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Good morning Hong Kong

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It’s about 6:30 am on new year’s eve day and I’ve been awake since around 4:00 am because of jet lag. I initially resisted, but now I am up and starting my day. 

The coffee shop downstairs doesn’t open for another hour so this is coming to you live from my surprisingly spacious hotel room. (I’ve been in far smaller both here in Hong Kong and in New York.) There’s a wide array of teas available in this room, but sadly no coffee. I could go for a coffee right now.

I took the express train in from the airport last night, which is what I did the last time I was in Hong Kong over a decade ago. It takes just over 20 minutes and it is a great way to get into Central. It immediately signals to you that this city thinks and cares about efficiency.

The experience of landing and getting into a city is an important, but often neglected, consideration. For many people this is their first impression of a place and so it only makes sense to pay attention to it. 

Think of it like fine dining. Most nice restaurants will greet you at the front, take your coat, and show you to your table. Few expect you to come in the backdoor and wander bewildered through the kitchen. But that’s what some cities ask you to do after you land.

Come to think of it, I left Toronto aboard our own airport express train. That’s standard practice for me. And so I started and ended my 2-day journey on efficient rail. I’m good with that.

Before signing off for today, I would like to apologize for missing yesterday’s post. I was in the air for over 19 hours without internet. I also didn’t have much to say. As always, you should expect me to show up here every day. But expect more travel-related posts over the next week to go along with my Instagram posts.

I would also like to point you toward this tweet storm by Shawn Micallef (discovered during jet lag haze). Please do me a favor and check it out. It is a hilariously accurate satire about many of the city building challenges that cities face today, told by way of a miniature “Dickens Village.”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

And with that, I wish you all a happy new year. See you on the other side. Bring on 2018.

Photo: Night shot of Gloucester Road from pedestrian overpass

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