Monday, March 31, 2014

Hongkong: The First Glance

I always save most of my wage to prevent myself for spending too much of it. Besides my phone, I never really buy something expensive. But then my mom has something to do in Hong Kong for a month, coincides with my one-week-mid-term holiday. I coincidentally got a great deal on the plane ticket, and so I decided to have a little adventure by myself. I was not sure to spend a lot of money for something that is not going to last, but I think I need a time off to just have fun and enjoy the 'now'. This is the money that I made by working hard, so I deserve to spend it, right?

I have never flied solo. I am not a traveler. So I prepared myself for the worst. Luckily, Hong Kong has one of the greatest transportation system in the world, so it's not hard for me to reach my mother's place by myself. 

The city bus

Hong Kong is a very comfortable country for a commuter. Bus, light bus (an elf-sized angkot), tram, MTR (subway), ferry, you name it. Everything is well-maintained and convenient. They are also relatively fast and affordable. The public-transportation users are not second-class citizens,  unlike in Indonesia.  There won't be any traffic jam (at least not as bad as in Jakarta)  because only the rich owns the car,  due to the tax and parking fee. I wouldn't want to use private cars too if I lived there.

And here's my favorite part: I can use octopus card (like flazz card in Indonesia) to pay for everything. I was just dreaming of paying for angkot with flazz because I don't like to carry cash, and I can really do it here! As someone who daily commutes to work without private car myself, I'm beyond happy to experience this. Seeing the transportation system, to be frank, made me feel embarrased of my own country. I really hope Indonesia will be as well-developed as Hong Kong when it comes to the transportation. 

(taken from Tumblr)

But it's not only the transportation. It's also about the citizen's culture and attitude. The Hong Kongese are very dicipline. They follow the rules. They are not lazy. They work hard and walk fast. They run when the MTR is just passing by, even though they know the next MTR is going to arrive in the next 2 minutes. They seem individualist and too work-driven, though, so I know they are not perfect either. From what I heard, most of them are also not willing to have children before they get settled. But even with their flaws, I think we Indonesians need to learn a lot from the Hong Kongese.

Hong Kong is a modern, highly-developed country. The government is clean and transparent. My mom's Indonesian friend who is a permanent resident of Hong Kong told us that the government once had "surplus" and treated the permanent resident by giving them HKD 6000 (around IDR 8 million) each, as a thank you gesture for always paying the tax. Imagine how much the government spend for its citizens! This thing will not happen in Indonesia, at least not anytime soon, I guarantee.

Hong Kong also has a lot of places to wander around and to have a quick getaway. Mountains,  peaks,  beaches, and parks are available nearby if you want to get fresh air.

A soothing view of Stanley Beach

A stunning view of the city from Victoria Peak

A peaceful view from the cable car at Ocean Park

Shopping malls, markets, amusement parks, and museums are also available if you want to spend your time.

The famous Bruce Lee,  found at Avenue of Stars

A part of "Sculpting the Living World" by Ju Ming,  found at Hongkong Museum of Art

"Water Drop" by Danny Lee,  found at Hongkong Museum Of Art

Old Hongkong,  found at Ocean Park

I fell in love with Hong Kong. I spent hours wandering around to explore the city by myself, something that I have never done in Jakarta. Heck, I have never even had lunch at a restaurant by myself before. I love to realized that pulling myself away from my usual crowds and be in solitude has given me serenity.

I also met a few new friends: An Indonesian and Filipino expatriates my age who struggles to survive living in the city and a few tourists who are friendly enough to start a conversation with me. It would not happen if I travel with large crowds or with my family, I suppose.

I should to this again someday: travel with just a few mates or even by myself, exploring new world and observing different types of people. Being a minority, and finding out that mosques do feel like home when I'm away. Those are the feeling I can't explain, and yet I got hooked on it.

Being in Hong Kong made me sure that I really want to spend at least a year abroad. If that's even possible. 

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