The Beijing tour was fairly good, but at one point they dropped us off at a ceramics factory in the middle of the countryside. After a good twenty minutes of seeing how ceramics are made, we were led to a large shop which was empty of customers, but with around ten staff who were there to entice us to part with our holiday cash.
The same thing happened on the Hong Kong tour. At one point it was the fabulous Victoria Peak, and then we found ourselves watching someone polish jewellery at the back of a warehouse. Then we ended up in a large jewellery shop and were offered a ‘considerable 30% off jewellery” for guided tour customers only.
At least they gave us free coffee.
Our friendly Sikh friend agreed to let us have a photo together. It’s a little hard to see, but his moustache sits horizontally in a very well-styled manner. Click the photo to enlarge. One of the ladies on the tour asked him if he ‘uses anything to make it stand up like that’. He said yes, he uses hair gel.
The response I really wanted to hear was “No, actually it does that by itself.”
I like Hong Kong taxis. They’re all an identical model of a red 1980’s Toyota, and there must be literally thousands of them in the city.
One of the old travelling phobias that many people have is related to having untrustworthy taxi drivers. We’ve probably been taken along the more scenic route to a destination a couple of times, but overall have been fairly lucky.
Thank you, fish ball lady.
One of my latest hobbies is to get my camera when Heather is busy looking through something, like her handbag or wallet. Then I say “Hey, hunni”, and when she looks up, I take a photo of her. Then I have a good giggle at her inquisitive facial expressions.
This dish is called char kway teow. There are as many recipe variations as there are ways to spell it, but the basics are a brown sauce and flat white noodles. If the pan is hot enough, a pleasantly subtle smokey flavour should permeate the dish. It was one of our most popular menu items back at Casuarina, and I’ve wok-fried this particular dish probably more than one thousand times.
We also ordered an eggplant hot-pot and some garlic-fried gai lan. Gai lan is one of the staple greens in Chinese cooking and tastes best fried with garlic, or steamed with oyster sauce. These dishes cost us around $4 each.
An interesting local peculiarity of walking the streets of Hong Kong is that you’ll often feel a drop of water hit you from time to time. Large, intermittent drops, that are too infrequent to be rain.
They come from people’s laundry that are hung up outside their apartments. Real estate is expensive and many apartments are too small to have an area for drying clothes. So the locals just hang them outside their windows. I wonder how many shirts have been lost in the wind to the trampling crowds below.
That menu was from this lounge bar, which was similar to the disappearing ‘board game cafes’ of Korea. The idea is that you play a selection of board games while you enjoy some drinks and food. Heather and I played Chinese Checkers. It had been a good decade since I last played this game, and it was her first time ever.
Heather is one of those people who take five minutes to make a move. It’s a cunning strategy to bore the opponent into submission.
During our stay in Hong Kong, we were at the Stanford Hotel in Kowloon. It was around US$100 per night and overall quite good. The service was fast and friendly, and in particular the concierge was very helpful to us. The room was a little small, but it’s in a good location and we’d stay here again.
And to cap off this post are the subway escalators of Hong Kong, which are the fastest ones I’ve seen. They’re not irresponsibly fast, but you do get on them and think “Woah, these are a little different”. One day I’ll post a video of the Seoul National University subway escalators, which are probably the slowest in the world. You can receive a phone call at the bottom and be finished by the time you’ve reached the top. And it only moves you from B1 to ground floor.
Anyway, wifey is getting a little bored waiting for me to finish this Sunday blogpost, so that’s all from me. See you in a couple of days.