You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Culture Shock’ category.

It was a fine morning as a I strolled out of my building onto a busy Hong Kong sidewalk and came shin to face with… a pig carcass, split in half. It appears the restaurant next door was getting it’s delivery for the day. I Don’t think pork will be on my menu any time soon!
A Wild Boar (pic from wikipedia)

A Wild Boar (pic from wikipedia)

“The week of pig” continued with a much needed retreat from the city. In defiance of the 90 degree weather, I joined 40 others from a www.meetup.com hiking group and set out on an adventure into the wild… boar that is. The route was Tai Tam reservoir via Wild Boar Path, about 8km – (4.9712 miles). I had not considered the possibility that there could be a reason for the name “Wild Boar Path”, that is until the hike leader pointed out a boar BURROW. Now even though “Wild Boar” was quite literal, the term “path” was abstract. I say this because the leader was tying yellow ribbon to trees so the laggards would know where to go. Forgive me for not stopping to take pictures, I was busy fighting through the branches, and thick spiky grass on the 40 degree trek. I did not want to become one of the aforementioned slackers, hunting for yellow ribbons amongst the boar burrows. Now to get real, this part of the hike was actually very short and was meant as a taste for the more difficult hikes, or perhaps the leaders way of getting people, myself included, to start wearing pants as is suggested by the group site. The rest of the hike was fantastic.

View of Tai Tom Reservoir

View from the hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more piggy thing… my Chinese zodiac sign is the Boar.

The was just a small portion of all the food that came our way!

The was just a small portion of all the food that came our way!

I experienced the “adventurous Hong Konger palate” first hand at a Chinese Hot Pot. First off, I’m very grateful to our host, (pictured below, left) who helped navigate the waters. It would have been impossible without his guidance! TIP: If you are in an Asian country and want to do this…be sure to get a local to go with you!

Our friends helped navigate the murky waters of hot pot dining. Hot Pot is a popular dining option in Hong Kong, usually more so in the “cold” winters of 70°F. A pot of boiling broth is brought to the table along with raw ingredients, which you then submerge in the broth until it is cooked to your liking. It was mostly DELICIOUS: mushroom, squid, chicken, crab, lamb, steak, oysters, corn, udon.

Other bits… (the rooster testicle, sea urchin, bone marrow, or pig’s skin perhaps?) were not so much to my liking – but a great, and very fun experience regardless! I weaseled out of eating the fish head. Unsurprisingly, that task fell on Conor who did a great job.

 

After a whirlwind month, and 23 hours of travel, I finally arrive in Hong Kong… my first thought:

Can I go home now?

I’ve never been so far out of my element. Sure, I came here for a visit in Feb – but that had a time limitCould I turn around and go home… Sure, but where’s the adventure in that? It’s time to try something new and see where it leads me. Let the games begin (ding ding – round 1: Hong Kong – it’s a knock-out).