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Nobody dines alone in Hong Kong
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One of the most interesting aspects of HK dining is the fact that you rarely dine alone. There's no such thing as personal space. (You get a good understanding of this when you take the public transportation or elevators) So in most of the casual restaurants or soup/noodle shops you can be at a table for 6 with 2 other couples or be at a table for 2 dining with another solo diner. It's not unusual and there are no expectations to talk to this other person. It works out for the restaurant and for the solo diner; fill the seats quickly and no dining alone. This can be disconcerting for most but it kind of gets interesting. For one, you can see what others are ordering and just tell the waitress you want the same thing.

However there was one time Jeff and I were eating at our favorite noodle shop on a large table. We were happily seated and ordered our meal. While we were waiting at least 3 sets of couples came and went from our table. I guess some folks don't like to share but we were content and we took no offense. But it was kind of funny that in the 30 minutes we were there that the others didn't sit across from us for too long before spotting a free table for 2. We ate in silence the whole time but grinned that nobody wanted to be with us.

Posted on December 04, 2004 03:50 AM