These two months I have so far experienced either scorching sun with temperatures reaching the 30’s coupled with extreme sticky humidity or thundery downpours. There doesn’t seem to be any other types of weather. So you are either burned to zinders with your clothes sticking to you or soaked to the bone. I don’t know which is worse.
An essential part of the survival kit is the humble brolly. I never leave home without it. It serves a dual function: namely to ward off over-enthusiastic ultraviolet light or to keep you relatively dry. You know you have truly become a local if you are rushing around gripping your umbrella, occasionally lifting it up slightly to make sure you are not poking the oncoming human traffic in the eye or crashing into the lampost.
Ironically here nobody sunbathes. Anybody sane rushes for the nearest shade. And the much envied tan is frowned upon and not considered a sign of good health. So you will not come across any tanning salons, sunbeds or fake tan products.
The paler you are the more beautiful; hence pharmacy shelves are stacked with skin whitening cosmetics. Before my facial, I had to take out a restraining order against any of that stuff coming anywhere near me. If it bleaches your skin, surely it is pumped full of harmful chemicals. Anyway I am rather attached to my darker skin; we have been together from the beginning.
The good news is Hong Kong is catered for scorching and wet weather. All forms of public transport are fitted with powerful air conditioning, from the humble double decker to the MTR (tube), minibuses which are like shuttle buses and the trains. You only have to survive walking to the bus stop or MTR or taxi. Everywhere else, shops, eating places, libraries, offices etc all have air con. Ironically sometimes it is even too cold and you have to put on an extra thin layer.
The people who suffer are the construction workers and all those forced to work outdoors; they have the worst of both worlds, either getting sunburnt or drenched. But I do admire their spirit; nobody complains, everybody just gets on with it, rather like keeping the British stiff upper lip. As the locals say regarding life after the handover, ” The horses will continue to race and we will carry on dancing …’. In other words, ‘Life goes on’.
- Do’s and Dont’s in Hong Kong (nataliaaabeatriz.wordpress.com)
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