Balmy and rainy, with a little breeze  and  some drizzle, the perfect weather for Hong Kong. Arriving into customs at  the HK airport, where the customs officials greet you impersonally but also with the most relaxed, casual manner, like  how your teenage nephew might greet you. One never feels any threat or sense of authority imposing some unseen watchful eye on your every move. You could not answer the wrong question; they don’t ask you any. Hong Kong, the mecca of  internationality, does not care where you came from and where you are going. For that reason, everyone comes through, and no one wants to mess it up.

Dim sum with family, more dim sum with friends, and about 10 teas later at Lockcha with Mr. Wing Chi Ip, I had to transit through Hong Kong this morning into Guangzhou. People speak slang Cantonese in HK, giving me a sense of familiarity and home coming. People speak Mandarin and accented Cantonese in Guangzhou, ironically the original city of the Cantonese. I automatically look down on the non-Cantonese speaking as uncool. That’s the problem with the Chinese- it’s actually comprised of so many ethnicities and languages that people are always very provincial and local based. It’s a good problem as the local cultures are all so different, varied and complex, but the northern Chinese central government attempted unification, and Guangzhou was singled out as the ‘Southern Barbarians’ to be assimilated. Except that we are barbarians with the most complex language in the country, and all we care about is the best cuisine and good tea. Pretty civilized for ‘barbarians’.

After a quick visit to the tailor, on the way to Xiamen and Fuding tomorrow for white teas…..

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