Hong Kong

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It wasn't that I'd never been to a new country before, it was that I'd never seen one quite like this. Before the trip, my mother had told me about this place- about how the buildings reached so far up into the sky that aeroplanes just barely managed to skim over them. I thought she'd been exagerating in that way that parents sometimes do when they want to instill a sense of wonder and magic in an otherwise boring and monotonous event for the sake of their children. It had been patronising then, but after a sixteen hour flight for which she'd been asleep all the way through while I'd had to endure five rewatches of the S Club Seven movie on the AeroDisney channel, I couldn't have cared any less had she promised me that in this new and strange land there roamed roaving hoardes of pink and diamond studded dinosaurs. When we'd passed the Himalayas as the sun took its frosty time rising into the sky, I'd been impressed. When I'd memorised all of the British Airways commercials, I'd been ready to kill someone in a new and inventive way. So when the plane touched the ground, I found it hard to find my enthusiasm for the new world around me. At least until we got out of the old airport, a cramped little box of a thing that looked like an abandoned hospital with its cracked and dirt-smeared tile walls and vague smell of old cabage.

To an adult, I can imagine what it must have looked like. That gigantic city of crystal and metal creeping up in the horizon, a looming tribute to capitalism in the east, almost mocking, daring the west to up them in how they'd already proven themselves superior to their rival. For every clumsy and awkward concrete and metal building in London, Hong Kong had five made of even finer metal and glass. What the...

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...find any english channel that wasn't the Chinese Discovery Channel, because while I'd never had a problem with the Discovery Channel before, I quickly develloped one here after I realised after my fifth watchthrough of 'Raising the Mamoth' that there simply was no other discovery to be made that wasn't a few hundred feet tall, wooly and covered in ice.

By the time morning rolled around I had found myself in a dangerous combination: Hungry and bored. To any of you who have kids, you know situations like this are often ones which simply never end well. So when my mom decided it would be a great idea to drag my bored, angry, hungry nine year old butt to a business breakfast with her co-workers, I have to wonder if she didn't have some nefarious and covnvolluted plot to leave the company in the most arcane way possible: through the sheer power of embarassment.

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