Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hong Kong

...the top half of the building...
We took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong today.

The journey is about 5 minutes.

The ferry goes as fast as a well paddled canoe.

We emptied our pockets of change, trying to find enough money to get on the ferry: $2.50 HKD each way. That is the equivalent of $.40 a ride for the Upper Deck. The lower deck is cheaper. “Did we ride first class when we were here ten years ago, Greg?” Neither could remember.
... the bottom half of the building ...
... I couldn't get it all in one frame ...
The walk over the foot bridge to the city, proper took us past a construction site.

We leaned over the rail and watched a long time.

Wyona spotted a digger, not at ground level, but one at the bottom of the excavation. Greg watched an 18 wheeler taking earth away from the construction site. He was curious as to why all of the wheels were washed before the machine went out onto the road.
... Not the Hong Kong I remember ...
“This is not the Hong Kong I knew,” he said.

The shopping consisted of Armani, Dior, Cardin ... all of the big French and Italian designers.

I won’t say that the windows were not breath-taking. We had shopped a bit at Harbour City, Kowloon before we left. The Star Emporium, which Wyona and Greg remembered from the past, is not up-scale. I stopped to see the jewellery in a window, where the sign in its bottom left corner said, and “Sorry. We do not sell zircons or silver.” Whoops to anyone who wants silver or something that looks like a diamond, flashes like a diamond, sparkles like a diamond ... but is a zircon.
... China, always under construction ...

Greg stayed in Hong Kong.

“Don’t hurry home to join us for dinner. We will probably just eat the fruit in our room. Enjoy yourself wandering the streets of Hong Kong to the very last minute,” Wyona said as we left him, turning ourselves back to the ferry.

She has a good sense of when to turn back. I want to go on with Greg, but I know that I can’t do 18 hours straight with no rest. Greg stopped to take out a map and give us detailed instructions as to how to get home. We both listened, for walking the streets has been easier when he is out in front.
In Chna this is smog in the air
In Dubai it would be sand in the air

“Oh no,” Wyona said later. “We are half way beneath the underpass that leads to the subway, just the way Greg told us not to go. Oh well, at least we know where we are. Grab the map and let’s make some corrections. He never needs to know how we failed. New route -- down Salisbury, up Handkow, across Peking and up Lock Street,” she murmured. “How could we have followed so exactly the very route he told us to avoid?”
We came home to rest, something she got none of yesterday.

We want to go back to the equivalent of the Chinese Five and Dime tonight where there is stuff piled in all of the isles, good hanging on high hooks from the ceilings, shelves partitioned and then crowded with merchandise still in boxes – no high end designers for us.

Not even looking at anything as low as zircons or silver. Tonight we are going right to the bottom.
... a double decker bus goes one way ...
This can only be matched by yesterday’s adventure at the Temple Market. 

For the best purchase of the night, Wyona found the lazer light she had been admiring in London – one similar to the mirror ball. The best price at the front of the market was $60. By the time she got to the end of the market, she found the same model for $20. Now that was fun.

... a second double decker ...
I even loved it when the rain started to fall. 11:30 pm and Greg said, “Let’s get out of the rain and take a taxi home.” Every empty taxi window that rolled down for him rolled right back up.

... images of buildings in buildings ...

 “What is wrong?”, Wyona asked.

“They won’t take us. They want fares that are going to the Hong Kong side and we are only a few blocks away.”

So we ran in the rain, me just a few feet behind them – which is why my pedometer finally measured 8,524 steps last night. If our hotel had been a little further away, I would have made it to my 10,000 step daily goal.



  1. I wanted to take a trolley ride on one of those trolleys but my foot was hurting so I opted to go home. The Hong Kong on the 1970's is gone.

  2. This is great. i love your pedometer's ability to tell its own tale!

  3. I am with all of you in my head and I write a thesis about other people's travels. Give me local markets any day over high priced 'fashion'.

  4. Re your love of the local markets, Tonia. Wyona and I don't have a name for that small store that is packed full of what Greg calls stuff. "I found a store full of stuff for you," he says to her -- not calling it junk as many people would.

    Last night Wyona bought eight tiny cloth silk pouches that close with an unusual clasp. The material runs along two tracks that look like gold paper clips and then snaps with the face of an animal. Inside a person could put one wrapped candy, like a caramel. The package of eight had to go in her wicker basket of stuff she wanted to buy -- usually she adds that it is for the little girls -- the ones who come to their grandmother's place to play. Now how is that for fun at the market!

  5. Another comment on the local markets from me.

    Yesterday in those first waking moments, when I often begin to worry about something, my biggest fear was how I was going to get a chance to taste a plate full of those oyster balls in the Harbour City Food Court. Both Wyona and Greg told me they were out on sharing with respect to those.

    This morning I woke up thinking about the local markets. Practising my seven times table. I am good up to 77, so I was practising 84, 91 and 98, so that I would know what it is that, times sevens, is good for 12's, 13's and 14's. How is that for bringing the desire to be good in the market home with me. I saw a purse yesterday. It was $99 HKD and it took me a while to do my math to see what the value was in Canadian money.

    What a wonderful feeling it is to have hundred dollar bills in my wallet. How unusual to know that each represents only $14.

    Anway, I love the markets and the sevens times table.



  6. Rebecca:

    About the pedometer. 5,840 steps the day before yesterday. Last night I check just before I went to bed. We had gone to Hong Kong and Wyona and I had shopped the local streets from 7 pm to midnight. 52,800 steps. Now it makes sense why she had to turn around and come home in Hong Kong because her feet were hurting. And it makes sense why I was saying, yes, I can stay out longer, but don't ask me to lead the way or to do any math.

    She had blamed our tiredness on the fact that we are growing old. I thought the fatigue was still about jet lag. But the pedometer does not lie. It was about our 58,000 steps.