Hong Kong - last two days
Trip Start Dec 06, 2006
12Trip End Jan 06, 2007
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The crowds, the amazing crowds. Yesterday, after some misadventures in the Chungking Mansions we headed back north to Mong Kok. We'd been on the go for a solid 12 hours and were very tired. The streets in Mong Kok were full beyond belief with people. It was the same as last time, with these huge huge crowds moving smoothly without friction. It is as if everyone knows the rules. At times, the crowds slow, but still, nobody pushing out of turn. Being in these crowds is a high point for me. In some places the music from stores, whatever is blaring, yet still, so calm, moving well.
From Leslie: David, our room is so great - 80+ square feet, clean as a whistle and the air is COLD and quiet. We are in a hallway with about 5 other rooms but it is so quiet and we
OK, need to go. Be sure to confirm asap. I'll try to write to Julia now but please forward this to her so I know Dad knows we're safe and well. Better than well, this is just terrific!!
CK, again. Another thing that's different about HK now is the way people here interact with us. In the former times they were neither polite nor impolite, helpful nor unhelpful, friendly nor unfriendly - it was like, whatever. Now, in some cases people are polite and helpful and kind of friendly. The difference? We think it's because we are older and it's respect for age. Pretty nice.
"Always been the same to me,
That's the way it must be,
Headed down theat dusty trail again."
Sunday we went to the Peak - walked from new Star Ferry pier (alas) through the throngs of Filipinas on their day off and on up the hill to the tram entrance.
The area of town where we are staying is named Mong Kok. It's a few kilometers up Nathan Road (the big street that splits the Kowloon peninsula) and is even more crowded than lower Nathan Road areas. There are some shaky places here - like 2 hour hotels, but it's a good location. Our guest house (the Ah Shan Hostel) is in the Sincere Building, which is <block from the ladies market (everything for sale).
Tonight, our last night in HK this time around, we walked to the women's market and brought food back to the room for a picnic: spicy chicken and beef satay, stuffed peppers and aubergines, buns and garlic bread, and water with ice.
Tuesday 12/12: Up at 0400, finish packing and shower, walk a few blocks to Nathan Road to catch the night bus (N21) to the airport. Watched a woman on the sidewalk hustling passersby. I asked a man what she was doing and he answered (in perfect HK Chinese fashion), "Don't bother." I said, right, but what is she doing? He said she works that sidewalk every morning trying to convince people she is a tourist and lost.
Bus to airport via a bridge from Kowloon to Lamma Island. As far as the eye can see over the ocean there are ships of every size and type.
Like on the last trip, we were amazed that Dallas would try to pawn off a "signature bridge like the one we were on (except about 1/20th the size of this one - silly, silly "civic leaders" and even sillier, the people who think that a bridge across the Trinity River will achieve anything.).
Breakfast in the terminal - What! It's macaroni soup again, along with a hot dog, pressed ham, and bun (and Tabasco, of course) - traveling in (budget) style. The HK airport also shows the doofus lie of Dallas as a "world-class" city. Dallas, where the Brooklyn Bridge is sold all day every day.
We've walked a million miles, eaten many, many the delights, interacted with countless people (HK chemist, Singaporean soldier, Canadian nurse, random people in the street, and so on). HK is really good and not that expensive for dedicatedly cheap travelers.
Where I stayed