Dec 262008

I feel so fortunate to’ve ended up in Hong Kong during the holidays.

Usually, I don’t put too much emphasis on Christmas or New Year’s – so unless happen to be close enough to home to spend them with family and friends (respectively), they don’t really enter into my itinerary-making process. In Kyoto, for instance, Christmas typically passes just like any other day.

But after spending the last week in Hong Kong, I have to tell you: I’ve never seen Christmas spirit like this!

Everywhere you go, you see store employees wearing Santa hats; 50-story Seasons Greetings messages scrolling across the fronts of skyscrapers; convertible buses filled to the brim with carolers singing to the masses; coffee shops playing Jinglebells; even dogs on leashes are wearing Santa hats and strap-on white beards. Groups of schoolchildren run up with huge smiles to wish you “happy holidays,” and babies in strollers are sucking candy-cane pacifiers.

It’s really quite nice a nice feeling…you really can just feel the positive, friendly vibe in the air. I’ve certainly been to a lot of nice & friendly places, but I do have to say: I’ve never experienced anything quite like this.

That’s why I feel so lucky to’ve ended up here…because I know that if just one little factor had been different, I never would’ve even known what I was missing. For example, if I hadn’t left Beijing early to see Fan, I would’ve missed Joe; if I’d missed Joe, I wouldn’t have had this incredible place to stay; without this place to stay, I probably would’ve just taken in the sights and moved on. And if I were back in mainland China, I can pretty confidently say the holiday season would’ve passed with barely a notice.

My world map of where to be and when is continuing to fill out nicely. For early summer, Tel Aviv’s weather is great and its beaches are packed. For late summer through fall, Japan just can’t be beat. For late Winter, the Brazilians are on summer vacation and Morro de Sao Paolo is practically defined by blue skies and fun. And for Christmas, Hong Kong just jumped up as my absolute favorite.

…And just think: word on the grape vine is that Christmas isn’t even a big deal in Hong Kong; that New Year in Times Square is where the real fun is at.

Life’s great sometimes, ain’t it? 🙂

  7 Responses to “Christmas Spirit”

  1. sounds like fun 🙂

  2. awesome! i´m not big on holiday spirit, but this year i´ll be in Cusco for new year´s eve, so maybe things are lookin´ up 🙂

  3. Haha…me neither, which is one of the reasons it was so noticeable/interesting over here! Definitely a memorable Christmas 🙂

  4. It seems Southeast Asia is also obsessed with xmas. We were flying between bangkok, krabi, cambodia, and singapore in the five days following xmas and it was everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And I thought Nebraska was obsessed!

  5. Japan, too – but still nothing I’ve seen has been like here in Hong Kong. I wonder WHY they’re so into it out here in Asia. Weird…

  6. I see you went to time square… real nice, wasnt it?

  7. It was! I just loved the energy 🙂

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