Tuesday, July 25, 2006
There is a klatch of Chinese ladies chattering in the hall. I can hear them as I come foggily out of my nap. Then I realize what an inane observation that is. I'm in Hong Kong. Of Course there are Chinese ladies in the hall.
Let me take a moment to tip my hat to the Pacific Coffee Company. Yes, it's probably an evil international chain, but I had never seen it before coming to HK, and they have very good coffee and muffins and free internet. Pacific Coffee Company, where Billy Joel (Just the Way You Are) and Simply Red are the musical currency, though this is by no means unique - we heard these two brilliant artists all over the shopping districts of HK and Kowloon.
We rode the ferry over to HK island and found ourselves a tasty vegetarian restaurant for lunch, after being stymied twice by the non-existence of two other veg places we had the addresses for, from Lonely Planet and Happy Cow. Actually, the first had probably been knocked down as there was construction of a new hotel occuring on the site. The latter's building was undergoing remodeling, so it might still be in existence, but just wasn't accessible at the time. No matter. On Hennessey street smack between the two we found Tung Fong Siu Kee Yuen, claiming on their business card to have been established in 1918. Outta sight! The food was good, the menu large and available in English, the service good enough. I reviewed them over on Happy Cow.
After that, we located the really long series of escalators that climb HK island. I was under the mistaken impression that these moving staircases could bear one all the way to the top of Mt. Victoria - boy was I wrong. I did buy some cute clothes on the way up, though, for about a dollar apiece. The escalator-side city life is really interesting, and you wouldn't know it was there if you didn't know it was there. Tons of restaurants and shops and hawkers flank the escalators and there are lots of places to get off and browse.
We got to the top of the escalators and tried to walk up the rest of the mountain. Big mistake. Soon, tired and mosquito-bitten, we found our way to a bigger road and flagged down a cab, requesting the top of the island. Where there's a mall.
It was beautiful, though. Nice views of HK and Kowloon. After, we took the ropeway back down to the bottom and got on the subway back to our side of the water.
HK, I feel you, I hope you comprehend.