Lost in Translation, and also in Causeway Bay - Tactical Ninja
Jan. 17th, 2011
12:46 am - Lost in Translation, and also in Causeway Bay
After yesterday's exertions, neither of us felt much like doing anything too strenuous today. I had also woken up at 3am again - seems that while my brain knows I've switched timezones, my bladder doesn't. *hrmph* Anyway, so we did what any self respecting folks ought to do on a Sunday and stayed in bed till lunchtime. However, I've been issued a challenge so eventually we had to get up.
The challenge is to find the most golden thing in Hong Kong. Yes, I know about the buddha, but that's on Lantau Island and the chances of me getting out there are fairly slim. Also, tourist trap ahoy. I'm more interested in day-to-day golden stuff. So, instead of a buddha, have something that folks truly worship:
Chocolate! Chinese New Year is coming up, and this year's the year of the Rabbit. I'm not sure if there's something to do with eggs in the New Year or if this is a result of Hong Kong's East/West fusion, but in the supermarket there's this mountain of gold-wrapped chocolate eggs with a rabbit on top. That's some serious chocolate. For perspective, that rabbit is sitting higher than my head on that stack of eggs.
Also in the supermarket I discovered that 200g of espresso-ground coffee is about $15NZ(unless it's from Japan, then it's $25). And they sell disposable underwear. And we also found packets of dried makings for sharks fin soup, which I was tempted to try but perhaps should wait until we're in a non-share house since it seems like a smelly sort of thing to cook. They also had products from New Zealand that you don't find on NZ supermarket shelves. The beef, disappointingly, was from Australia. And about twice as expensive as in NZ.
After the supermarket we were tired so needed a rest and more coffee, interspersed with Surprise! Skype call from Happy and Tieke, who were pixellated and tired and have finished their floor. Yay! Then we went to the park.
Victoria Park, at 19 hectares, is the biggest park in Hong Kong, and it's about 10 minutes' slow shuffle through the throng from here. Since it was Sunday, every person and their dog were having a picnic. Well, at least all the muslims* and teenagers were. It was kind of like Brighton Beach, with everyone staking out their spot with a blanket, about a foot apart, even on the pathways, and determinedly enjoying themselves.
The teenagers were doing what teenagers do, hanging out in groups looking sullen until they thought nobody was looking, then being happy and exuberant. The teenager uniform here seems to consist of baggy cargo-type jeans with moon boots and a hoody that comes down below the bumline. It has the effect of making them all look like their legs are about a foot long. Also, big hair that looks like it comes straight out of a K-pop video. Not a pair of skinny jeans or ironic glasses/dress jacket/trilby hat combo in sight.
We followed the sound of taiko drumming but never actually found the drummers. What we did find was this. Obligatory tourist shot to follow:
Junks! I'm pretty sure that the face on that one to the right is a very young Johnny Depp. Across the water is Kowloon on the Chinese mainland, somewhere within which is Joel's work. Also if you look carefully you can see hills in the background, but it's smog-o-rama around here so everything's a bit faded out. My eyes are a bit itchy and I have a slight headache which I think are from breathing the pollution.
Then we decided to see a movie. We saw The Tourist which had a slightly older Johnny Depp and a fun plot, and Chinese subtitles. There was one bit where there's a play on the words 'ravishing' and 'ravenous' and we were the only ones who laughed. I guess puns don't translate well into Chinese.
And since our day at the park had turned into a date, we decided dinner with our movie was appropriate** - Taiwanese this time. I have already lost track of how many things I've eaten that I don't really even know what they are. Here is a picture of the minimalist decor and a ceramic deer with soft anime eyes eating Joel's head:
None of the frames on the walls had any pictures in. And here's a photo of a shiny thing that was on the ceiling of the movie theatre lobby, which I could replicate very easily for Kiwiburn:
* I think they were muslims - all the women had head coverings and I don't know of any other group of people who dress like that.
** Yes, eating out is the thing here - this flat has a kitchen sort of, but there's no bench space at all and cooking facilities include a microwave and one element. It works out simpler and cheaper to eat out.
Tomorrow is a work day so I will be spending some time being all academicky and doing my course readings, and then my challenge is to find my way to Joel's work by myself without getting lost in the endless mall-mazes and ending up in the wrong instance. We shall be checking out the night markets. I am excited but I also fear the crowds a bit. I feel very safe here, in that I don't have the watchful vibe I had in South Africa and am not concerned about walking down the street alone, but SO.MANY.PEOPLE. It would be easy to get carried away on the tide of folks and end up completely lost.
I am idly contemplating sneaking into the university library (the university is next to Joel's work) and seeing what they have on their shelves about the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. But to be honest, I don't think I could sneak anywhere here.
Right, brushie brushie time.. my scar is liking this climate and has come up nice and red. And itchy. It's not infected but secondary healing is taking place and it feels tight and did I mention itchy?