More Hong Kong

Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End Jul 10, 2005

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Well, here I am in an internet cafe in Hong Kong. Four computers, four people, and very little space. This entry is really about 5/21 and 5/22 (If I can cover that much).

(Written in journal 5/22)

I've never seen so many people in my life. Yesterday was really a day of awe for me. We started out really early in the morning - like 6 am - in search of a dim sum place my dad had read about. After not finding it, we came back to the streets near our closet (most familiar to us) and found a nice little place there. It's hard to beat $2 US for a filling and delicious breakfast. I had a thing that was pork and sticky rice wrapped in a sweet flour bun, two barbeque pork buns, and something else, which I'm not sure what it was. And a Coke. Everyone knows "Coca Cola."

Anyway, here's a summary of what we did (I realize I leave out some stuff either because it seems trivial or for lack of space to write down everything). We rode the Star Ferry across the harbor and then went to the Peak Tram, the short trolley that takes you to the top of the Peak. At the top was a little coffee shop, identical to starbucks. Also were computers with internet access, which I used for the previous entry. We walked outside, where we found a trail that goes around the peak. It was much cooler, shady, and breezy - a nice relief from the hot, humid city. The views from different parts of the trail were awesome. The city is incredible. There were also some houses and apartments on the peak - outrageously expensive I bet, but well worth it for the location.

We returned to the familiar streets for lunch - roast duck, rice, and vegetable - exquisite. Surprisingly not cheaper than the US though (unlike everywhere else). We actually sat down, looked at the menu, and Dad decided it was more expensive than he thought it was going to be. So we walked out. Then after walking a few blocks away, he decided that he did want to eat there after all, and we walked back in (much to Jeff's and my humiliation). After lunch, we set out to a big shopping/electronics area in Mong Kok. The streets there were flooded with people, mostly about my age. Imagine the density of people at a live concert, span that over about 30 square blocks: that's what it was like. All moving surprisingly brightly in all directions - eating, drinking, talking, laughing, taking pictures. Yet with all the commotion, it was not chaotic; it seemed almost organized. People seldom run into each otehr, everyone gets to their destinations, and the crowd doesn't thin at all, the entire several hours we were there. NYC on New Year's eve might compare, but these people were sober. A few stops and hours later, we returned, and I fell asleep, exhausted.

I think I'll start something new: Quests of the Day, Adventures of the Day, and Noteworthy. Sort of a summary of each day. It's surprisingly difficult for me to be as analytical as I'd like, pay attention to as many details as I want, be informative, and stay concise. Brevity is only my forte in school assignments. I think what I'll do is wait until the final day in each place to do an analysis - a holistic evaluation, with specific details and literary depth. These other entries will be mere day-to-day accounts with minimal writer's analysis.

Quests of the Day: phone charger, backpack for Dad, (F)Oakleys

Adventure of the Day: walking out of duck restaurant and going back in, people in Mong Kok bazaar

Noteworthy: view of Hong Kong from the peak, looking up grades from the computer at the peak (and being very satisfied)

About 5/22:

Stayed in the room in the morning reading some of Atlas Shrugged while Dad and Jeff found the Vietnamese embassy. Very nice to catch up a little on rest. Went out to lunch on the other side of Hong Kong (we were actually looking for a huge electronics store there). $18 HK (about $2.50 US) for an ENORMOUS plate of rice, barbeque pork, and duck. It was really awesome. And we found the store, too, and that was really fascinating. It's incredible to me just how many people can be in such a small space. We ate at a really good Indian restaurant (we'll go back sometime). Jeff and I talked about God almost the entire time (correction: Jeff talked most of the time). Everything is so much cheaper than in the US, it's really surprising. At night, we went to see the light show downtown, which was very neat (each building has a lighting scheme. It's really neat to see. And over the water, it just looks pretty spectacular.

QoD: Speakers for Dad
AoD: Electronics store
Noteworthy: Delicious roast duck

About 5/23:

Today, we had breakfast very early (7:00am) and then went to the Vietnamese Embassy to apply for Visas. That done, we came back and got some pictures uploaded, ate lunch at a neat little noodle shop, and now am here typing up these entries. There's this really neat convention center here. I said earlier that the city is very vertical. What I love about the convention center are its size and its contrast to the rest of the city. The building is strikingly horizontal. The lines and contours and windows all run parallel to the water it overlooks, and perpendicular to the rest of the city. When I finish this entry, I'll look up the architect.

QoD: Visas from the Vietnamese Embassy
AoD: (none so far)
Noteworthy: Definitely the convention center.

A few more notes (to self, mostly): At least two mango drinks every day (less than $1 US each). "Copy Rolex?" Little to no PDA. People watching in a different culture. Need to buy clothes; cargos and tshirts don't quite fit in such a cosmopolitan place. We're all searching for something, but we have to discover what it is we seek. I'm discovering what I seek, hopefully the first step to finding it.

Hopefully one more update before we leave for Vietnam.
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chaskemp on

the chinese define efficiency in hk, don't they? in space/time/movement,etc. we were convinced that the country ran full tilt 24/7, perhaps on the standard three shifts, but no one talks about it! and the food is amazing and will be even more so in thailand. take those malaria meds! love, mom

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