Sunday, 11 October 2015

Let's try this again (Day III, Sunday in Hong Kong)

I'm still amazed that I left on a Thursday, got sick for 24 hours, and it is now already Sunday morning.  Where has that extra day gone?

Since I almost slept 24 hours yesterday, I am well rested and my first trip at 2 am is to a 7/11 to buy cigarettes. And true to my usual travel spirit, they are Chinese smokes ;-)

At 4 am I'm out in the streets again and go down to the water, but it's still quite dark.

The 6 am trip is more productive, both in a photographic and monetary sense. 

From days past I have 2 octopus cards. George used one of these in 2014, but now there is no  use to have 2 of them, au contraire, it's a bit of a nuiscance because I never know which one of them is the full one and which the empty one.  So when at 6:30 am I walk by an MTR station, I am amazed that one of their service counters is already open.  The clerk happily voids the empty card, refunds my 50 HK$, and adds them to the full card.  50 HK$ are about 9$ CDN and there will be no more confusion between cards!

When I get back to the  hotel it is time for breakfast.  I'm not even sure how many hours ago I ate my last proper meal.  So even though the breakfast buffet is expensive at > $20 CDN, it seems worth it today to appease this EMPTY stomach.  The fact that they offer smoked salmon and capers in addition to other delicacies also lowers the inhibition to pay so much for breakfast.

At at about 8:15 am I get restless.  I only have one full day left in Hong Kong and that has made it necessary to work harder to get some items off my agenda.  And I might as well start with the one that is most difficult for me for various reasons.  

I walk to the newly built and discovered MTR station very close to my hotel (Eat that TransLink) and switch to the Tung Chung line at Central. Due to a very nice but also unnerving Chinese lady talking to me non-stop I get off at Kowloon for a look-around.

NICE subway station ;-)

Back on the MTR the signage exemplifies my dilemma. Get off at Sunny Bay and visit Mickey Mouse or continue to Tung Chung and visit the Buddha?

Normally a choice requiring NO thinking time, but this time is different.  I have good reasons to forego reason and get off at the first stop today.
Read all about that in another post called: 

Adventures in Disneyland. NOT!
How did the duck get so rich? By running Disneyland !

After this misadventure I at first consider whether I should see the Buddha today. But at the MTR station I see an ad for the  Ngong  Ping 360 gondola that goes to the Buddha and the price is HK$ 250. That is CAN$45. Not too too much compared to my first trip of the day but after that first one I barely have enough in my pocket to buy cigarettes. So I take the MTR back to Hong Kong Central.  While wandering around malls and streets looking for a bank machine, I notice with unbelievement that right next to very-highly-expensive watch stores for IWC, Jaeger Lecoultre, and Lange & Soehne there is a LuluLemon store. OMFG!

I find a bank machine and wander towards the Star Ferry Terminal, when I see it: the Hong Kong Observation Wheel.

Because the management or wheel-attending personnel is too inept to operate the wheel properly (They only fill 1/3 of the number of cabins, for balancing reasons, they claim) people get to share their cabin with others. Note I didn't say have to.  Because it turned out to be fun;-)  

Not only did I get quite a few aerial shots of Victoria Harbour:

 Got ticket. Let's GO !

The Aqua Luna, now filling in  for the Duk Ling, as a replacement harbour hop-on-off junk

Kowloon in the North

Two Star Ferries and a bulk freighter

This view always reminds me of Chinese-style paintings
The ferry piers:  So  many routes, so many choices
A stain on the national pride?  Parts of the wheel are Made in Taiwan

Umbrella people
 The company was a lot of fun too: The only English word this couple spoke apparently was Hello, and they used it frequently. As in every time they wanted me to take a picture of them with their camera.  At first I thought that the rather cute young man was the boyfriend of the woman, but then after another Hello, I didn't know what to think anymore. The mother (?) was indicating that her son (?) wanted to have his picture taken with me and no sooner than I agreed, he had his arm around my shoulder and was pulling me close; maybe just a natural hugger.  I hope my surprise doesn't show in the resulting photo!

After I exit the wheel, I decided to walk home, hoping to find that cheap Vietnamese restaurant again, where I have eaten before. Because of sidewalks that are plugged by Phillippina maids on there day off, I take a short detour from my route and run into a Gap store. And they have shorts. And everything is on sale today.  No complaints here;-)

I find the restaurant and order Viet style fried rice.  Good ingredients but a bit too greasy for my taste but that might just be this restaurant.  I will find out soon enough ;-)

And I do find out sooner than I thought:  My stomach starts acting up again. Oh OHH! I'm supposed to fly tomorrow!

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