I arrived in Hong Kong on Monday the 11th at around 1:30 in the morning and slept on a bench in the airport until about 7:00. After getting into the city, I went to the hostel I booked in Chungking Mansion. I love staying there when I go to HK. It has a certain seediness to it that for some reason appeals to me. My room was not ready, so I walked down Haiphong Street to Broadway and watched the new Star Wars movie. It was good, but didn’t quite catch up to the magic of the original for me. I slept about an hour and then went to Mongkok to look for shoes. Shoe Street did not have any shoes my size (11, 5E). Surprise, surprise. I did eat at one of my favorite restaurants though, Dimdimsum. On the way back to my hostel, I took care of my other business in HK, buying a phone. In the Broadway store at Tsim Sha Tsui, I bought my new Huawai Nexus 6p for 4088 HKD ($524). That is less than I would have paid for it in Beijing.
The next day I ate lunch at the Curry House in Chungking. The Indian boss there is a real cool guy, as is the turbaned fellow selling samosas further down. I love samosas. I crossed Stanley to see if the Space Museum was open. It is closed until March, so I went into the Cultural Center and purchased a ticket for a Cantonese musical – 太平山之疫. It was not until 7:30, so I went off to Jordan station to find some shoes. I walked around Temple Street without success. I had a decent massage from a very grabby, yet nice lady from Hebei. After that, I went to eat dinner at Ebenezer’s Kebabs and Pizzeria on Asheley Rd. This place was recommended by my friend Erin Wells from back in Beijing and it did not disappoint. I went to the local Watson’s for an insert to my shoes and was told by a nice pharmacist that it was difficult because “Chinese people have small feet.” This lady pretty much encapsulated my shoe hunting experiences in one sentence. I just went to the performance, which was spectacular. It was all in Cantonese, with English subtitles. The subtitles were almost superfluous, you could feel the emotions stemming from the performance.
Wednesday was my day to walk around Hong Kong Island. I know that HK has escalators, but I walked up the stairs to hit some calories. I walked up to a Louisiana restaurant recommended by my friend Rebecca. The catfish po-boy was decent, but obviously the chef from New Orleans had never eaten at Middendorf’s outside Manchac. The key lime pie was, however, magnifique. After lunch, I went to the Sun Yat-sen Museum. It is a really interesting place. It was an Edwardian mansion built by a native businessman associated with the British firm, Jardine & Matheson. They played a small note in my Master’s thesis, since they were involved in China’s early railway development and the opium trade. The family of the businessman later sold his house to the LDS Church, which used it for a meetinghouse for 30 or so years. In 1994, the City was given the property (in a land swap, if I remember correctly) and it became a museum. It is a beautiful house and makes a fine museum for the great Dr. Sun.
After going to the museum, I walked over to Hong Kong University. I talked to a person in the History Department as well as in the Chinese Department. The University strangely splits Qing Dynasty history, with the History Department covering modern history and the Chinese Department covering early Chinese history up to the middle of the Qing Dynasty. I went there to investigate the campus as I am thinking of pursuing a PhD there. I went back to the hostel early because walking all over those inclines killed my knees. It was pretty tough going up and down.
Thursday, I went over to the Temple to see my friend AJ, from Beijing. We met up and went to lunch. I then accompanied him to a business meeting in Kowloon. He was setting up a LLC or something. I mostly slept in a meeting room. After this, we separated. I went back to HK island to see meet up with my friend Rebecca and her husband, Jordan Baggs. It was a very stimulating dinner at this Vietnamese food place, BEP Vietnamese Kitchen. The food was great, but the company was much better. She had just come from a business trip to Singapore.
The next day, I took my flight back to Beijing.