The First Days in Hong Kong

Sometimes, things got so surreal it took all my effort to refrain from laughing out loud.

Like the explanation of the typhoon and "black rain storm" procedures (I still don't really understand what the latter is) from a person with a heavy Hong Kong accent in a H1N1 mask at close range. Like the towers rising organically out of the greenery from the terraces.  Like the cannons placed atop the HSBC building to ward off the bad feng shui from the Bank of China tower.

Like the colorful first names such as Jelly, Cherry, and even Chlorophyll. Like the giant series of escalators going up the hillside.   Like the PLA barracks along the shore of the harbor.  Like the innocuous English translations that, if you look at them the right way, are zen deep.  Like the high rise tenements amidst the glitter.  Like the armed guards swarming the bank as the lady protested outside, chanting with a bedsheet that read "Citibank = Devil Bank."

Like the "concrete the entire cliff" efforts to stem erosion (various slopes are registered to various subdepartments).  Like the solitude at Lover's Rock where one can float over the megalopolis alone for a while.  Like the newspaper stories about the acid attacks.  Like the little girl I happened to catch in the act of slapping her father in the face.