Ducking low-hanging baskets and dodging rushing men pushing carts overflowing with wholesale goods, a multitude of smells and stenches came at us from every direction; merchants barked sale orders over SIM-card fuelled cellphones; and the bright colors of a wide array of products for sale leaped out from their dimly-lit stalls.
I was living in Japan as a Rotary exchange student in 1997 when the British lease of Hong Kong expired. Watching the celebrations on television, I longed to visit and see Hong Kong for myself. These people knew how to party, I thought. What’s more, they lived in a beautiful tropical city, sitting right on the water, with some of the tallest and narrowest buildings I had ever seen. Fourteen years later, I finally made it, and Hong Kong did not disappoint.