Crazy Xmas & Street hotpot

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

This morning is a fairly painful start, but I make it to Leon’s for 12 after a quick shower.  We sit and chat, well play on our laptops being very antisocial actually! I am meeting Elaine this afternoon to go to the recently opened company-shop on HK island. I need to finish getting ready so dash off. Ready and on my way to the MTR station, I bump into Leon again who is off to Lantau island to the beach! So funny! The weather is perfect for the beach today though, quite hot. I’m quite envious! We’re halfway going in the same direction, so get the Tube together. We bid adieu in Nam Cheong and head our separate ways, arranging to meet for dinner back in Tsuen Wan. It’s so nice that I’ve met Leon and Ben. They’re such nice guys, even lending me their spare key when they head back to Mainland so I can use their internet! Amazing.
I get lost, now more common than not, on the 3-train journey to meet Elaine and am late, again. Wan Chai is incredible, the perfect shopping-image of HK. We find the shop, it’s very exciting to see the company’s stuff alongside famous brands. Really great for the company!
We go on to Causeway Bay. I’ve read about this place in my guidebook, incredible for shopping… they didn’t fabricate that at all! I’m being really well-behaved though, on a very tight budget on the run up to my Christmas holiday! Plus, all the clothes here are for winter, long sleeves, knit and fur isn’t really going to help me on the beach, plus it’s still so hot here! I can’t imagine wearing a sweater for a long time! We go to Times square for coffee, there’s a really, what’s a polite way to say this… Vibrant exhibition on outside the Mall entrance called ‘Crazy Xmas’… it was pretty surreal to say the least! Continuing through into the basin of the mall where Santa sat below a large cartoon character with a revolving head… VERY surreal!
We stopped for coffee in Starbucks… Oh how I missed you!!! We talk for hours about work and, well, everything! I love spending time with Elaine. She’s so easy to get on with. I’m planning a Christmas party for some girls in work next weekend, so go to Marks and Spencers to but some party food. THE most expensive mince pies in the world! I have never paid 4.50 for things I cannot eat before either! C’est la vie, I’m hoping they will enjoy them! We go to a small market selling the shiniest jewellery in the world, and jersey in every way, shape and form. It was quite something!
From here we go back to Kowloon side, Tsim Sha Tsui, specifically H&M, again! And have a nice long look around. Okay, so I got two tops for holiday, but they were cheap as and mixable, so an investment really! Somehow it’s gotten to 6:30pm, and I’ve arranged to meet the French guys for dinner, so Elaine leaves me at the station and I head back.
On the way I get a call from Leon to say he’s on his way back from the beach and do I fancy staying in for dinner, sounds ideal! So I get back to the apartment and go round to see Benjamin who’s already back from a day’s rock climbing in Kowloon. When Leon arrives back we decide on going out for a street ‘hotpot’. I have never done this, so should be quite exciting! A real local way of dining out. I’m feeling connotations of ’Lancashire hotpot’, so not really feeling it. But it’s a first time so I’ll give it a go! We head out to a local eatery, well there were like 3 restaurants, all with combined seating outside, so I guess they club together to serve you!  It’s a bit overwhelming, luckily Leon has a good grasp of Cantonese when it comes to ordering food, so orders whilst Benjamin and I sit in silenced awe! We get chicken, beef brisket, lettuce, watercress, garlic, mushrooms and noodles. The waiter puts a gas stove on your table, with a pot of water flavoured with root vegetables, and you add as you please! It’s so good, healthy and nice to sit and chat whilst your food cooks in front of you.
We have a few beers with our dinner, now my third night. I need a break! After eating way too much, it’s late so we head off back to the apartment. Leon and I exchange travel photos and a shared passion to discover more of the world. He’s had an incredible life, studying for a year in HK before moving out here to work 6months ago. But all the travelling he’s done - wow! He’s instilled a desire in me to see more of China. They’re both heading back to Mainland tomorrow for work, leaving their spare key with me to use their internet - so lovely of them!! So, I bid a fond farewell. I won’t be back until Chinese New Year now, so will see them next year! Such a shame I can’ spend more time here. They’re so much fun to spend time with, just so easy to talk to and we have a great laugh!
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