Scrappy is now officially booked to return to Hong Kong in just under 2 weeks. He’s yelping about how he doesn’t have time to say good-bye to his closest 975 family members. He’ll get over it.

I’ve been busy sucking down the culture and am fascinated by the behavior of the people. For the most part, people are extremely respectful. You follow the rules and be a good son/daughter in honor of your family. You dare not do anything that might insult the family name. The people are also quite friendly and I smell many more of these boys must be homo than they dare admit. It’s not about being accepted by society but being accepted by the family that keeps them closeted often for life.

I’m out with a bunch of younger folks and learning a bit about how straight couples get together. The divorce rate in Hong Kong at one point was nearly 0%, but today it’s gone up significantly. Western cultural influences I suspect. It’s quite common for a couple to be engaged for 3-5 years before marriage. Further, couples don’t usually live together until they’re married. It’s also quite common for both to continue to live with their respective parents while they’re engaged. Doesn’t sound like much opportunity for hanky panky to me.

The entire martial ceremony is full of tradition about who does what, who pays for what and how everyone is supposed to act. Once a decent family marriage is consummated, it’s really tough to break it up.

Are these couples happy? Are the men cheating on the side with other woman or god forbid men. I asked my colleague. He seemed surprised, he felt like marriage was a life long commitment and that the long engagement period gave everyone plenty of time to figure out whether this is working or not. I am struck by the simplicity of it all. The relative calm of how it comes together and the tight bonds it allows to be built.  I was impressed.

As I wander this city, there are virtually no sex shops (at least any I can find), nor any seedy areas of adult stores, advertising is clean, nare a sight of a bosom or something even mildly titillating. Perhaps this is indeed a sign that good country living isn’t all bad for you. Clearly Hong Kong has some dark side, some portion of it’s society that would be seem incredibly crazy.   But I continue to observe, learn and ponder.

One Response to “Observing”

  • Herb:

    Just keep writing!! You have one of the most intelligent, graphically written with descriptions that make me say Wow and fun to read blogs out there in the ether. Thanks for taking us readers along on your epic ride in a new world, for you, and for some of us.

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