|Hong Kong from the airplane.|
So after dumping our bags in the room, we couldn't resist getting out and exploring some of the Friday night vibe in our neighborhood. There were thousands of people out enjoying the slighty cooler temps.
We walked around a few blocks and settled on a big outdoor square with several small-plate pubs. Did you know that Kirin makes a Stout? Either it's new since my years in Japan or I had never noticed it because I used to like beers that taste like stale water to me now. The stout was perfect.
|Hello I am hot and travelled-out!|
|See how many people were out? Compare it to the next pic, taken in the morning.|
Hong Kong is extremely international. I'd guess a good 30-40% of the folks on the streets around us are Philippine, Indonesian, Indian and a huge range of other countries. In addition to those languages, we heard Italian, German, French and English of varying accents. I love that.
This morning we woke around 7am and headed out to a Starbucks we had seen a block from our hotel the night before. It was already hot and humid. My sunglasses and phone both instantly fogged over with condensation. I somehow survived.
|Starbucks to the left, bun shop to the right, cute buns in the middle.|
From there we decided to go walk over to pick up our train ticket for tomorrow morning's trip to Guangzhou. The train stations are absolutely phenomenal for people watching, and while they aren't all air conditioned (until you get on the platform/trains) they do stay at least a bit cooler than the streets. The other thing they have in spades is escalators and moving walkways. Did you know I hate escalators' guts, and will usually go to great lengths to use the non-terrifying stairs or elevators? Hong Kong may just cure me of this aspect of my freakishness. We must have used them 15 times this morning alone.
Our next plan was to find a China Unicom shop where we wanted to buy a SIM card for our phones to work in mainland China. The neighborhood for that shop was exclusively the highest of the high end shops. It reminded me of Ginza in Tokyo. Gucci and Lanvin and Prada as far as the eye could see, and very few street-facing entrances. No fun shops for browsing, no more quirky street shops and hardly any good people watching. When we discovered the Unicom (doesn't that look like "unicorn"?) shop was closed on the weekends we hopped the train again to escape the land of the very very rich and boring.
|Downtown train station with mall and coliseum in background.|
Jonathan does his best to fit in by staring at his phone. It's a world-wide phenomenon.
This lady on the wall-sized opera ad in the subway is just not at all happy with that pork bun she's holding. She should have gone to the street shop this morning, too. Sopranos are so dramatic.
If we didn't already have our lunch boxes, this would have been perfect.
|Yoshinoya! The front of the shop was a sauna, but the A/C back here worked great.|
I love weird English translations like this.
Imagine if I tried writing signs in Chinese. Toad the Wet Sprocket got their name that way, right?
See? Lots of Japanese influence here. Girls on the left seemed to be dressed up like Anime characters.
Cookies on the right were too weird and creepy for words. I didn't recognize the name "Kobito zukan"so when I got back to the hotel, google gave me this: http://kobitos.com/ja/
A music lesson shop in the mall. There but for the grace of God teach I.
These traditional Chinese medicine shops are everywhere and kind of bum me out. They sell things like ray fin powder and bear paw soup mix. Mostly sea creatures, and so many jars of it all. No wonder the popularity of one curative potion can wipe out a species.
So after a long and fun morning out, we repaired to the hotel where I soaked in a cool tub, cranked up the A/C and plan to lay around until we go out again. We want to take the Star Ferry (it's a tourist requirement) and watch the laser light show tonight when it's cooler
Just one little day of travel between us and our girl now!