Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I'm ill.

The ever changing hot (outside), cold (inside) and getting wet again and again, and not sleeping enough has given me a nasty cold that's been developing well since last night.

Anyway, snuffles, etc aside: this morning I met up with Miranda again and we went to City Hall for dim sum. Spent a couple of hours there eating and nattering and enjoying... It's a massive place with huge round lights made up chandelier style, but not hanging down, and lots of red and gold and NO WINDOWS. We didn't know if they were renovating or if it's a permanent change, but covering where the windows should be were large pictures depicting the view!

From there I went and got the tram up to the top of Victoria Peak. Trams have been running this route for over a hundred years and it's so steep it is amazing the thing manages to get up, in my opinion! You could certainly feel the pressure in your ears and back as it tried to struggle up the large gradient. Looking out the windows, the buildings appeared to be sitting at a 45 degree angle or so. Odd. Getting to the top, the view wasn't as clear as it could have been but was still certainly worth having gone up for, and the on-off rain was off at that point, so even better. I decided to walk away from the lingering crowds and went for a wander that I thought would take me right the way around the peak, eventually. It was a lovely walk, until I got confused and couldn't work out which direction to head in or which of two roads to take. Luckily a cab went past, so I got it back around to the tram station and had a wander around there.

After taking the tram back down, I was feeling pretty crap, so all of my various ideas - to go to Aberdeen, to Causeway Bay, etc just sort of evaporated and I headed into the Botanical Gardens and Zoological Park - or whatever it's called and spent a couple of hours wandering around in there not looking at any green things and sweating my way around looking at caged things. Yes, I know... but let's not go there. I've not been near a zoo in about 20 years. Saw lots of birds, a heap of different primates and a very bored looking 6 foot python.

Then, I decided to take one of the narrow double decker trams - just for the hell of it. I have no idea where it went - West Point, or something - but I just wanted to go on one of the trams and for 2 HK dollars (about 30 pence) it was worth it, then I hopped onto another one and returned to where I'd started from!

Miranda had mentioned (naughty Miranda) there was a food hall / deli with lots of English things in it. I had to go and check it out and must have looked pretty silly, walking around gasping at the sight of foods and drinks I've not seen in nearly a year. I wanted to tell someone, but resisted, thankfully. I saw quite a few of the things I've periodically missed and saw a bottle of PIMMS. I picked it up and put it down about half a dozen times before deciding I couldn't really justify the price. Tomorrow is another day though, and I've promised myself that if I do well buying from Marks and Spencers (clothes) that I might treat myself... but then I'll get frustrated at not being able to find the right lemonade in Tokyo!

Anyhoo, I bought olive bread, olives, hummous, walkers crisps and a couple of deli salads and had a little picnic in my bedroom. Very happy. Though feeling a little sick now.

That deli alone ('Olivers', in the big building opposite HSBC by Central Station at the side of Statue Square) could make me consider moving to Hong Kong!

I like Hong Kong. The people may be much (much) louder and less stylish than Tokyoites, and the city may not be as sanitized (how refreshing!) and is certainly more overrun with tourists (but I guess so are the touristy areas of Tokyo) but it just has a nice feel to it. A nice buzz. But so did Taiwan.

I think the main thing is that I'm enjoying the whole Asia experience at the almost one year point.


Blogger machiruda said...

Sorry to hear you're not feeling that well but it sounds as if you are enjoying HK despite the cold and humid drizzle. Hong Kong is interesting huh? It came across as much more 'cosmopolitan' than Tokyo to me, but that might also have had to do with the Sevens on at that time!
Are you going to Macau? Still disappointed that I couldn't last year, would love to hear what you think of it.

9:58 pm

Blogger Jo said...

I didn't make it to Macau, or half the places I'd originally intended. I think Hong Kong is a bit of a blend of Tokyo and Taiwan to be honest.

It wasn't as friendly as Taiwan or as polite as Tokyo, but it had a lovely 'edge' to it.

Plus it had lots of English brands on sale there.

7:03 pm


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