Few things I have discovered while being here so far:
1) Hong Kong natives smoke and well, it’s annoying for my outside cafe days.
2) Hong Kongese also speak very loudly, especially in places that are more suiting for a serene and quiet setting. Clearly no secrets here. But on the language note, you do not need to know Cantonese to get around here. In fact, when speaking to locals about taking language classes they highly recommend to not learn the language as most people on the island know broken Cantonese.
3) You want the door held open for you? Forget it here. Actually, expect it to be slammed in your face quite often. You also might experience the QST (quick slip through).. this is where you open the door for yourself and someone slips through before you so they don’t have to touch the door at all.
4) Food is served as soon as it comes. They have appetizers on their menu but really that’s just for show. Your main dish could very well be served before your appetizer and everyone’s food is not served at once. Eat while it’s hot here, it’s not considered rude. Side-note: make your food decision fast, they come to the table and you need to be prepared for everything, not just drinks.
5) Tiger Balm is medicinal ointment here. You have a cold? Tiger Balm. Sore muscles? Tiger Balm. Headache? Tiger Balm. Bad mood? Tiger Balm. I purchased that miracle cream ASAP.
6) Foot massages are HUGGGEEEE here. I see one every 20 feet. Definitely foot fetish in Hong Kong. Not sure if it’s from all the walking or hills, but people love their toes rubbed.
7) Very safe and very clean. I do not feel uncomfortable anywhere I go, including alleys. It’s also incredible clean for such a large city. Early every morning they clean and wash down the streets…New York could take a lesson here.
8) Drivers on the left hand side of the road instead of the right like the US. However, on escalators you stand on the right and pass on the left. Escalators are a big transportation here so key to know this lesson.
9) Bags at a store or grocery market cost money. I have a rolled up travel one on me at all times now.
10) No tipping here. 10% service charged on most restaurants.
11) Since everything is priced here in HK$ I have to calculate in my head what it is equivalent to in US$. Conversion rate is about 7.7 HK$ to 1 US$. So ya, would’ve been nice if it was a simpler number for me to have to divide mentally.
12) When given back your credit card, receipt, ticket, etc locals give it back to you with two hands and always look you in the face to say thank you. I love this.
13) Milk Tea is popular here. I thought it would be some cool, new drink. Turns out it just Lipton tea with a side of milk. Truly exactly as it’s written and not tasty.
More lessons to come as I keep observing.