17 Sep Absolute Challenge – Declan Bell-Evans & Demi Oyebanji – The Most Vertical City on Earth
After just two days of being in Hong Kong, I started to feel a strange ache in my neck. At first I thought I was jet-lagged, but after a while I realised the root of this pain was from constantly looking up at all the tall buildings in “The Most Vertical City on Earth”. There is always something new to be spotted when changing your perspective in Hong Kong. When I got the bus on my second day to work, I went on to the top deck for the first time and was instantly disorientated as the city looked so different from the lower level.
This perspective can also change if one decides to feast their eyes just on ground level. Walking on many of the main streets, Hong Kong is brimming with top brand shops, from Prada to Gucci, and Louis Vuitton to Gucci (THERE IS A LOT OF GUCCI). But every little street that runs like a vein through the heart of Hong Kong tells its own unique and peculiar little story; a story that you get to read and take part in. You might look down a side alley and see a row of lovely food stalls or antiques dealers, other times it’s a meat wagon, or a stack of empty boxes being loaded into a van. It could be anything.
One of the reasons I fell in love with Indonesia and Malaysia (my previous travels), and why I was so keen to see more of Southeast Asia was because of the food stalls and wares dealers you find in amongst cities. Every single city that I have visited on this continent has been a hive of activity with beautiful food and busy people, making deals and going about their business. I have always felt alive in these sorts of situations, feeding off the energy (and again, the food!). Even if maybe I enjoy haggling for a good deal TOO much, its part of the fun, that you just don’t find in Western cities.
In the city of skyscrapers, I had the pleasure of working in one of these tall buildings. I went into my first day, nervous as hell, expecting the hustle and bustle of the MTR down below. What I found, and what I know many of my fellow Absolute Interns found, was that the work culture in Hong Kong is an absolute joy. I’ve personally never worked in an office environment as big as this before and after just a week I felt as if I knew everyone. I was consistently stopped, “You’re the new guy that just started aren’t you”, whether it was on the stairs on in the lift, everyone was as welcoming as you could hope for, and every day I had lunch with people from work.
I have absolutely loved my internship here in Hong Kong. I only wish I could be so lucky to work and live somewhere like this again in my life, and I have developed and gained skills here that I can use in throughout my career and my personal life as well