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Old Jan 24, 11, 5:56 am
Join Date: Jan 2011
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 8
Part II

Once we touched down in Hong Kong, we zipped immediately over to the airport express desk. (Side note - my first stunning, culturally sophisticated photo in Hong husband in front of a 7 Eleven. Just guess who embarrasses who more on these trips.) While in line behind a Portuguese couple requesting tickets into Kowloon, my continual awe at the universality of the English language - their meeting point between Portuguese and Cantonese - resurfaced. The moment reminded me of a college trip to Europe on which I marveled at Italian men speaking English while trying to pick up German girls in Paris. While it might not be a romance language, English is certainly the language of connectivity. (And though the historical spread of the language isn't always the makings of a bedtime story, I still felt lucky to have popped onto this earth in a place where my native language can support me in a variety of multicultural interactions.)

Anyway, at that time only about a quarter of these thoughts penetrated my comatose haze, and the next thing I knew, my husband had our tickets and were were rolling onto the airport express train. My thoughts were as follows: "These seats are nice." "Ooo they have TVs." "They're speaking Chinese on TV." "I wonder where that person across from us is from." "Or is the proper grammar, from where is that person?" "Ooo water." "Ooo lights." 20 intellectual minutes in my just awoken mind.

Once we hit our stop, we transferred to a taxi... If the airport express was like a nudging puppy gently easing me into consciousness, then this subsequent taxi ride to the Hyatt Regency in Tsim Sha Tsui was like that sweet little puppy suddenly turning around and smacking me with it's tail and until I bolted out of bed and into the world. Suffice to say, thanks to the driving, I was fully awake by the time we reached our hotel.

We entered the Hyatt from underground, and were met by two employees as we exited our taxi. One took our bags, which made me slightly uncomfortable when he did not accompany us to check in. (Of course the bags were safely brought to our room once we began to settle in.) The other led us to reception. Our service at reception was brief and friendly, and we soon made our way to the room. It was about 8pm Hong Kong time but morning for our bodies. We had yet to eat, and I was determined to make the most of our time, so we quickly unpacked, showered, and made our way out into the city.

Once exiting on the ground level, we headed down what turned out to be the back streets away from Nathan Road and went in search of food, sim cards, and an immersion in the culture of our new city. Eventually we gained our bearings and found our way back to Nathan, continued to wander, and returned to our hotel without dinner or working sim cards, but humming with the energy of the city.

Some highlights from our walk - discovering that there are 7 Elevens on every other corner (Globalization still amazes me.), ice cream cones and a quiet walk through Kowloon Park (at that time a peaceful haven in the midst of buzzing streets of neon and people) and a corner sizzling with street food and alive with interactions.

Because I refused to eat McDonalds as our first meal and my husband was not yet ready to experiment with local restaurants, we agreed on room service upon our return. Wonton soup and (more) ice cream! (Desserts are a weakness. I wouldn't be lying if I told you I had one after every dinner...and sometimes lunch!) After eating, we took our full tummies to bed, unaware that our internal clocks would have us awake by 6am the next morning!

I woke up first. I considered waking my husband but I reconsidered when I failed to come up with a compelling argument for why he should be awake a 5:30 am. So I devoted my first hour to The Book. The Book was our Fodors travel guide, filled with more information than we could possibly put to use - though, believe me, I tried. By the third day, after pursuing nearly every shopping venture it suggested (including one that did not exist...oopsie), we agreed that The Book and I should take a break. Once in a while I conducted supervised visits, but we never regained the tender relationship we once had. But that's ok. Before we broke up, I had already written down most of it's secrets in my little blue journal. Shhhhh...

Anyway, at this time, I didn't know how unhealthy my relationship with The Book would become, so I spent an hour with it, firmed up our plans for the day - Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Sik Sik Temple, Sam's Tailor - and finally nudged my husband awake.

As we prepared to leave, we made two discoveries about the room. First, there was no iron! It turned out to be a common occurrence, but since we had just discovered it's absence, we had to come up with another de-wrinkling option. Thus, we decided to steam our clothes as we showered. It was in this self made sauna, that we made our second discovery. Automatically defogging mirrors - in the bathroom and the shower! Awesome!

Given the layout of our room, it was relatively easy to air out our steam. The closet doors were one wall of the restroom and could be opened on both sides. The main restroom mirror also slid back to reveal the bed and our lovely view of buildings and roofs. Besides serving as our de-sauna fix, the layout created a more open feel to the little room.

Once prepared, we made our way to brunch. Here my husband discovered his new favorite drink - honeydew melon juice!

Nathan Road at 9pm

Street Food - fish balls!

7 Eleven snack selections

Pancake Colours?

This is a pretty true to life picture of our room. No firsthand pictures of this one, but I have them of the rest!

The next two days of adventure and our new hotel soon to come...

Remaining itinerary:
1 more night in the Hyatt Regency
2 nights at the Grand Hyatt
1 night at the Grand Hyatt Macau
2 nights at the Intercontinental
Flights back, same plan in reverse

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures. I have more from later parts of the trip.

Last edited by IADRefugee; Jan 25, 11 at 9:42 pm
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