Lunch was at Superstar Seafood Restaurant with Quiny, a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years and who had been living in Hong Kong for the past few. Superstar is on the 10th floor of the Food Forum in Times Square.
After a great lunch catching up on the times, I went boutique shopping in Kimberly Mall at Times Square, on Quiny’s recommendation. Bought a pretty black dress and skirt in under 20 minutes, before calling Winnie up for a change of shopping scenery.
Met up with Winnie, who expeditiously got me thinking about my fall business wardrobe at G2000. Even called her sister so that I could get an additional 20% discount on the $1000 HKD worth of clothing I was going to splurge on. The bill was under $800 HKD in the end: well done, personal shopper!
Fell in love with Mango, another store I had a field day in in Ocean Park (TST’s main shopping centre). Have Garland to thank this time for this jewel of a store. I fit nearly everything I tried on, and everything was gorgeous. If only I had discovered this place sooner. Well, I know where my dollars are going to go the next time I make the trip out to Asia.
We started to feel peckish after all the whirlwind shopping. Headed down to Jordan Station for some good ol’ wonton soup at Mak Mun Gay. They make their dumplings, broth, and noodles all from scratch, and you can watch them at work inside their open kitchen. Our feet enjoyed the respite from wandering around Kowloon while we decided where to go next.
Turns out that our next stop was the cafe next door! Australia Dairy Co is famous as an all-day breakfast eatery. Winnie is a big fan of the double-cooked custard and eggy toast, so that is what we tried. I’m lactose intolerant to a certain degree (though that normally doesn’t stop me from pigging out on dairy) but typically don’t advertise the fact. As I picked at my custard, Winnie discovered my condition and felt bad for forcing the custard upon me (and I reiterate, Winnie, that it was no problem at all!). The custard tasted a little like dessert tofu but with a denser flavour and a wobblier consistency. Decent, but maybe something to get accustomed to. The egg toast turned out to be the very same dish that the woman and child from the congee house had had for breakfast on Thursday. It tasted exactly how I expected it to taste: wonderbread with butter and scrambled egg. I am a really big fan of many forms of breakfast egg, but unless an egg scramble is toweringly high from being whipped to the max, scrambled eggs just don’t do it for me. Maybe I’m being too much of a food snob. Shrug.
I had been having email tag with my cousin’s roommate, Ian, for the past few days, as he and his family would also be in town on business. Remembered to try him at his hotel and managed to get a hold of him. After some quick planning, Winnie and I met him in the lobby of the Shangri-La and proceeded to walk through Eastern Kowloon and the Avenue of Stars on the way to view the daily 8pm light show by the harbour.
There were plenty of tourists already crushed together like sardines by the seawall’s edge, so we found a cafe with a patio on the walk and hunkered down with some alcohol and a pretty shady dish of cold, marinated chicken. Turned out that the light show was accompanied by fireworks too, so that was a bonus. Winnie oohed and aahed at the display and went for a closer look. Us Vancouverites remained seated at the table, unphased by the show, having been quite spoiled by the firework splendour that is the Vancouver Celebration of Light.
As the light show and fireworks ended, nature decided to put on a show of its own. A brilliantly purple bolt of lightning suddenly streaked through the sky as I was taking a shot of the cityline, and right in my lens’ field of view, too. Unfortunately, I hit the shutter a fraction of a second too late. The thunder rolled across the harbour soon after and the rain started pouring down. We quickly switched tables to one protected by a large umbrella and continued to watch the storm as it passed through the city. It was a gorgeous experience and trumped the harbour light show by a gazillion degrees. I will never again complain about summer thunderstorms…just about Winnipeg summer thunderstorms =)
The three of us lingered on the patio, trading stories and hearing about Ian’s fascinatingly sordid university life in Bangkok. As the hours waned, we parted ways with Winnie and Ian and I headed back to Hong Kong Island on the Star Ferry. The ferry was much shorter a trip than I expected. Only a few minutes to cross. It was neat to experience being out on the water at night, if only briefly.
Our next stop was to Wan Chai, where I truly got to see the seedy underbelly of Asian nightlife. Ian picked a go-go bar at random (Hawaii Club), where I wound up buying a $50 CAD drink for a Filipino woman codenamed Christina, that one can only call a sex trade worker. You can’t even pretend that she was just an exotic dancer. The person that targeted Ian was codenamed Karen (perhaps after discovering that my name was Karen?). The two proceeded to test the boundaries of decency on myself (nah-uh) and Ian (who was a little more willing) while the mama-san continued to get us to buy beer and buy them “drinks”.
All in all, a rainbow of experiences on my last night in Hong Kong.