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Hong Kong Observations Dec 27-31, 2010

If you are one of those folks who gets upset about how some people take Christ out of Christmas, you will officially hate Hong Kong at Christmastime. Because shopping is the reason for the season. Shopping and food: those are the two top priorities of Hong Kong residents, and don’t you forget it.

Some observations over the last few days:

  • Brand association is the gateway to happiness and the only marker of success here. The people of Hong Kong are nuts about the Western brands. It seems that every shopping center has a Gucci store, and every other mall has a Bulgari store. If it is a brand name, it is good. And the more brand name things you wear at one time, the better. I saw many well dressed women who were over the top with the brands. One lady carried 2 Gucci purses that were roughly the same size/shape, while wearing Ferragamo shoes, and wearing Dior sunglasses all in one outfit. And those were only the brand items I recognized while standing on a street corner!
  • The food is awesome. I haven’t had a bad meal here. Everything tastes wonderful. The noodle dishes are exceptional, meat dishes are succulent, and fish is super-fresh (usually that’s because the fish was swimming in the aquarium by the restaurant entrance a few minutes prior to arriving on your plate.) The only exception to this culinary extravaganza is the realm of Chinese desserts. The Chinese don’t have much of a sweet-tooth, so stay away from the mung bean soup for dessert and get a second helping of the pork prepared with XO sauce.
  • Chinese women can’t walk in heels either. A year ago, when I visited Japan, I thought it was only a Japanese thing. Nope: it’s a pan-Asian thing. You gotta swing that ass if you wanna work it in those Christian Laboutin shoes! Oh wait… you’re a 20 year old Asian girl and don’t have an ass. Eat some more of that pork with XO sauce and work on your runway strut, ladies.
  • People in Hong Kong dress too warm. The highs over the last few days have been in the 70s – lows in the high 50s/low 60s, yet I’ve seen people (men and women) in puffy down-feather parkas or fur jackets: fully zipped up! They are way more wussy about the cold than me (I grab a shawl when the thermometer dips below 73), but even I don’t reach for my fur unless the temps are in the 20s or 30s F. My working theory is that they buy winter clothes in the brand names and just wait for an excuse to wear ‘em… 70 degrees and sunny is their idea of an excuse.
  • China is probably the main reason for gold inflation and the diamond craziness. Chinese people buy gold: it’s a cultural thing. And there are A LOT of Chinese people who have money now. The main-landers with money to spend are invading Hong Kong buying gold. Gold prices won’t drop unless China goes kaput. They are also buying into the whole De Beers marketing scam and buying a lot of diamonds, as if they were truly scarce. If you believe in China, you should be equally bullish on gold and diamonds.
  • Hong Kong has a lot of pink buildings. I don’t know why. I asked and no one could tell me. I tend to think that painting your building (business and/or residential) Pepto-Bismol pink would devalue the property, but that’s not a commonly held belief in Hong Kong. Speaking of real estate, did you know that the average HK flat is around 600sqft? And 4 people live in the home… huge highrises up to 80 stories high. I don’t think any American can truly comprehend that level of population density, not even the residents of Manhattan.

Lura Lee and Olivia Bui at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

Photos uploaded (but not sorted and edited yet):


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