First impressions are so important

I had heard that Hong Kong is a culturally rich and fascinating city. So I was eagerly awaiting my first impressions of this place — its music, its people, its general way of being.

The trip from the airport was a jet lagged blur. But things came into focus after an old friend and I, having both arrived at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong after our long respective journeys, repaired to the cozy bar overlooking the lobby, for a drink before retiring.

The sound track to our conversation was a little live band, playing instrumental music. The tunes they played were old by today’s standards, hearkening back to a tradition from an earlier era, to simpler and perhaps more innocent days.

In particular, the band was working its way, one instrumental number at a time, through Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album.

As I sat there, jet lagged and nursing my drink, I found myself wondering whether it would be fair to count this as a first cultural impression of Hong Kong.

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