So I’ve officially crossed my own personal appropriate line (which as you know is more like an ekg reading on a heart attack patient) by taking a picture of Kris when an actor from the show True Blood was walking by in the Hong Kong customs line. The sad thing about my little celebrity stalker photo op is the fact that I don’t even know the actors name and I know he plays a werewolf on the show but even his character name escapes me. See here:
So despite my unfortunate stalkeratzi behavior our little 15 hour adventure in HK was a success.
We took the immaculate airport express train to the Central District–which is basically what Daly was trying to turn the loop into. We then walked around until we found the Star Ferry on the pier to Kowloon which is one of the more beautiful views of the city skyline. We then spent a few hours walking on the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade taking photos of the amazing skyline/light show and all the people in their Halloween costumes. Different cultures have differing interpretations of Halloween but I was surprised as hell to see so many Anakin Skywalker costumes, slutty (insert any uniformed profession here) and Scream masks. Obviously globalization has it’s place but I hadn’t thought about Halloween in countries other than Mexico’s Day of the Dead, predominantly Catholic countries interpretation of All Saints Day, and of course Samhain. It was cool to see all these kids dressed in random costumes with their parents despite it being 11 pm-1 am.
(special note–so far I’ve only figured out how to upload iPhone pics since I am writing this on an iPhone app–if I ever do figure it out I’ll post better pictures)
We then had a drink on the beach seriously amazing weather, beautiful view that my iphone cannot do justice and despite the universality of drunken teenagers on halloween and public bathrooms our walk was amazing.
We took a cab to the Temple Street Night Market after a long discussion with our cabbie about the fact that it was closing. It was a “whose on first discussion” with him finally giving in. We are super happy we won that miscommunication showdown because the market was half open and half in the process of shutting down for the night and it was actually a really fantastic time to be there.
We walked around for a few hours taking pictures and trying to find an ATM and some food. We finally found a diner where we spent a while trying to
pick out decidedly authentic Hong Kong food and finally decided on shrimp & spinach dumplings, fish ball soup and a crispy bun with condensed milk:
Neither of us are fans at all of fish balls (the soup and noodles they came in we’re good–it was just a texture/blandness issue of the balls), however the tangerine-honey-lime tea was amazing as were the spinach & shrimp dumplings and our new favorite crispy bun with condensed milk. Kris was not a fan of her tea which she compared to prune juice. Here’s me thoroughly enjoying a dumpling:
Fun fact: servers in HK will ignore you unless you wave/signal that you are ready. It was funny how long we waited at our table while watching other folks waving until we finally figured out how that worked. It just felt rude but it got results.
After eating we walked around some more and finally exhausted scrambled to find a cheap motel. We almost walked into one place until we saw in small English letters “male pleasure palace” we promptly turned around. Even though there were some thoroughly sketchy elements we felt completely safe. It is also amazing that in a 6 block radius we came across 7 different foot massage places open 24 hours (do folks in HK have feet issues or are they covers for something unseemly)? It was also odd how many people were out casually eating/walking at 2 and 3 am on a Monday night. We couldn’t get over how many little kids in costume were on the promenade/walk of stars until 12:30/1 am on Halloween but then by temple street it was odd just how many people of all ages were out and about eating or hanging out. New York is not the 24 hour city, HK has that title easy because of the varying people out at all hours.
We finally checked into an adequate hotel at 3:30 am showered, changed, brushed teeth and slept until 7 am. We woke up and took a local commuter train back to the central district.
I do have to say taking the commuter train made me smile because it is nothing like either the Metra or CTA. It is so much nicer, cleaner and more jam packed than our trains ever could be due to our notions of personal space but it was also so quiet and clean. It was fun to see the commuting folks. Students in uniform, men and women in business suits and ipods reading the paper, college students obviously on their way home from a late night halloween party. It was a nice reminder that I don’t have to go to work for a while. I did however feel like a giant in so many ways.
Anyhow after taking the train back to HK central we took a brief walk and saw groups of people of various ages doing tai chi in the park in groups and singly. It was neat to observe briefly. We then took a tram up to Victoria Peak where the views of the harbor and the massive skyline were fantastic. We’re also super grateful we got on the forst tram of the day because by the time we got back down there were insanely long lines/waits. We took a mini hike at the top of the peak and took photos and then and then headed back to the airport where we’re now waiting for our flight to Delhi.
A side note–I am so thankful for the prevalent availability of Starbucks. Our tour of HK would haven’t happened without regular consumption of venti lattes. I know fuck the man and globalization and the problems multinational corporations bring to small businesses, the tax law and corporate
personhood but it was the only coffee place we could find anywhere especially on our tight schedule. And it saved our jet lagged asses.