As much as I love Shenzhen with its many flowers and lots of space – when it comes to food I would trade it for Honkong without hesitation.
A few years ago I entered a congee restaurant with the name Congee Wonderland in Hongkong. I became addicted to their congee and try to go there for breakfast every time I go to Hongkong now. The place is usually packed with Hongkongers (mostly retirees) and Chinese mainlanders alike and more often than not you have to share one of the small tables with other people.
One time when I am at Congee Wonderland the elderly Hongkong lady I am sharing the table with starts to chat with me.
She tells me with a smile about the countless European countries she has traveled to and the glorious times she has spent in cities like London and Paris. When I tell her that I am living in Shenzhen, it only takes a split second for the smile to disappear from her face. She starts to tell me how dangerous Shenzhen is and that I should never forget to pay attention in order not to get robbed. Although her view coincides with that of my guidebook, the Shenzhen I have gotten to know seems to be quite different from the one she describes.
Maybe it’s different at the outskirts of this megacity, but from my experience of living here, Shenzhen seems to be quite a safe city to live in. This is not to say that things do not get stolen or that there is zero crime, but theft is not more rampant in Shenzhen than it is in any other city that size.
Back to Hongkong.
Another time I go to Congee Wonderland I share the table with an elderly Hongkong lady again. She orders rice noodles and congee for breakfast. I am electrified watching her prepare her food. At first, she pours Ketchup over the noodles. Then she sprinkles sesame all over them. After that, she adds a few spoonfuls of the congee to the noodles. And tada, ready is her multicultural breakfast – or should I rather call it breakfast of culture clashes?
Do you like Chinese food? Which dishes are your favourites?