Monday, July 02, 2007

Hong Kong after ten years

I arrived in Hong Kong last night just in time to catch the very large and impressive fireworks display on Victoria Harbour celebrating the tenth anniversary of the transfer of Hong Kong from British rule back to China.

Whilst there have been occasional concerns about China respecting the agreement to preserve Hong Kong's system of government for 50 years, things have generally worked out much better than most people expected. I know quite a few Hong Kongers who moved to Australia and Canada in the mid-90's in case things went bad, but have all subsequently moved back. As an outsider, albeit one who has spent a lot of time here over the past seven years, Hong Kong is still a fundamentally different place to mainland China.

It's a holiday today in Hong Kong but I'm in the office with my colleagues preparing for a presentation to a potential customer tomorrow. Here's the view from the office. If you look carefully you can see the remnants of the old airport in the middle right.

Fortunately I managed to find a flight to Hong Kong which arrived in the evening, which meant I could go straight to bed after arriving. I find that much less tiring than overnight flights which arrive early in the morning, which is unfortunately the case with all the flights between the US and Australia. So I'm feeling quite rested this morning despite having a 4 am start on Saturday and spending about 28 hours getting here.

I managed to download some good content for my Zune to listen to on the trip, including some podcasts and also video (in a compatible format) of The Chaser's War on Everything (which will be familiar to my Australia readers). I also watched a couple of movies including Bridge to Terabithia which turned out to be a very warm, charming and moving film.

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