Chinalog III: Welcome to Hong Kong

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Kind of lost a day there due to time change.  Hong Kong is twelve hours ahead of Ottawa.  Makes me wonder: if I brought my cat with me on the plane would he still be nocturnal?

We arrived in Hong Kong at 10:30 last night.  By 11pm we were standing in line at the lost luggage service, by midnight we were on the express train into the city.  The train was super-modern and extremely efficient/easy to use.  So was the subway system we transferred to – easy-peasy.

Walked to our hotel (an easy task given that we were both without luggage), again fairly easy to find and checked in.  I walked to the nearest 7-11 for some beers and snacks.  Okay, I actually went to buy a bottle of water but when I saw all that beer in the fridge I forgot to buy the water so I ended up having to go back.  When I went back I bought more beer (for m’lady this time) and darn-near forgot to buy the water again.  We didn’t get to sleep until about 3:30am, which is a little strange after a twenty-six-hour travel day.  I was shocked when we woke up and checked the clock; it was 1:30pm.  I know to me that’s 1:30am, but I haven’t slept that late in a long time.

We got up, retrieved our found luggage that had been dropped off at the front desk, and got out of there for a walkabout and to look for a place to eat.  M’lady was starved; I wasn’t hungry at all.  After looking at about a thousand menus (restaurants are absolutely everywhere in our area) we settled on a semi-fancy place.  M’lady got dumplings and noodles with pork while i got the vermicelli with shredded spicy beef.  For some reason what little appetite I had left me shortly after I ordered but I still ate half of my meal.  The highlight of lunch was when m’lady bit into her first dumpling and hot liquid squirted out of it and shot straight up her nose.

After lunch we went for coffees around the corner and killed time until it was time to go to the waterfront.  We aimed for the Avenue Of Stars – the Asian version of Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame – but were shut out as the area was closed for renovations.  No biggie, though I was quite looking forward to seeing the Bruce Lee statue.  Regardless, we found ourselves in the right place for the nightly laser show.

This is not the Bruce Lee statue.

Every night at 8pm the Honk Kong (sic) harbour hosts Asia’s largest (or is it the world’s largest?) permanent sound and light show.  We found a good spot and stared in quiet awe at the astounding skyline while we waited for the show to start.  

Aside from the stunning architecture of the countless buildings lining both sides of the harbour, at night many of the structures become canvases for giant light shows.  I had seen this once before – at a hotel we stayed at in Miami – but this was redonkulous.  A couple dozen buildings were constantly flashing and pulsating and it looked just awesome.  So awesome in fact that the laser/light show itself was decidedly underwhelming in comparison.  Aside from the sheer logistics of co-ordinating the lasers and the individual building lights to sync up (perfectly) with the music it was really not so impressive.  They need to get Phish’s light guy out here for a week or two to design some serious visuals but hey, it was better than nothing.

The show ended at 8:30 and afterwards we idled up Nathan Road past Jordon Road to the night market after stopping at 7-11 for a couple of traveller beers.  Drinking in the street is so civilized; I’m surprised I never see anyone but me doing it here.  The night market was about as interesting as the light show; that is, better than not going but really, it was just a bunch of Made In China crap.

(I got a kick out of the Star Wars Lego knock-offs though: one was called Star Wart and another, Star Plan.)

By then my appetite was back to jumping up and down so we searched for a restaurant and ultimately settled on a Thai place where I devoured an order of garlic bread and got halfway through a plate of chicken Pad Thai before mysteriously losing my appetite once again.  

After dinner we decided to call it a day and went back to the hotel and went to bed, though neither of us could sleep.  I haven’t laid awake trying to fall asleep in years but I was awake until at least 5:30am.  

It’s hard to fight jet lag.

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