I first arrived in Hong Kong 20 years ago this week. To commemorate this anniversary of sorts, I’m going to dedicate this week’s posts to my favorite memories of my favorite city.
I sent this postcard to my paternal grandmother in 1997, a few months before the handover.
My mom’s colleague and his wife are in town for 3 weeks, so I met them yesterday. We went out to lunch with some people they knew, then went to see the Governor’s house, which is only open to the public 2 times a year. Yesterday was the last time it will be open, but we couldn’t get in because there were already 10,000 people in line and many others who were also turned away. It was quite spectacular just to be there and see so many people.
While I wrote nothing about the picture on this postcard, it played an important role in my early adult years.
Shatin, a ‘new town’ in the New Territories, was a remote country village known for roasted pigeon when my mom and her brother traveled there in the early and mid-1960s. By the time I arrived as a naive 19 year-old, Shatin was a city unto itself and home to tens of thousands of people.
Since I lived near Shatin for five years, I spent many weekend there, crossing this bridge, devouring dim sum in palatial restaurants, attending Chinese concerts, going to the movies, and wandering the sprawling mall. I got married for the first time in Shatin and went to my first horse race there.
I wasn’t the only foreigner who lived in Shatin, but there weren’t that many of us back then. Still, I always felt at home there.