hong Kong.

Fairytale Flowers

Cleaning Fairytale City

Fairytale Paths and Staircases -- notice the perfect tile work

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