Friday, October 12, 2012

Nude Beach Day II part 2

I really don’t like driving in Hong Kong. They drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Driving on the wrong side of the road is pretty easy to get used to. You just follow everyone else. Driving from the wrong side of the car is a little harder. Instead of shifting gears with your right hand, you use your left hand – but the clutch is still on the left. So instead of clutch left foot and shift right hand, it’s clutch left foot and shift left hand. It’s weird.

Hong Kong traffic rules are also very different from American traffic rules. The main rule in America is that you never hit anything. In Minnesota we’re naturally courteous people, so we let others go first even when we have the right of way. The main rule in Chinese driving seems to be everyone try to go first all the time. Nobody has right of way and there’s no such thing as courtesy.

Hong Kong traffic is also much worse than Minneapolis traffic. I’ve driven Minneapolis to St. Paul during rush hour. That’s like a Sunday morning leisure drive compared to any day in Hong Kong. Minnesota driving is relaxing with lakes and natural beauty. Hong Kong driving is frantic chaos. You can’t see any steel & concrete scenery because you have to watch out for all the people trying to crash into you.

The good thing about driving in Hong Kong is that if you go far enough you’ll be out of the city sooner or later. Kowloon is an urban jungle, but it’s surrounded by mountains & parks. The New Territories are still more green than developed and Lantau Island is almost all nature, with small pieces of city.

Getting to Lantau is pretty easy. There are 3 or 4 bridges to Tsing Yi and only 1 bridge to Lantau. You can’t miss it. Once you’re on the island it’s another story. The main street is designed to go to the airport & Disneyland. There are 2 smaller roads that cut through the island north & south and another that covers the south side. Beyond that you have to take tiny rural routes, some less paved than others. The smaller the roads get, the fewer signs there are. Most of the streets in Hong Kong have signs in Chinese & English, but when you get to the tiny roads on Lantau, even Chinese signs are hard to find.

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