The one thing that I have constantly complained about here in Hong Kong is the lack of casual human contact.
Language is the barrier in most cases. In my last post I said how I missed just chatting people up in a line. I really miss communicating easily with the person @ the 800# or the idle chat as I check out at the supermarket.
I have even noticed that most ExPats have had eye contact “knocked” out of them. As I walk through the MTR or on the streets…it is hard to get anyone to engage with a glimpse or a grin.
Kirk was here until Aug 19. We did some touring. He was really here to EAT and EAT he did! BUT, there were gifts to be purchased, Off we went to the Jade Market to be followed by the Ladies Market
The Jade market is two FULL tents of vendors selling much of the same thing. Small bracelets are a BARGAIN! They consist of small pieces of Jade (yes, real jade) threaded to make a bracelet. I have picked up these little gems for as little as 15 HKD ($2,39)USD) The other picture is of a more expensive piece I picked up on “Canton Road (Jade Market Road). The larger Jade piece was about $30 USD (it is lilac Jade, so I grabbed it. Green Jade was $20) The thread necklace I got for $20 HKD and the lady threaded t to my big piece.
The Ladies Market is 4 blocks of sun glasses, purses, clothes, and general stuff. Both places are PERFECT for shopping.
Off we went.
Well, I have been to the Jade Market multiple times and I have not had a problem navigating. However, on this day I did not recheck my directions and set off thinking I was “good to go” WRONG. We got off at the wrong station, and navigating went down hill from there.
We did have our map. The maps in HK are BRILLIANT! They are clear and the new maps even have the subway (MTR) exits marked on them so you know where to exit when the station offers you 10 or 20 choices.
However, this time, we exited the train one stop earlier and had a little more navigating than normal.
We got outside and put our backs to the wall of the MTR station to make sure we stood out of the way of passersby.
Hong Kong (in this case, Jordan) is a busy busy place and it is very frustrating to those involved to watch people stand IN THE WAY while they figured out where to go.
As we stood there, map in hand,…the entire thing unfolded, an older local woman approached
She asked “Do you need help?” “OF COUSE WE DO! WE ARE LOST “ my brain yelled. ! However…my first reaction? “NO! We are fine"” My defenses were up and armed
She asked again where we were going. I told her the “Jade Market” She smiled
SHE TOOK ME BY THE ARM…and took us around the corner to show us the road to take. We were so close but she made sure she pointed out the 7-11, the road, and where to turn.
In six months I have not ever had someone stop to help me like she did. She was not bothered that I might not speak English. She risked helping us and while I wanted to turn her away (pride?) …she persevered.
I have started to make eye contact with people. I have even gotten some people to smile back at me.
Today I tried to ask a couple if they needed help, but they moved away (the maps are a dead giveaway). I will not let this stop me. I promise I will not go around and push myself into people’s worlds.
However…I WILL smile at strangers. If someone looks REALLY confused as to where they are, I will ask. No more hustling by. I have nothing but time and I know just enough to be dangerous
It’s the least I can do…and maybe we can make this big city just a little bit smaller