H is for….Hong Kong…
Yep, as one of my favourite cities, Hong Kong deserves its own post.
Given that I’m an astrologer, it probably should stand for horoscope, but you know what? I write enough about that over on the astro site. So Hong Kong it is.
I first went to Hong Kong accidentally.
I was approached by my boss on a Friday afternoon in early April 2008 and asked if I could fly out there on Monday to help out with something.
Could I what?
That week I had a deadline due for a Wellbeing Astrology article, I had essays due for the FAA Astrology Interpretation exam I was sitting, and our kitchen was getting ripped out that week so needed to be emptied out over the weekend.
I recall pulling out a suitcase to pack just as my boss called to let me know he was leaving his house to pick me up- he lived just 20 minutes away.
That night we arrived late, caught the airport train into the city, and then wandered the streets close to midnight. I was entranced.
Over the next couple of years, I project managed a few office relocations over there, so travelled over another few times- sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a week, once for two weeks over the Easter break.
I didn’t waste a minute- exploring the city in my worming walks before work, and late at night after the day was done.
Where possible, I added a day on here and there, and did some exploring- walking the city, cruising around on the double decker trams,
salivating over the window displays in shops where I’d not only never be able to afford the contents, but would never fit into the clothes, or have anywhere to wear the shoes.
I caught a bus down to Stanley,
a ferry to Macau,
and the tram up to Victoria Peak.
I watched the nightly laser show both from my harbour-view hotel room, and from the star ferry. I hired a bumboat in Aberdeen, and followed the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world.
I visited temples,
made wishes, shook fortune sticks,
and had my future told by a wizened old man outside the Jade market in Kowloon. Apparently I’ll be rich and famous with my pen (still waiting) and cry over a man. No kidding?
I saw a Panda,
and had my thong chewed by an escalator…not on the same day…
I explored the Ladies Market,
the goldfish market,
the flower market,
the bird market,
the jade market, the antiques market along Hollywood,
fresh food markets, and a fish market at Tai O where people still live in stilted houses.
I visited the world’s tallest seated bronze Buddha,
rode the spectacular Ngong Ping 360 cable car,
and watched the waves one the white sands of Cheung Sha beach.
I was there in a typhoon, in stinking hot summer weather when you feel the air and the pollution stick to every pore of your body, and also on clear, cold December days when it feels as though you can see forever.
I ate dumplings…everywhere…some amazing Cantonese food, claypot and hainanese chicken in street markets, vegetarian food at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island,
Portuguese tarts and jerky in Macau,
and watched a master carve an entire BBQ pig into a feast for a hungry office party in what seemed like a few short minutes.
Hong Kong- it’s more than just a shopping stopover.