Thursday, July 07, 2005

i'm back!

i thought i was going to sleep but after napping on the plane back, i'm now very wide awake. have unpacked, brought all my junk upstairs and am even more awake. so. hongkong was a fun trip, with kang's "ohman" exclamations and attempt at canto, and her craving for korean food, daph's ability to laugh at nothing and yoke's tolerance and (relatively) good sense of direction. we went crazy taking photos, eating whatever, and walking around trying to find good bargains.

10 things i can remember about hongkong at 230am.

1. hongkong is the land of dripping water. the first thing i noticed is that kowloon is really chock-full of neon signboards and you have to pay attention to where you walk and try to avoid being dripped on by goodness knows what. the pollution is quite bad too, and it's probably partly due to the neon lights. oh no. AND gah, our hotel was under MAJOR renovation, and we actually mistook it for a construction site when the bus dropped us off on the first day. the lights went out once, the tv didn't work and the toilet door can do acrobatics and still not manage to shut. oh yes, our view was fantastic - scaffolding and dilapidated buildings all round.

2. the shopping is a bit weird. though they have plenty of shops, there was nothing much i could buy. the high range things were unaffordable, and the rest were either not my type, not my size, or of really poor quality. boy do they have weird sizes, the smallest small falls off me in some stores, and in others they have a total of two sizes i.e. small and medium. for ALL the clothes. wth. but in the end: 7 cheap shirts, 2 bags, and 1 pair of fake (but comfy) birkenstock sandals. i realised that most of the things were bought out of anger at not having bought anything fantastic.

3. our shopping trip became a walking trip. so we ended up having a lot of sitting-down-to-recover sessions. we visited most teahouses/coffee outlets in most major shopping malls. the 3 most common shops we encountered were watson's, giordano/baleno and macdonalds. there's also a lot of 2% shops. their mc cafe is very well established and the whole world seems to congregate at macs whenever we need to find a place to rest our legs >.<

4. the MTR! is amazing. had almost no problems getting around and only took a cab thrice (very good for kang's standard haha) we took photos at every station we visited and had a lot of fun people watching/spying, and making fun of people. there really are strange people in the trains, and school children are everywhere at every time of the day. the gap between the train and the platform's really big though, and i spotted a lot of shoes that had fallen on to the tracks haha.

5. eating. is a good way to relieve boredom, hunger, and to fill the void from failing to have a successful shopping trip. it's really true that hongkong has good food, even though you can find a lot of the same things in singapore too (esp crystal jade). we had cheap and yummy dim sum, jap food, and macs. i think the best meals were the free breakfast me and yoke got on the 2nd day, my parents' dinner treat, and the dimsum lunch with bad service on the 1st day. oh and the mango desserts! they are MAD about mangoes, mad i tell you.

6. service is really kind of an illusion there. especially restaurants, the people are always very irritated and grumpy when it comes to us, and perhaps the language barrier just aggravates it. none of us could really speak cantonese (unless you count anyhow saying random words in a hongkong accent) BUT...

7. hongkongers are very amused when i ask them for help deciding which colour looks better, or which shirt is nicer etc. the shop keepers are VERY enthusiastic and keep talking about their discounts and promotions - i had no choice but to smile and nod but it got really terrible when we walked into one shop and at least 3 girls started talking in high pitched, nasal voices *shudders* it reminds me of a very distorted japan, where the girls all speak in "cute" voices. speaking of shopping places, the shopping malls are humongous (apm, ifc, langham place, times square) and hongkongers seem to like buildiing really long escalators. and and there are practically NO fitting rooms in smaller shops, and it's not only cos of the space restraints. it was quite hard to buy good clothes that way but we still managed.

8. some people are very pushy. we went to the peak and almost fell in the tram ride up cos of lack of seats. i blame the poor crowd control skills, as well as the elderly tourists unaabashedly pushing us about and running to chope places for their entire extended family even though they were at the back of the queue. i was gonna say i'm exaggerating, but looking back on how rudely we were shoved and bullied, i'm really not. hehe so on our way down, we weasled our way to the front and got seats! even so, there was a tense situation between an old lady's arm and daph hahahaha.

9. there are a lot of strangely dressed people. hongkongers have a weird style of dressing, like a cross bewteen japteenager and streetwear. okay, not counting the prostitutes we so rudely disturbed (we were rushing about at the back alley of temple street cos we got sick of the stalls with all the things we had no mood to buy. this woman was scowling, but maybe it's not cos of me la) okay enough digressing. yes they have very off colour coordination, and don't seem to care. maybe it'll be trendy soon. they also have a penchant for expensive clothes/footwear; after finding out exactly how Fake ours were, we started seeing a large majority of the population wearing Real birkenstocks.

10. a fool and his money are soon parted. haha i got conned, pretty easily, by this fortune teller (we were at temple street, kang suggested it and i was eager to get into the hongkong mood) yup so i will get married after i'm 26, have 2 boys and a girl, and my husband will love me a lot. if this doesn't happen, yoke has her name card and we will go look for her to complain HAHA.

what a great experience, i really love singapore now. oh dear. no la, i had a great time and when disneyland opens maybe i'll go again, this time i'll go when there's better weather and i have more money, and a better figure.

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