Tuen Mun, Hidden Jem

Today started with a subway ride to the massive International Finance Center on the waterfront of Central. After a presentation on the HK Monetary Authority with an expansive few from the 55th floor, Yu laoshi, Tongyu, and I walked around in the rain and wind, eventually retreating into the nearest shopping mall. After a quick bite conveniently eaten standing up (and not a few starring shoppers) we decided to leave for the NGO in Tuen Mun, which was the second presentation of the day. I am so grateful we decided to leave Central early, because after you escape the very western shopping mall above the town subway station, you are surrounded by street vendors selling fresh meat, fake adidas, and pretty much anything anyone could ever need in life. The town market is incredibly lively and runs like a maze through buildings and alleys. Coming across this kind of place was meaningful for me. My friends and family will tell you I’ve been missing China since I came back this summer. Before leaving for Hong Kong, mainland friends have said that globalization has really made Hong Kong feel different, and I can see what they mean in some areas, particularly Central. Once you exit the enormous mall in Tuen Mun though, there is no mistaking that you are in China. I came back to Lingnan feeling great with a pair of flip flops, some cheap headphones, tea, a glass water bottle, and a big bag of goji berries, all of which I bought using Cantonese (shoutout to Gu laoshi). Overall, a visit to Tuen Mun made me realize that although Hong Kong has been westernized because of historical circumstance, it remains an indelibly Chinese city.

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