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Thread: Hong Kong

  1. #1
    licinio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Hong Kong

    I've started writing about my trip to China and this is the first article on Hong Kong. Can someone give me their opinion and corrections? Thanks.



    I have one picture of Hong Kong in my memory, and it dates back to my childhood. My cousinís bedroom, where I was living for one summer while her family were on holiday, had a white desk. On one of the drawers she had stuck a notice that read Please donít open. I must have hesitated before doing so, or maybe I impudently didnít too much, but after a few days I resolved that the drawer had to be inspected. I didnít make any important discovery, but I remember a geography book that I leafed through and engrossed me. I thought geography must be such an interesting subject to study, without fully realising that it was probably not so much the description of far away countries that really captivated my imagination, but rather the exotic places themselves.

    I remember two small pictures: cows beset by traffic in an Indian city street; and Hong Kong, with a narrow street encumbered by all sorts of signs and red double-deck buses plying it. Somehow I always thought the images from the old textbook pictured a situation of the past, as modernity surely must have swept over those places too and, for instance, driven cows off urban areas in India.

    I was delighted to find it not so upon my visit to Rajasthan, but here, in Hong Kong, on my way from the airport into town, I was beginning to think this would not be the case. Clusters of soaring towers fence off the coastal area from the land beyond them, an awe-inspiring sight, amid the verdant landscape of sandy coves framed by lush vegetation thriving in the tropical climate.

    Then the bus passes the cargo harbour: piles of containers and myriad cranes ready to load them on ships which will deliver cheap Chinese goods to the four corners of the earth. Finally the routes gets into the city proper and skirts more neighbourhoods of tall buildings, but this time weathered in decades of existence. Every side street reveals a view that grows more and more crammed with commercial signs and advertisements, sometimes quite old, sticking out from the faÁades and secured on sturdy metal structures designed to resist gale force winds.

    The picture gradually comes to resemble the one I had in mind, and Iím glad it does. It traces a link with my past, but especially with this very cityís past, which has not been completely disowned as has happened in every single Chinese city. When I finally see the first double-deckers, I understand I have found the Hong Kong Iíd secretly been dreaming of all along, since my childhood.

    Unlike the glittering, but shallow modernity of mainland China, I can appreciate a new dimension here, namely depth. The Kowloon peninsula has lived through successive ages of time and bears a mark from most. You can see a richness that is much more that the typical Chinese artificial urban landscape, made of steel and glass or plastic materials. Some run-down buildings point to eras gone-by and give you a reassuring sense of history that you can hardly perceive in other places in China. They mostly appear to have been built over a weekend in haste and bad taste, even when it is the fake-looking historical monuments turned into tourist attractions with the help of disastrous renovation programmes.

    Parallel to Nathan Road runs another fairly important street, wholly occupied by an charming street market selling all sorts of food and other items. Again youíre plunged into the long history of Chinese traditions, arguably more present here than in other places because a favourable cultural context and the absence of a revolution have allowed them to survive.

    from my blog

  2. #2
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    I've started writing about my trip to China and this is the first article on Hong Kong. Can someone give me their opinion and corrections? Thanks.



    I have one picture of Hong Kong in my memory, and it dates back to my childhood. My cousinís bedroom, where I was living for one summer while her family were on holiday, had a white desk. On one of the drawers she had stuck a notice that read Please donít open. I must have hesitated before doing so, or maybe I impudently didnít too much, but after a few days I resolved that the drawer had to be inspected. I didnít make any important discovery, but I remember a geography book that I leafed through and engrossed me. I thought geography must be such an interesting subject to study, without fully realising that it was probably not so much the description of far away countries that really captivated my imagination, but rather the exotic places themselves.

    I remember two small pictures: cows beset by traffic in an Indian city street; and Hong Kong, with a narrow street encumbered by all sorts of signs and red double-deck buses plying it. Somehow I always thought the images from the old textbook pictured a situation of the past, as modernity surely must have swept over those places too and, for instance, driven cows off urban areas in India.

    I was delighted to find it not so upon my visit to Rajasthan, but here, in Hong Kong, on my way from the airport into town, I was beginning to think this would not be the case. Clusters of soaring towers fence off the coastal area from the land beyond them, an awe-inspiring sight, amid the verdant landscape of sandy coves framed by lush vegetation thriving in the tropical climate.

    Then the bus passes the cargo harbour: piles of containers and myriad cranes ready to load them on ships which will deliver cheap Chinese goods to the four corners of the earth. Finally the routes gets into the city proper and skirts more neighbourhoods of tall buildings, but this time weathered in decades of existence. Every side street reveals a view that grows more and more crammed with commercial signs and advertisements, sometimes quite old, sticking out from the faÁades and secured on sturdy metal structures designed to resist gale force winds.

    The picture gradually comes to resemble the one I had in mind, and Iím glad it does. It traces a link with my past, but especially with this very cityís past, which has not been completely disowned as has happened in every single Chinese city. When I finally see the first double-deckers, I understand I have found the Hong Kong Iíd secretly been dreaming of all along, since my childhood.

    Unlike the glittering, but shallow modernity of mainland China, I can appreciate a new dimension here, namely depth. The Kowloon peninsula has lived through successive ages of time and bears a mark from most. You can see a richness that is much more that the typical Chinese artificial urban landscape, made of steel and glass or plastic materials. Some run-down buildings point to eras gone-by and give you a reassuring sense of history that you can hardly perceive in other places in China. They mostly appear to have been built over a weekend in haste and bad taste, even when it is the fake-looking historical monuments turned into tourist attractions with the help of disastrous renovation programmes.

    Parallel to Nathan Road runs another fairly important street, wholly occupied by an charming street market selling all sorts of food and other items. Again youíre plunged into the long history of Chinese traditions, arguably more present here than in other places because a favourable cultural context and the absence of a revolution have allowed them to survive.

    from my blog

    (1) If I start, maybe others will add their views, too.

    (2) It is obvious that you know English very well. I am not kidding: many

    people (young and old) here in the United States cannot write so well as you.

    (3) Your blog entry is definitely A+.

    (4) I could find only a few minor points. May I discuss them?

    (a) that read "Please don't open." (quotation marks, please)

    (b) I think the only real problem is this line:

    maybe I impudently didn't too much. (Did you forget a verb after "didn't"?)

    (c) routes get (not: gets).

    (d) in every single other Chinese city. (P.S. Probably many native speakers would

    also leave out "other," but I think that some writing teachers say that if you do not

    include "other," then maybe your sentence is saying that Hong Kong is not a Chinese

    city.)

    (5) Maybe other posters can find other "mistakes," but I can't.

    (6) I understand your feelings about what has happened to Chinese cities. I have read

    that the charm of old Peking/ Peiping/ Beijing has been wiped away. Gone forever.

  3. #3
    licinio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Hong Kong

    Thanks for your reply and comments, TheParser.

    I would like to ask you about two points.

    1. If I insert the inverted commas at the quotation of the sign, do I still have to type in italic?

    2. As to the other correction you made, I thought I could leave the verb out to avoid repetition, but if it's not ok, maybe I should insert another "hesitate"?

    I must have hesitated before doing so, or maybe I impudently didnít (hesitate) too much, but after a few days I resolved that the drawer had to be inspected.

  4. #4
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Hong Kong

    I've lived in Hong Kong, and recognize a few of the things you mention. However, you haven't seen enough of China to say what you are saying about it. Yes, there are lots of new buildings and cities there. No, it isn't all new and has more old neighbourhoods than even HK.

  5. #5
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    Thanks for your reply and comments, TheParser.

    I would like to ask you about two points.

    1. If I insert the inverted commas at the quotation of the sign, do I still have to type in italic?

    2. As to the other correction you made, I thought I could leave the verb out to avoid repetition, but if it's not ok, maybe I should insert another "hesitate"?

    I must have hesitated before doing so, or maybe I impudently didnít (hesitate) too much, but after a few days I resolved that the drawer had to be inspected.




    (1) You are 100% correct: you may use either italics or quotation marks for that

    sign. In your original post, I did not see any italics. I am an old man, so maybe I

    need new reading glasses.

    (2) You are 100% correct again: you do not need to repeat the verb "hesitate."

    But I think that your readers might understand that passage a little more easily if

    it read something like:

    I might have hesitated before doing so, but I didn't very long, for a

    few days later I resolved that the drawer had to be opened.
    Last edited by TheParser; 04-Sep-2011 at 09:27.

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