(Day 343 to 349)
30.10.2010 - 05.11.2010 23 °C
Our evening flight was delayed by a few hours which got us to our hotel way past pumpkin hour. In fact by the time we got to the hotel not even the love-note left to us by the owner was enough to get to us..To sum it up, they buggered up our first night’s booking and gave us a single bed for 2, in the owner’s lounge next door! It was like a pyjama party when we ended up sleeping head-to-toe to give each other more space!!
Nevertheless we woke up the next morning, eager to discover this city and so happy to be in a modern town, that with each step to Starbucks I could feel the excitement bubbling up inside of me. At last, no more hooting-spitting-shouting and instead, some extremely fashionable Hong Kong people (with the sleekest hair cuts & colours i’ve ever seen) all hooked to their latest iphone/ipad even underground where there is network all the way down to the metro and to your next stop! This reminded me of the countless times where on our way to work, we got stuck in the tube in London without the smallest flicker of a network bar to advise anyone of the situation, let alone possibility to send emails! Until we got there, I don’t think we’d realised how much we missed the normality and the polish of a developed city. From the different types of public transport down to the ingenious ways to stop wet umbrellas dripping on the floor in shopping malls, damn, was it good being back in the first world!
Finally, Mocha in hand (“Tall – no cream – to go” - how I’ve missed these words) we headed to Central for our first bit of exploration. Mid-level escalators to help people criss-cross the city with a bit of help for the tired legs, the shiny and weird architecture of buildings like the HSBC headquarters and the Bank of China amongst others.
From there we took the tram up to the Peak for breath-taking views of Hong Kong where even up there they managed to set up a shopping centre with many shops and restaurants. Over here wherever you are – the Island or Kowloon – you can find a shopping mall to cover all your needs.
On our next few days, we went to the fishing port of Aberdeen supposedly to eat seafood but ended up in a Thai place.
We also headed to Lantau and onto the cable-car to see the Big Buddha. We were extremely lucky to do all of these in lovely, albeit cool, sunny weather.
The rest of our stay was spent exploring the many street markets of Kowloon and doing a fair bit of shopping in all the many shopping malls of Causeway Bay! In fairness most of ours things had by then been pushed to the limits. Never had we found the good old safety-pins or duck tape so useful for so many things: Hand bags, shorts, everything was holding on with bare threads! Understandable I guess after wearing the same few clothes over and over and over and over again, I felt like a true little house-wife after all the holes I had stitched up in the last few months. Here are some fine examples of non-wastage..
Even so, it was time to do some throwing away as we replaced all items through some shopping sessions that would make Rockefeller proud. In any case, we stuck to H&M, Marks & Sparks, Zara and the likes – not quite Prada yet, we’ll have to get jobs first.. Our hotel was situated in Causeway Bay which strikes a fair resemblance to New York, even if a mini-one, and even has a Times Square. This meant we could shop until late in the evening and never be too far from home.
By the time we were done, we had explored a fair chunk of the island and Kowloon, had re-discovered some yummy foods like Sushi and Pret-a-manger’s yummy open cheesy croissants (amongst others) – funny the things you miss – and were ready to get to Mauritius.
We waved Asia good-bye and headed on our long-haul back to my family for a quick 2 week visit before the next flight to Cape Town which would conclude this epic year..
To all the people emailing and calling to say they already miss the blog, there will be one final one after this one!
We’ll conclude this last Asian blog with some pics and a short vid from the nightly Hong Kong sky line show.