Travel checklist: miniature sized shampoo and conditioner, lotion, hand cream, 3 step face cleansing/serum/moisturizer routine jammed into plastic sampling containers, sunscreen, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, 4 changes of clothes and underwear including a set of pajamas, 1 pair nude skimmers, 1 pair black leather boots, a light read for the 7 hour plane ride, passport, itinerary, sense of adventure. And exciting times.
Three things about Hong Kong: Originally colonized by the British, its official languages are Chinese (spoken Cantonese) and English. It’s the most densely populated city in world. If it is your first time visiting, you might want to book your trip for longer than a weekend.
Ralph Lauren shirt (from Francis’s closet), UO bag, Jeans from outlet mall, Dolce Vita boots
We stayed at the Imperial Hotel on Nathan road just next door to Chungking Mansion. This is where Chungking Express was filmed. Now all I need is my sunglasses, Burberry trench and a Marilyn Monroe wig and it would be enough to say, “eat your heart out, Faye Wong.”
If you are a born and bread island person, there will be a lot of firsts for you.
City people weren’t always as curteous as the island peeps I am so accustomed to, but you have to hand it to them for keeping it real. “You no buying, no take pikchar. I am not actress,” said the starlet above.
One thing I was super looking forward to was shopping at H&M, but it was pretty much a let down. Over rated and not so different from shopping at Macy’s or any other commercial department store on Guam, even shopping at Disneyland was way more exciting. The provincial markets on Temple street, Tsim Sha Tsui and fisherman’s village yielded the best novelty prezzies to take home.
Bruce Lee tee, various types of Chinese teas: jasmine, pu erh, lychee, ti kuan yin, white and orchid, Little Prince marshmallows–if only for the packaging, Mickey Mouse chocolates, classic Mickey tee (which would look even better after a one billion washes), MMJ make-up bag, remote control helicopter, lots of black workwear, cheap clothes, expensive shoes
“Bring two empty luggages and a lot of money.” That’s what Mieko said when I told her I was going. It’s a good thing I kept it in mind and also stuffed an extra duffel bag into the front pocket of our check-in baggage.
If there’s such a thing as buyer’s remorse, even worse is the antithetical nonbuyer’s remorse. I’ll forever regret not buying those miniature wind-up dancing robots and funny splatballs from the old man with no voice and kind eyes at the Tsim Sha Tsui market. Our intuition is good; the problem is we ignore it. I need to learn how to be more implulsive. Like when we decided to have 3 dollar 32 ouncers (amazing!) literally smack dab in the middle of the street. Those were really nice served with poached snail thingamagiggies in a dark chili sauce. I forget what the dish is called, but if anyone knows, please please please drop a line.
Last week I finally scavenged eBay only to find those little dancing robots and splatballs I so wanted but tried to convince myself I didn’t need. I bought them anyway. So I don’t need them per se. So what? They are just cool things to have around. Like in case of emergency, break glass and play with these, they’re fun! And since they are being shipped from Hong Kong, I imagine they are coming from that same kind old man in that same crowded old market.
A final note on commuting in Hong Kong: drivers are either suicidal or insane. Or both. Every time we decide to hop in the back of a cab or bus, I find myself hanging on for dear life. All the while The Smiths are playing There is a Light That Never Goes Out” in the back of my head. That song could pretty much sum up the entire duration of our stay.