Click the pix for larger picture
Kong does not
get up early. If you want to enjoy a
less frantic and crowded Hong
Kong, get out
on the streets around .
You can get a seat on the subway at sometimes. It’s not a good time to go shopping, though.
We had a quick trip to
It consisted of two days on a bus, two nights and one day in this
financial center of Asia. Hong Kong is expensive, fun, and crowded. There is always something new to do, and
never enough time to do it.
We ate a lot, drank a lot, and got some shopping done. We got a few gifts and got them mailed at one of
Hong Kong’s most excellent post offices. Chinese post offices are horrifyingly slow,
convoluted, and nigh impossible for a foreigner to negotiate without a native
assistant. Hong Kong post offices are just as easy to use as
their American counterparts, the staff are friendly and helpful, and your stuff
gets where it needs to go rather quickly.
A package will take about 10 days to get to its destination in the US.
If you mail something from China it apparently first gets sent to Mexico, where it languishes along with the rest
of the Mexican mail for however many weeks are deemed necessary. Or maybe not, but the Chinese postal service
seems to have a different mission from other postal systems in the world. It’s a secret of some sort, I think.
When various friends and colleagues found out we were headed to
Hong Kong, we were tasked with multiple missions. One friend wanted us to post some Christmas
cards. The rest gave us shopping
lists. Hong Kong has stuff that China doesn’t.
It also has stuff that China does have, but you have a better chance
of it being what is advertised on the packaging than if you get it in China.
One of the most popular items for Chinese people to request from Hong Kong is baby formula, and powdered milk. This is because a few years back, evil, low
life, scum sucking, sociopathic dairy merchants deliberately added melamine to
milk powder to make the crap they were selling appear to have enough protein to
make it actual milk. It caused deaths
and permanent kidney damage to lots of babies and children. Because of this, and many, many other
incidents of tainted, mislabeled, and bogus products, people don’t trust what
they get in China.
I have three colleagues who are pregnant, and they all requested prenatal powdered milk supplements. (Buying milk products in
Hong Kong and bringing them into China is actually a big business for people
living on border.) Another friend wanted
a traditional medicine for his blood.
It’s made in China, but he knows that the stuff he gets in Hong Kong is the real deal.
There are also products you can’t get in
We bought Doritos, Worcestershire sauce, basil and Dijon mustard for ourselves. We also purchased Cheddar cheese, but it only
got as far as the hotel room where it was devoured.
One of the least endearing aspects of this city are the touts in
These are people, mostly Indian men, who approach all Caucasians on the
sidewalk, shoving business cards and flyers in your face trying to get you to
use a certain tailor, buy a counterfeit watch, or fake designer bags. They also represent dive hotels, restaurants,
massage parlors, and any other business that wants to piss off white
pedestrians. They are mostly concentrated
in the areas of cheap hotels and flop houses.
Chunking Mansions is a place swarming with touts. It’s an old building stuffed with shops, money changers, and dive restaurants on the ground floor. The floors above are chock full of cheap hotels. These hotels may only take up a portion of a floor, and all are of the budget variety. The place swarms with Indians, Pakistanis, Africans, and various other ethnic folks. It has “atmosphere” and is a great place to experience first hand a feeling of being out of one’s comfort zone. You get the strong impression that you can procure all kinds of nefarious things there, or perhaps plot a coup. Nobody is friendly, even if you buy something from them, and glaring seems to be standard greeting for most. I’ve stayed there a couple of times. After the first stay, I believe I swore never to do so again, but managed to forget my promise to myself and tried another night. I remembered why I made that pledge. This trip we stayed in a non sketchy place.
We took a great boat ride around the harbor one night. Everyone should ride a boat in
especially at night during Christmas season.
I’m on the bus going home now, and I think we may be an hour or so from the city. I know this because the highway surface starts to get bumpy. Highway funds seem to have found their way somewhere other than their intended purpose.
If you ever make a trip to
getting your flight routed through Hong Kong. Ride a boat and stay in Chunking
Mansions. Eat great food and drink San
Miguels. Be rude to a tout.