I get up at sunrise because I can’t bear to close my hotel room curtains.
I put on some pants on and went to the hotel breakfast buffet. This is my first plate; the second plate had fruit, cheese, and salmon. Tomorrow I’m just going to fill my plate with salmon, it’s my last day!
I had lunch plans with a friend of mine, so I didn’t want to stray too far on my morning explore, so I found the Mid-Levels Travelator, the 中環至半山自動扶梯. So apparently the city… built something to help the people… get around town… with something OTHER THAN A CAR. Amazing. It’s a series of escalators up a residential hill, but iin the narrow streets up there are tons of bars, restaurants, and cafes. It’s really pretty cool.
From 6am to 10am they run the escalators downhill, so people living up the hill can get to work in Central. Around 10:30 they complete the big direction switch, so yokels like me can go up and get lost. The photos below are right before the switch.
You get a pretty good view of the streets below. Just like in the movies, the narrow streets are crowded with colorful signs. Notice, though, that the streets are immaculate and there are no aerial cables or wires for telephone, electricity, cable tv, or whatever.
I started my journey up the hill around 10am and at 11am I panicked a little becuase I didn’t want to be late to meet my friend back at Central. It was a hot day but it was fun taking the escalators up. On the way down I realized that the hill is STEEP and I was worried about my ankles… which held up just fine, by the way.
By the time I got back down to Queen’s Road I had sweat through my shirt, so I popped into a luxury shopping mall and parked at a Starbucks. My friend CS met me soon after.
We went to Crystal Jade in the IFC Mall, and the 小籠包 soup dumplings were so, so good. Way better than DTF, for all of you that know that I hate that place. CS had me read the English version of the crazy menu copy. On one hand, why didn’t they get an English speaker to fix it? On the other hand, it’s awesome just as it is, because crazy.
We had coffee and talked about travel, Asia, Italian moms, and books. As he was about to go back to work, I said, “You know I’m going to take a selfie…”
“What,” he asked, “is this like 2014 or something?”
“Come on,” I said, “I’m on vacation!”
CS recommended I take a star ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui and walk up Nathan Road, exploring. Which is what I did! But I also took a one hour tourist ferry through the harbor, which was a little weak, but there was a/c and I got to sit, so I count it as a win.
I got off the boat at Tsim Sha Tsui and walked around and found some Macanese tea houses, and got me a couple of 葡撻, which were great!
I gave myself the mission of buying a bandana or hankerchief, since I was annoyed I hadn’t had one on Lamma Island when sweat was rolling into my eyes. I failed to find any, but I did see these guys putting up bamboo scaffolding.
After that I went back to the hotel to chill out for an hour or so. My laundry came back, and the price tag is so high I could have just thrown the dirty clothes away and bought all new clothes for the price. Oh well, at least they’re already folded and ready to pack.
By the way, the cleaning lady misidentified me earlier today as Taiwanese, and said I was very 斯文。 Funny, because I felt pretty shabby in my rayon aloha shirt and cargo shorts, but I’ll take the compliment!
Afterwards, I met Hizonor S in Mong Kok and we had a meal in the food court of the mall there. The a/c was delicious and so was the garlic rice in this photo below. The pork neck was a little dry.
S ordered a durian and black rice dessert, and I took a picture of it, and he took a picture of me taking a picture of it. Yes, it smelled like durian! My dessert was mango and watermelon slices, and I got a picture of him taking a picture of it.