2018 Tour Stop #10: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hey everyone—Andrew here. In all honesty, I flew into Hong Kong from Beijing with low expectations, as influenced by my mother, who said that she didn’t like Hong Kong very much. I was six the first time I visited Hong Kong with my parents, so I remember very little, with my highlight being the Ferris wheel at Ocean Park.

Hong Kong by Day  Photo by Brian Rolincik #240

Hong Kong by Day

Photo by Brian Rolincik #240

Hong Kong, in the simplest of descriptions, was amazing. A giant, kaleidoscopic, cosmopolitan metropolis that exhibited herds of people walking from one crosswalk to the next, Hong Kong in the summertime was an exotic New York, with a key difference in the air. The monsoon humidity lingered with wafts of Cantonese cuisine and suspended automobile exhaust, all contributing to a peculiar but welcoming atmosphere. I felt strangely at home and at ease in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong by Night  Photo by Eli Troen #250

Hong Kong by Night

Photo by Eli Troen #250

Staying at the Mini Hotel in Causeway Bay was a refreshing change to the Din dynamic, as we all resided in single rooms without any disturbance. I certainly had a pleasant time having alone-time, treating myself well with Asian face masks and Netflix. In comparison to that in Shanghai and Beijing, the Dins had far more free time in Hong Kong, allowing everyone to recharge and rest. 

On Saturday, July 14th, the Dins performed at the IFC Mall and the Mini Hotel near Ocean Park. I’d never experienced mall culture as strong as the one in Hong Kong, as huge malls were scattered throughout Causeway Bay all the way to Central. The performance at the IFC Mall was my first performance in a mall, and it was interesting to see people move in and out of the audience as we sang our songs. Afterward, we headed over to our next concert, and I was excited to visit Ocean Park after singing at the Mini Hotel. Alas, the monsoon got the best of me, and I figured that I’d ruin my childhood experience of going to Ocean Park if I were to go again in the pouring rain. On the flip side, however, we socialized with a couple of young audience members after finishing our concert at the hotel and agreed to go to Lan Kwai Fong, a nightclub, later that evening.

Dins with new friends after performing at the Mini Hotel Ocean Park.

Dins with new friends after performing at the Mini Hotel Ocean Park.

From personal experience, Hong Kong nightlife could be reduced down to shouting, getting lost, and finding friends who also were lost. I constantly lost track of where I was, and the Dins in general lost each other. One of the friends we met at the Mini Hotel brought her mother along, and let’s just say that the mother got a bit…carried away. Because we never got her name, the Dins like to call her “Party Mom.” I think it’s a cute nickname.

The next day, we performed a concert at The Charioteer’s Club, where we again met Wayne Fu, a former Din, after seeing him for the first time in Beijing. It was a small concert for family and friends. Afterward, the Dins were treated to a beautiful and plentiful dinner just downstairs, where we met the classic lazy Susan for the umpteenth time. 

Some really cute Dim Sum.  Photo by Kevin Kearns #244

Some really cute Dim Sum.

Photo by Kevin Kearns #244

On Monday, July 16th, the Dins performed at the Queen’s Garden apartment complex, as well as the Dragon Centre mall in Kowloon. We received very nice and sturdy umbrellas for free after the first concert, which would have been quite useful the day before when the Dins, being economical and all, decided to venture to the Charioteer Club by foot, fighting the pouring, violent summer rain. Oh well, our tails needed some cleaning anyway.

That evening, the Dins decided to check out the area, heading to the Temple Street Night Market. Never have I seen more variations of a Louis Vuitton wallet than there. 

On Tuesday, the Dins performed the final gig in Hong Kong at the Mini Hotel in Stanley. All I remember was the scorching heat and my sweaty, drenched back. Whether it be sweat or rain, I eventually understood that wetness was an integral part to any Dins performance in Asia.

One reason I fell in love with Hong Kong was its resemblance to New York. The city never slept, and people of all different backgrounds and interests filled the malls, food courts, sidewalks, and subway trains. For me, it contained the perfect mixture of new world exoticism and old world familiarity, and I cannot wait to go back to Hong Kong in the near future. Well, this brings me to the end of the 13th stop of the Dins’ 2018 World Tour. Off to Bangkok, chaps.

Andrew Kim #248

The Harvard Din & Tonics

The Harvard Din & Tonics are Harvard University’s signature jazz a cappella singing group, known around the world for their rich tradition of excellence in both music and performance. With a repertoire centered on the American jazz standards of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, these Harvard gentlemen—who perform in white tie, tails, and lime green socks—have an enviable reputation for their impeccable musicality, snappy choreography, and hilarious antics.