Background on Hong Kong
Before you view this delightful film, it would be to your advantage to know something about the City of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong consists of the island of Hong Kong, Stonecutters' Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories on the adjoining mainland. The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1841, followed by the three other areas, all of which were leased from China in 1898 for 99 years. Thus, on July 1, 1997, all of Hong Kong was returned to China. About 95% of the people are ethnic Chinese, some 2% are Filipino, and there are substantial British and American communities. Cantonese and English are official languages, and other Chinese dialects are also spoken.
Hong Kong Skyline - Wikimedia
About 90% of the population practice traditional Chinese religions, and 10% are Christian. Hong Kong's educational institutions include the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University. The head of state is the president of China. Hong Kong is a free port, a trade center, and a shopping and banking emporium. It is one of the greatest trading and shipment centers in East Asia. The textile and garment business is the colony's largest manufacturing industry. The majority of goods are exported. Lan Kwai Fong is now a popular expatriate haunt in Hong Kong for drinking, clubbing and dining. The area can be reached by Hong Kong’s famous outdoor escalators.
Josh and Ruby Meet
It is in this thriving community that we meet Josh and Ruby. Josh (Bryan Greenberg) has an MBA and works in Finance in Hong Kong, having been an ex-patriate from New York City for the past ten years. Ruby, an Asian girl (Jamie Chung), was born in Los Angeles, but has lived in Hong Kong for the past year, employed as a toy designer. One of her creations is called Justin Beaver. She knows little about Chinese culture, having been thoroughly cultivated in American habits by her Chinese parents.
One evening, Ruby became lost in the vast city of Hong Kong, trying to find the area known as Lan Kwai Fong where she promised to meet her friends. Josh had just left a birthday party for a few minutes to get a breath of fresh air. He noticed that Ruby’s cell phone had died on her, and she was unable to get directions to Lan Kwai Fong. Initially, she turned down Josh’s offer to take her to the place, but failing to find it, she returned to Josh to accept his kind offer.
Jamie Chung - Wikimedia
Josh and Ruby Exchange Small Talk
As they passed through SoHo, Josh explained that it was similar to SoHo in New York and London. It was during this encounter that they exchanged small talk about themselves. Ruby joked that her mother warned her about talking to random strangers in big cities. Ruby’s dream was to own her own boutique. In college, Josh was a double major, in Finance and American Literature, and found that he was more at home in the Arts. He was writing a novel in his spare time about the escapades of an expat living in Hong Kong. He was calling it “Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong.” He pointed out his office building on the way, where he had worked for the past ten years.
They Get a Photo of Themselves
When a couple stopped them to ask if Josh would take their photo, he reciprocated and asked for a photo of Ruby and himself on his cell phone, even though they had only met ten minutes ago.
Josh and Ruby Have a Drink Together
When they arrived at Lan Kwai Fong, Ruby said she would see her friends in the morning, and asked Josh if they might have a drink together instead. He took her to a more upscale place than what was offered at Lan Kwai Fong. Ruby wondered why he did not pursue his writing career if it made him happier.
After more small talk, Josh said he had to get back to the party. It was actually his girlfriend Sam’s birthday party which he left for what was to be only ten minutes. Ruby was shocked that he left his girlfriend at the bar and it was her birthday party. Josh and Ruby parted for the evening.
Bryan Greenberg - Wikimedia
Josh and Ruby Meet Again One Year Later
Fast forward one year. Josh was taking the ferry which he never did, and spotted Ruby at the railing looking out at the sea. Ruby explained that she was going over to Kowloon to pick up some clothes. She said she had received a promotion and lived in Hong Kong now. After queries from each other, Josh said that he and Sam were still together, and Ruby admitted that she had a boyfriend back in Los Angeles who communicated with her through Skype and cell phone. They decided it was weird that Josh never took the ferry and Ruby never went to Kowloon. She had to pick up a suit for her boyfriend. Josh insisted that her boyfriend, whom he dubbed “Greg” would want him to go with Ruby since it was a bad neighborhood. When the store owner told her that the suit would not be ready until next week, Josh intervened and was able to get Ruby a 15% discount for the delay and a promise of the suit being ready this weekend. His Finance background came in handy.
More Small Talk
Josh said “Let’s have one drink.” Ruby answered “Only because you got my boyfriend a discount,” and mentioned that his name was not Greg, but Daniel. Over their drink, Josh told Ruby that he had quit his job and was devoting all of his time to his novel.
Josh said he wanted to Friend her on Facebook and asked for her last name, which was Lin. He told her his name was Joshua Rosenberg. Ruby would not say whether she would accept his Friend request, but in the ladies room she did just that. They then took a bus to get a bite to eat. When they were walking through the shopping plaza, Ruby saw that her toy designs, including Justin Beaver, were being sold as knock-offs. She decided not to patronize the store and told the man she would call the police.
At the restaurant, they shared stories of their significant others. Josh said that he and Sam had been going together for two years, and that Sam was 24 as compared to his age of 35. She had grown up poor and was able to go to college and have a career as a banker. She was not happy about Josh quitting his job. Ruby mentioned that she was 30 years old. She had gone with Daniel for five years, on and off.
Shopping Plaza in Hong Kong
Josh and Ruby Visit a Fortune Teller
They passed a fortune teller’s shop and went in to have their fortunes told. Under questioning by the seer, Josh said he had been engaged once when he was in college. The seer said he had a new love coming. He said he could tell by the way the two looked at each other.
They Visit a Night Spot
Josh said he was heading to see his musician friends at a night spot and asked Ruby to come along. She went with him. They danced there, and Josh saw a friend of Sam’s named Monica, who came up to him, surprised that he was with a female. Josh and Ruby were both disturbed at the unexpected meeting. She confessed that Daniel was coming next week for their engagement party, which she had never mentioned to Josh. She said “Except now, I don’t know what I want.” Josh answered “What are you saying, Ruby?”
I will not reveal the ending of the story, which was a big surprise to me. But I loved the entire tale of two people who learned more about each other overnight at a chance meeting than they knew about themselves throughout their lives. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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