Dropped April off at Central MTR around 0000. We had to call the evening early because she lives in Sheung Wan (refer to handy MTR map here) and the MTR stops running around 0030. But the weather is actually pleasant. I�m in long sleeves and long pants, dressed like a grownup and I�m not dripping with sweat like I usually am here.
Wound up taking the Tram back to Tung Lo Wan. Always sit on the top deck and try to catch one of the old cars. The new cars, there aren�t a lot out there, but they are out there, the front window is sealed. No fun, those. The Tram is a good deal for HK$1.80 using my Octopus card. It was a nice leisurely ride, scooting in between all the iconic buildings that make up Central, the neon of Wan Chai and then into Tung Lo Wan and the big Sogo.
I spent an hour listening to Putonghua and the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Co.) News while packing. Tired�
On Ana�s recommendation, I decided to expose myself to some local culture.
Expose myself, heh heh.
I went to visit the Hong Kong Museum of History. As the name says, it�s about HKG. The basement is all about geology and flora and fauna and animals and all that nature stuff that used to be where HKG is now. The meat of the museum is on the upper floors where the history of the city is chronicled.
The origin of the Crown Colony is well known, being the most successful booty resulting from state sponsored drug dealing. But there were interesting accounts of HKG under the Japanese occupation and the various crises from 1949 on. These include: fire, flooding, typhoons, drought, riots and transportation issues.
Also some small regime change back in 1997.
Well, it was pretty big. You don�t generally get to read about this stuff outside of HKG.
Sounds like Los Angeles. But like LA, HKG has dealt with these issues in one way or another. Even the regime change.
Finally got hold of April. We�re going to meet in Kowloon Tong, near her workplace and going to grab some local food. Maybe drinks after if there�s time.
Yup, it was about 2 hours. Eyes redder than a pothead�s and itchy too. Yuk. And the kitties were hella cute, too! Figures. Mark�s allergic as well; his tolerance is a bit longer than mine tho.
Schu�s shopping for luggage in Mong Kok. I�m going out there to help him shop and to hang out. It�s interesting how HKG makes everyone a night owl!
Went to the Golden Center in Sham Shi Po to get software. Nice place, full of computer parts and video game stuff.
I’m heading to the mid-levels to have a dumpling dinner with Ana and Mark. They�re still the epitome of a cute couple and they have some cute kittens. I�ll give myself 2 hours tops before the allergies kick in.
I went to the Wong Tai Sin temple in Kowloon. It�s a big temple for three religions. Taoism, Buddhism and Confucinism. It�s also a place where you can get your fortune told. It’s one of those Hong Kong things that people do.
You go to one of the fortune tellers nearby and borrow a can with a bunch of sticks with numbers on them. Go to the temple and pay respects to Wong Tai Sin. Shake the can until one of the sticks hits the floor. Remember the number. Go back to the stall with your number, sticks and birthyear. Tell her your question and she�ll tell you what she sees as your answer.
I hear that they’re strangely accurate.
So I�m here with the fellow traveler at Tsim Chai Kee in Central.
Mmmmmmmm. Got the good Won Ton Mein fix. Yummy. And for only HK$10.00 a bowl, it�s a deal�
The killer hike is over�tried to find the Tung Chung fort, but did see a modern (1972) monastary. Not a big whoop. But walking around in rural areas is a change of pace, compared to the urban jungle that is interconnected by a river called the MTR. At the Tung Chung station, there�s a small mall, apartments, postoffice and a Haggen Daz!
Ice cream was a welcome treat after the killer hike.
You meet people in the strangest places�
A few notes. I took the MTR here to capitalize on my unlimited 3 day MTR pass. MTR from Causeway Bay to Tung Chung. One change of train and a 7 minute walk to transfer. The MTR stations are huge. Then you take the #23 basi from Tung Chung for a 40 minute long roundabout way through villages and such before you get to the temple. But that�s prologue.
I get asked to take a photo�that�s par for the course. Turns out this person is an engineer from Daly City out here on her own on holiday too! Her first time in HKG and like me, also new to the HKG wilderness. So now I�ve got someone to hang out with. Cool.
She had both a digicam and a APS camera to take a snap of moi. Also a copy of the Ya Ya Sisterhood in her purse. They were showing this on the plane ad nauseaum�geez.
Sleep? What’s that?
Didn’t sleep well last night, but not tired either this morn. So since I’m up ANYWAY, I think checking out the Big Buddha today would be good. It’ll take a while to get there so leaving early is a good idea. Besides Wor Lau Bau for breakfast sounds really good now.
Just got back from Macau.
HKG maintains a 24 hour frontier with the rest of the world compared to China which closes its border at 0000. I was told that this is for the gamers who play in Macau but need to get back home.
The Turbocat runs every 30 minutes from 2200 to 0600. Wow. That’s better than late night MUNI. And oodles of taxis waiting for the passengers that get off the boat because public transport shuts down at 0100. How convenient!