Hong Kong - last two days

Trip Start Dec 06, 2006
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Trip End Jan 06, 2007


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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Couple of housekeeping things: First, I have no clue re how to reply to - Dooh! - I just figured it out. Hang loose for a minute. Second, this is hard for me to write and post. I'm going with getting it up however I can. Sorry for lack of rewriting/editing.

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 haven't seen any of our neighbores yet. The way this works is the office is on 14th floor, our "suite of rooms" is on 10, but the Canadian and British girls we've talked to in the office are on 13. Go figure. And in our hallway, we have boiling water for tea/coffee and a fridge with freezer (will make ice today in plastic cups while we try to find an ice tray which we'll bring to you). And there's bottled water like the Ozarka man delivers at home so we don't have to buy any more bottled water! Pretty luxurious, right?! And we found a great breakfast place this morning with a cute girl named Mimi who speaks English and serves omelet with ham, sausage, toast and coffee (make that very sweet coffee) for HK $19. Also found a place to get a big plate of not fried vegetable which was a treat.

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 Peak was as always, wonderful, with stunning views across the city. While we were there we were approached by some "tourist spys" - children from a Buddhist school who were out to practice their English and maybe pick up a penpal. We answered questions from "Gillian," "Tony," and "Susan." Great fun - they were very shy and intent on us answering their questions which they read with great care - too cute, as Leslie would say.

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.
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed

Comments

gramcb
gramcb on

feeling your joy
Charles and Leslie:

Love being included. As a mother, and grandmother, need no more than Leslie's picture holding David as a baby to be moved.

Why is David in Cambodia? Take notes on Angor Wat for me.

Safe travel, and love from all of Open Ring.
Carol B.

budm
budm on

Hi Charles
Glad to see that you are on the way and safe. How do I find the pictures that you've posted? Bud M.

houseofwanush
houseofwanush on

Great Report, Charles & Co.
Sounds like you're having a great time. Not hard to do in Hong Kong -- one of my favorite cities. Actually, it is my #1 city. Keep 'em coming!
Dan (aka scubamonkey)

chaskemp
chaskemp on

Thanks to all
Thanks Dan. Good to be there however you can, even if just for the ride! Bud, photos up. Carol, Thank you very much. When will you be at Angkor?

budm
budm on

Thanks for posting all the great photos!
Charles and Leslie... boy, you guys are really moving fast. Chas. thanks for the humor with the interesting signs. How does the roast duck and pork really stack up to 1st Chinese BBQ? Is there any real comparison?

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