Dear Hong Kong

Dear Hong Kong,

Well played. Well played indeed. You warned us, you warned us plenty not to fall into the jaws of your tourist traps. Our first sign was the ‘botanical observation centre’ that turned out to be two minuscule conservatories, one with a plastic Native American with one sad little feather, one with three cacti neatly aligned. The second, a rainbow toasty you could eat on a 500 meter high observatory deck. If you paid 55 HKD for the ride up, 50 for the observatory deck, and 80 for a two slices of bread and cheese dunked in food colouring. The third a ‘national art gallery’, or rather someone’s living room with  a few calligraphy posters up. The last, the most obvious, the malls you tactically attach to every station, every cafe, every walkway, every square meter of your damned city, luring us in with their gentle lighting and extravagant pricing.

We should have seen this coming.

It seemed so real. An observatory deck atop one of your skyscrapers, 360 degree views, a cocktail bar in the Ritz Hotel. 400 HDK. The price was steep, we reasoned, but then… 20 euros each, 10 for the view, 10 for the cocktail… yeah. Go on. Why not.

How were we supposed to see it coming. ‘Photography’ opportunities where you had to pay for a foto with you photoshopped into a fake 360 view of Hong Kong. A bloody mall. A MALL. At 400 meters high. On an observatory deck. I glance at one of the T-shirts it sells. ‘I’ve seen the Sky100 view!’ No you haven’t. What you’ve seen is a reflection of the mall in a window, 400 meters up in the air. Cocktail bar? Nah, how about a café. Drinks? Beer, cider, or a beetroot apple gin mix straight out of hell.

You got us this time, Hong Kong, you got us good. Worth 400 dollars? All we did was ride a very, very expensive elevator, to another mall. But hey, you knew that anyway, we can hear you laughing at us.

In conclusion: screw you, you slippery bastard. We’re going to China.

Yours sincerely,

Eva & Myrthe

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