Everyone who loves Hong Kong: you're right
Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
19Trip End Nov 20, 2007
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The hotel, the Lee Garden somethingorother, is atmosphere challenged, as I knew when I made the reservation. The room was minute-just wide enough for a bed-and the bathroom and the shower are one, which lets you put your shampoo conveniently on the toilet seat. Total size: less than 75 square feet. Then again, it's a five-minute walk to Kowloon Park, a 15-minute walk to the Star Ferry terminal, and a two-minute walk to at least two bakeries. Oh, and it's clean and inexpensive. Before I left, I gave them a deposit for my return trip. Hey, I'm traveling alone. Romantic is not important. ;-)
My standard method for avoiding jet lag on really long trips across many time zones didn't work. I usually just stay up, save for a quick nap or two on the plane, and crash after being awake for 30 hours or so. This time I was up for maybe 27 hours, and I was plenty tired enough when I went to bed at midnight in Hong Kong, but as the guy next to me on the flight from Seattle to Tokyo warned me, I woke up early the next morning, and I continue to fight a weird sleeping schedule even now, four or five days later (depending on how you count the day lost to the International Date Line).
"Hong Kong" doesn't have as many syllables as "Chicago," and I'm not Frank Sinatra, but it's still my kind of town. Almost everyone I've spoken with who has been to Hong Kong counts it as among their favorite cities, and I now understand why. As with any big city, the hubbub would wear me down eventually, but as a place to get an adrenaline fix, it beats Chicago or Manhattan: more dense, more crowded, more places to get lost, more weird food, and I haven't even left lower Kowloon yet. (Kowloon is attached to the mainland. Hong Kong island is directly south of Kowloon.) I've already learned that eating filleted, curried garoupa (grouper?) with chopsticks is not as easy as using a fork; that red bean paste is an acceptable substitute for chocolate in a breakfast pastry (note that I didn't say preferable, just acceptable); that the Hong Kong skyline has more neon, as well as more-creative neon, than Times Square; and that almost every alley, however narrow (some just wide enough for two people to pass), goes through to someplace I haven't seen yet. Hong Kong is where I'm finishing out my vacation, and I can hardly wait to get back here for another ten days of adventure.