Tuesday, 17 April 2012

hkg: another great place. srsly.

OH YEAH, HONG KONG HAPPENED earlier this year. 

Far out, you guys.  Hong Kong. 

I think I was pretty wiped after the emotionalstravaganza of the wedding and saying goodbye to family and friends in the days following.  I mean, I do thrive on a bit of drama and attention but I would not characterise myself as someone in touch with her feelings generally, and I certainly don't do a shit-ton of navel gazing regarding my familial relationships.  The wedding forced quite a bit of that (in a good way!  good way!) but it left me feeling drained.  And then I got on a plane for 11 hours and arrived in Hong Kong.  My mind got blown.

P had sorted out how we were going to get into town and to our hotel prior to our arrival.  Normally we roll out of customs, work out if a bus will be OK and then fight over how to best get to our destination.  This time P knew which bus we should be taking and where we should get off, so arrival wasn't too stressful.  It was early morning, so not much was happening in the streets.  It was exciting seeing high rises from the moment we hit the road on Lantau - and seeing a lot more green space than we'd expected.  Hillsides, covered in green. 

We dropped our bags at the hotel, and scarpered to a Tea House, recommended to us by one Tony Bourdain, P's personal hero.  Hardly a personal recommendation, if you're familiar with Mr Bourdain, but we take his advice and I can't recall ever being disappointed. 

The Tea House was awesome.  Clinking, yelling, competition for the best steamed goodies as they rolled out of the kitchen.  We sat with a couple of older men and a younger guy with a giant roll of carpet (who we later recognised encamped in the bottom of the HSBC building as part of Occupy Hong Kong).  After a fabulous but somewhat meaty meal (I always feel that way after dim sum/yum cha - maybe its because I prefer the dumpling goodies to the steamed veg…) we rolled back onto the street and OMG town had WOKEN UP. 

People everywhere, slurping bowls of congee (tried and didn't mind it, but don't think I could handle a rice based breakfast every day), doing their own thing on the streets (unlike NYC, where people tend to move at the same fast pace in the same direction, the HK crowd go at their own pace their own way), talking talking talking!  I was struck by how much talking was going down.  We soaked in the vibe and tried to get our bearings.

That afternoon's activity was a trip to the New Territories to visit a BBQ restaurant and a local market.  The local market was fascinating.  Actually, you could probably categorise most of Hong Kong that way for me.  Different everything: odours, sights, sounds - every travel cliché you can think of, plz to apply here.  I was compelled by the frogs in baskets and fingers being poked into everything to check the freshness.  The H1N1 posters on the wall (advice on handwashing and containment, I think) were mildly disconcerting (particularly given I'd watched Contagion on the plane) but it was a great experience. 

I could probably talk for hours on end about the gloriousness of the roast goose with noodle soup.  Unbelievable.  But I won't because that's obnoxious and I do too much food-porny crap on here anyway.  So that pretty much cuts short the rest of my HK recollections - I ate more things, saw more things, overloaded my senses.  But I didn't shop at all this trip; too short, too much to eat, too wearing on P's patience.  Astounded at my self-control, frankly. 

I'll have to go back.  Definitely. 

[PS Inclusion of photos recently has been lacking, I know.  More to come hopefully, and I'll work on the quality, I promise!]

[PPS Inclusion of quality writing might be quite nice too, I'm sure.  I've just re-read this again and it's sadly lacking but OH WELL THEM'S THE BREAKS.  Totes lazy round these parts...a work in progress].

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