You still do get the odd person who isn't afraid of showing their frustrations with someone or being curt, but on the whole, many in the service industry are more willing to help customers than put on airs.
Some still trip up when they encounter Mandarin-speaking clients; at Nha Trang, a popular Vietnamese restaurant on Wellington Street, a server wasn't able to communicate at all with a Taiwanese woman. But this was quickly rectified when she brought over a colleague to talk to her about her take-out order.
People here understand more than ever that it's customers who pay their salaries and so they must bend over backwards to serve them whatever they want. In a way it does go back to the old days where Hong Kong people did whatever it took to get the job done.
And wandering around the western side of Hong Kong Island, I'm seeing more small shops, boutiques, cafes and bars popping up in what used to be the most unlikely places. Originally they spread from Lan Kwai Fong to the areas around the escalator. But now these small-scale entrepreneurial ventures are even further west into Kennedy Town, with Japanese restaurants practically sprouting on ever other street, in what used to be areas only locals lived or worked in.
Just today walking down Aberdeen Street from Caine Road, I saw many new shops with English names along side streets, places I didn't even know about. There were small art galleries, cafes and boutiques. Perhaps part of the fun is stumbling into these places, a small gem you find in your neighbourhood.
It's just good to know the entrepreneurial spirit is still alive on a small scale and they continue to venture into territory that exists in harmony with its local residents.