Hong Kong is my moveable feast. I love that city so much that even just mouthing its name makes me giddy. Not because I know Hong Kong like the back of my hand, but because I really don’t know it at all.
Everything I see is Something New, and even something as mundane as a milk bottle is fascinating.The effect is quite like being high all the time on weed that doesn’t make you sleepy, or lazy, or stupid. Just an enhanced appreciation of the world around you.
I have not seen the gritty parts of the city, just the fashionably gritty ones that are advertised on tourist guides and maps. All I know of it is what it wants me to, and what of it? We edit our memories, anyway, so you might as well go along with it.
Hemingway was only partly right. If you are lucky enough to have lived in a foreign city as a young man, even just for a few days, it stays with you wherever you go. It doesn’t have to be Paris. Even a tourist trap that the Filipino upper classes have long gotten over will do.