Thursday, 26 October 2017

36 hours in Hong Kong and Grandma does it AGAIN

By 4 am I am showered and have completed a trip to 7-Eleven (in Hong Kong, the nearest 7-Eleven never seems to be further than 200 meters away. All open 24/7 and all selling booze. Drinking Oyster Bay Sauv Blanc from New Zealand actually makes a lot more sense in HK than in Canada.  (Just look at a world map!).

A quick call to Grandma reveals a happy Grandma and a happy Nurse Next Door coordinator.  A big load off my chest.

5 am
Non-existent hairline omitted from picture.  But the point of the picture:  The fabulous $2.50 shirt acquired in Phnom Penh 1.5 years ago is DONE. (rip next to shirt pocket)  It will be missed !
 Time to hit the streets:

FINALLY back in Parts where your pork doesn't have to sit on a Safeway shelf for 2 weeks ;-)

 On my first visit to Hong Kong more than 5 years ago now, I'd rather have died than suffered the imagined embarrassment of walking in view of other people while waving my arms all over around my head and body.  Silly fool I was, LOL.  Times have changed and I look like a walking windmill when I approach this small spot where mostly older Hongkongese loosen up their body in the morning.  A morning swim is better but this DOES feel almost as good!

10 HKD = CAD$ 1.62.  I'm to blame for the empty tray ;-)

At 7:30 I am so peckish that I decide to hit the Hotel's breakfast buffet. 

The only meat available with the 60 HKD buffet looks more like Spam than ham, but it doesn't actually taste all that bad. 

Think, think.... 

I've never actually eaten Spam.


It's Spam, isn't it? LOL. 

My own bloody fault for not having returned to the Street Food with the chicken skewers right next to the 7-Eleven, at least there I would have known what I was eating ;-)

A good incentive to try something different tomorrow. 

During my Spam-meal, I read the news (NO, NOT your news, the REAL one: during breakfast. 
 2 Weeks until the APEC summit in Da Nang.  First Obama in Ha Noi and now this.  Vietnam is moving up while the Western world is moving down.  I'm homesick!

I enter my particular WELLCOME market for the simple reason that it is located in Yummy House.  HOW could I resist? LOL.
Not my particular wellcome market but you get the idea ...
I suddenly feel VERY Wellcome after I see the wine selection here.

I am rewarded with a YUMMY Chilean Reserva Rose for LESS than HALF the price of the New Zealand Oyster Bay stuff.  

Live and Drink and Learn ;-)

11:15 am.

That means that the Rooftop Pool (yeah, you read right ;-) should be open now.

Just like during my visit to another hotel's rooftop terrace in a December 1 or 2 years ago (I REALLY can't remember), a staff member asks me for my room number "for the record".  But at least this one is not such a sterile employee like the one years ago.  When I say "So if I fall down, you know who is gone missing", he breaks out into a genuine laugh.

The pool is open until 8 pm. And I have my swim trunks with me.  Me thinks I will go swimming today.  Time to re-tone that body after my flab-inducing stay in Vancouver.

The temptation brings me back quickly in trunks with a towel and a book.

I stay on the roof for 45 minutes. First to freeze in the tiny pool and then to bake in a sun lounger in the noon sun. While I'm baking, a hotel official approaches me. Big Nanny is watching me.  Point of his convoluted speech is that I have to sign a waiver if I want to continue using the pool.  Because they have "no safety person on duty".  OMG, I can stand at the deep end and they're so worried of me drowning that they sent someone up 30 floor to have me sign this?  LOL.
Still NOT far enough away: 
You gotta go down south, where the air's a little better, son, so you can learn how to breathe !

But I also realize something else.  And I'm relieved I bought that beach-front towel-sized lot.  Because pools SUCK compared to a real ocean !

Talk about skinny buildings, lol

'chicken bread'
19:00  I can't keep my eyes open !

5 am

I've tried calling Grandma FIVE times.  A Nurse Next Door SHOULD be there RIGHT NOW.

On the 7th telephone call I get the nurse.   

Grandma fell again.

The reason why the nurse didn't answer the phone earlier is that she had to call the fire department to gain access to the house first because Grandma in her infinite wisdom had put on the SECURITY CHAIN again so that no irritant nurses could enter her house.   

I had told Grandma NUMEROUS times that she should NOT DARE put that chain on !

I am NOT flying back tomorrow. Nor the day after.   If I did, Grandma would learn that this is all she has to do to get me back there right away.  

OMG. The bottle of wine I bought at 4 am is already half empty !

A quick 5:30 am walk of the already awake streets of Hong Kong instantly improves my mood.   Some of the women 'manning' the vending stands in the street during the day are asleep in hammocks or on flat boards in their stands.  The butchers are already carving up the pig legs.   

A vision I hope I never forget (no camera handy).  A whole pig leg is laying on one of those metal cutting tables, ready to be dissected.  Only 40 cm distant sits a well behaved cat on it's haunches, with its head tilted, eyeing the pork leg and licking its cat lips.  Adorable ;-)   And yes, I'd still rather eat pork here than in Vancouver  !


Grandma is in an ambulance on the way to the hospital for a cautionary check-up.  The NND coordinator is with her.


Grandma is on her way back home. A nurse is with her and will help her settle in.


I will travel around Indochina with a backpack.  Temperatures are expected to be 27-30 degrees Celsius. 
Should I carry my long pants and my warm hoodie around with me in my limited backpack space?   Extra weight on my back and a waste of the limited packing space?


I book the same hotel in Hong Kong for the day before my flight back to Vancouver.  
And I hand in the warm but unnecessary clothing to the hotel laundry, so they can keep it until I return.
Not so GRAND after all ...
Good plan, eh?   Unfortunately, the reception desk calls me 5 minutes later to tell me that the hotel does NOT KEEP laundry.   Ah well.

Always make sure to wring success out of failure:

A reluctant hotel would charge 125 HKD but does not want to keep my laundry for 3 weeks?  I enjoy my walk through the hustle and bustle to 138 Java Street.  

Here I pay 36 HKD for the same service, keeping my laundry for 3 weeks is NO problem, and I even get a GREAT smile.  Also, the money goes to the owner/operator, not to some stupid hotel corporation.  Again.  Less is More !

There is ALWAYS room for improving the results of your actions on this planet and you should NEVER stop looking for ways to improve!

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