Sunday, May 1, 2016

2-Hours and 20 Degrees

Hong Kong City from Kowloon

From the moment we stepped out of the plane, Hong Kong has been phenomenal. Immigration and customs were a breeze. When stepping out of the cordoned security area in the airport, there were train tickets to be bought to the left and a money exchange to the right. Straight across the giant atrium lay the entrance to the express train, to take us to Kowloon Station. I am always apprehensive when things go so smoothly.

Entrance to the Night Market

When we finally exited the train into this bay city, Harvey looked at me and at the same time we said together, “Oh my God, it’s so cool here!” I felt better that I had left my sweat rag in Bangkok. 78 degrees is so more civilized than 98.

Swimming pool in Kowloon Park 930 at night

Thus far, Hong Kong is much easier to navigate. Perhaps it is its English heritage? As soon as we got our bags to the hotel, we ran out to the BTS, bought tickets (on the first try) and found the Michelin Star Dim Sum Restaurant, One Dim Sum. It was small. It wasn’t fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but lordy, it was tasty! We had Ribs in black bean sauce, baked barbequed Pork Bun, Shrimp Shu Mai, Vermicelli Flat Rice Noodles, Chicken Wrapped in Lotus and Mango/Coconut pastry. I hear there is a line in front as soon as this place opens till it closes.

Seafood Restaurant at Temple Street Night Market-Yum!

The next morning took us to the Star Ferry and across to Hong Kong proper. (We are staying across the bay in Kowloon.) Our intent was to go up to Victoria for the view, however the lovely cool weather had shrouded the peak in clouds. So we searched for the Saturday Market. Did I mention that once again; we are in the middle of a major holiday in a foreign country? Therefore, many of the streets of Hong Kong near the ferry were closed for the holiday (May Day- Communist here, ok?) 

Star Ferry-costs about 75 cents and 10 minutes to cross the bay.
Not that you could walk across the streets anyway. There were instead walkways above the streets connecting to mall after mall for several blocks before the streets themselves became maneuverable. Below us, on the street level, were large groups of women, sitting on cardboard boxes with suitcases, bags, umbrellas, food and loud music. They were everywhere! Finally, we found our way down from the Blade Runner-esque multi-level walkway system unto the streets. Harvey, being naturally inquisitive, approached a group of the Sunday-street-sitting, lunching-ladies to ask why?

May Day for domestic workers

Harvey asking questions and getting answers

A lovely Filipina woman explained that they were all domestic workers and this being a major holiday, they were off for the day. All lived with their employers. Having no money and nowhere to go in this expensive city, it was the custom on holidays, when the streets were blocked off to get together with friends, gossip and eat together until it was time to return to their jobs. They all collected cardboard to make sitting more comfortable. There were hundreds of them on the streets, happy, laughing, singing, eating and sitting in the sun. Aberrantly beautiful. 

Hoping for Sunshine tomorrow!

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