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Tuesday 5th October - Hong Kong
By Claire
Saturday, 9th October 2004 04:55

We stopped off to see the nice hotel manager again this morning, to ask him about the laundry service and ended up with another forty-minute discussion about traditional Chinese food, methods of stuffing ducks, kidnapping children in the Philipines and the secrets of longevity which had something to do with tea. When we finally escaped we decided to take the tram to the post office because it's very tall. It took a while to find the right one, and even then it was mostly a guess. It was incredibly crowded and hot. I finally got a seat and Mikey and I studied the map, guessing which stop we'd need. A nice lady next to us asked where we wanted to go, and told us to follow her when she got off. Which helped a lot.

We found the post office, right where it was on Sunday night. We bought a box, sent ten twenty pounds of stuff home and were assured it would get there by Christmas.

The highest point on the island is Victoria Peak, and we'd read that there was a free bus that'd take us to a tram to the top. In classic Lonely Planet style, if you don't follow their itineraries to the letter it's no use at all, and we ended up getting the bus all the way to the peak. Not a problem, but annoying from a guidebook. At the top was a shopping centre (what else?) and an impressive view of the harbour. It was a bit hazy and misty, but the skyscrapers below were rather nice. We had a leisurely walk around the top for an hour or so. There was a gorgeous smell of real fresh air, cool and dry and leafy, something we haven't had for a while. I tried to play on some monkey bars but I've never been able to do that, so it was a bit pointless.

The tram took us to the bottom of the hill and we waited at a bus stop for a while. There was a piece of paper on it, with Chinese writing. After a bit, we noticed that it was only westerners standing at the bus stop and concluded that everyone else realised the sign said the bus wouldn't come to us. We walked the surprisingly short distance to the MTR station and did the octopus thing again. It's become a verb, now. To Octopus. Mikey even octopussed a drink in a shop the other day as we didn't have any change.

During our long discussion with Tommy this morning, we'd asked where we could get crispy duck. It took a while, but I got the impression that he didn't like the dish and had recommended something else to us. We tried the place he suggested, showing them our Chinese writing that the nice man in Singapore did for us. The lady shook her head and pointed down the road. Not that it helped - there were hundreds of restaurants on hundreds of floors. We ended up in a pub, dark and smoky, full of sullen-looking people eating peanuts in corners. The waiters ignored us for about half an hour and our food came eventually. Better than last night, which is good. Another late-ish night.

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