Arrived at Hong Kong International Airport at 7am (midnight, UK time): an hour earlier than scheduled. That would usually be a good thing but not when you’ve got seven hours to kill until check in and, despite the Diazepam, you haven’t slept because some daemon child decided to spend the twelve hour flight kicking the back of the chair whilst screaming a series of random words, purely to annoy fellow passengers… what a darling. Rant over.
Onto the adventure…
After the 50 minute A11 bus journey, I hopped off – perky and peckish – to my first stop, which I’m ashamed to say was Starbucks. To my credit, I tried a ‘Green Tea something’… so it was kinda cultural. I spent a good couple of hours people-watching and by 9am the streets were heaving. Noticing all sorts of fashion trends, I felt inspired to go for a walk and check out the shops. As it happens, the only thing I felt confident purchasing was an umbrella. Pretty handy considering I stumbled upon HK in a freak monsoon season.
From there (‘there’ being Hennessey Road, Causeway Bay), I toodled my merry way down to Central. The two miles sapped the last of my dwindling energy so to prevent myself from dying, I decided to pop into the Tea Ware Museum (http://hk.art.museum/). Unfortunately, the museum was at the top of an almighty hill within the confines of beautiful Hong Kong Park. The consequence of which was that my intention to learn about tea diminished into a pathetic collapse on a wooden chair in front of a video in Cantonese, which I watched over and over and over again because it was on a life-saving loop, followed by fully fledged catatonia.
Needless to say, I didn’t walk back. My zombified corpse took a tram (a ‘must do’ in my travel guide). Thinking myself ever so clever, I got off at the wrong stop (of course!) and spent the next hour walking in circles until I found refuge in a McDonald’s. Sugar-levels low, it felt appropriate to indulge in a bit of filth. I bought a chicken sandwich, a spicy one. Big. Mistake. Upon putting pressure on the burger buns, a torrent of yellow oil spilled out of the questionable flesh into the packet. Nasty. Serves me right for going there in the first place. Honestly, 6,000 miles travelled for that first “meal”. Stupid girl, Jo.
To celebrate my survival of those sleep-deprived wonderings (by this point my brain thought it was 7am UK time, i.e. no sleep for 24 hours), I awarded myself a thoroughly deserved nap at YesInn Hostel, Causeway Bay (http://www.yesinn.com/cwb/e_yesinncwb_aboutus.html ). And what a nap it was. My little bed at the bottom of a triple-bunk-bed was so inviting. Luxury. (And I’m not even being sarcastic).
I woke up in time for dinner (‘big up’ to my body clock for its superb timing). Recent HK resident and very good friend, Tina, popped into YesInn with her family and together we trundled our way to a very Hong Kong restaurant… or café… or canteen… I’m not actually sure what the establishment would be entitled, or what it was called (something in Chinese)… but it was totally authentic. That I know. We ate crab, fish, muscles, pork, rice, vegetables… and probably other things… and drank tea while we gorged ourselves silly. Much yummier than McDonalds. And much more cultural.
From there, we went bed shopping (as one does), and after Tina purchased a rather comfy double, we meandered our way back through Time Square. There we said good night and parted ways.
The intention was to go to bed. But then I found out YesInn beers were only ten HK dollar (about 83p). So I bought one… two.. and ended up meeting a load of travellers on the roof bar terrace on floor ten. The stories they told of the places their lucky souls graced transported us into the early hours. Begrudgingly, I admitted defeat and allowed my brain to fall into HK time and float into a happy dream.