Experiencing China

'Experiencing China' is about ordinary life in China and the wealing and dealing of a Dutchman in the Middle Kingdom. Marc works for DuoArts Consultancy and the Empowerment Foundation, travelling between the Netherlands and China.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Great Leap Forward

It's now three weeks ago that I visited Shandong's countryside (see last contri). Last weekend I visited a place that couldn't be more different than Dongping, that is, Hongkong.

Two weeks ago my wife Eveline arrived in Beijing. Since then my life... and health... has improved dramatically. Last weekend we went to Hongkong and it was great!

From Dongping...

A little story. A relative of us is currently working in Taipei (Taiwan) for his company. Because of some reason it was difficult to get an appartment. So, he and his wife ended up in the Grand Hyatt. They now have been living there for 14 months. Also interesting to note is that when visiting the Hyatt, or being a frequent guest, you can become a clubmember. This means you will collect something like airmiles and when having enough points, you can stay in a Grand Hyatt hotel for free anywhere in the world. Well, you probably already guessed what happened to us. Because this relative (and thank you again for that!) lives in the hotel for more than 14 months, they have collected a lot of points. The result... we all four lived in the Grand Hyatt for free for four days!

In Europe we have a saying that is used when living a rich man's live: 'Living like a God in France'. Well, we lived like Gods in Hongkong! For our convenience we had a champagne bar, swimming pool, tennis court, multiple staff that got you the best service I have ever seen, a whole range of restaurants in a place that can best be described in terms as... huge, overwhelming, decadent. We were on the excecutive floor on the 31st floor and had a magnificent view over Hongkong.

...to Hongkong!

Four days of enjoying wealth, seeing the beautiful city of Hongkong, especially at night; shopping in the shopping malls; eating in one of the many restaurants Hongkong knows; visiting the famous clubs, and having 'high tea' in probably the most prestigious hotel in Hongkong (the Peninsula Hotel) makes you easily forget that their is a normal life out there. In Hongkong it all seems to be centered around showing off (in a very elegant way though). People are dressed well and seem to know how to enjoy life. Behind this superficial impression, however, is a seventy, eighty hour working week and fierce competition. Nevertheless, it's a city I could life and work for a year or so.

And then... coming back to Beijing. Compared to Hongkong, Beijing is a big village, though both Eveline felt like we had returned home. I guess that makes us more 'mainland Chinese' than 'overseas Chinese'. However, China is heading in the same direction as Hongkong. In a way you can see China's future in Hongkong, although I think China would look more like Shanghai then Hongkong. Hongkong is too Western. But anyway, it is a great leap forwards from Maoist China to capitalist Hongkong.


Blogger Storm Trooper said...

I wish to visit Hong Kong. Is it a nice place to live?

1:05 PM  
Blogger Marc David Brand said...

Superman, it's a superplace to live. Marc

1:14 PM  
Blogger Bicyclemark said...

Just wanted to say hello to both you and Eveline.... I keep glancing over at her old desk and thinking -- oh yeah, china.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Marc David Brand said...

Hi Mark, a hello back from China, from me only this time. Eveline went back home yesterday. See you soon! Marc

10:43 AM  

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