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Wednesday 6th October - Hong Kong
By Claire
Saturday, 9th October 2004 04:56

Tommy the hotel man had recommended a restaurant for breakfast since the first day, and we'd told him that we'd already been there twice, so we thought we ought to try it out. One of Hong Kong's many specialities is dim sum, the little pieces of food that arrive in bamboo baskets, a bit like tapas but not. We found the restaurant and once again we were the only westerners there. They had to call a special waiter over to show us to our seats.

The menu was extensive, about fifty dishes, all in Chinese. Not an English word in sight. We had the idea that we just ticked the box of the things we wanted, but even with the dictionary at the back of the guidebook we weren't able even to guess at any of the contents. I did spot the number 4 in one of them, but that wasn't much help. The waiter finally came to find us and tried to help. We asked for chicken as I don't like fish,and the man ummed and ahhed for a bit before declaring 'Chicken!' triumphantly and making his hand into a claw. Nope, we didn't want chicken's feet.

Once again a lady came to our rescue. She chose five fish-less dishes for us and said that if we got the bill before 12.30 it'd be cheaper for us. We thanked her and sat back and waited. Unfortuantely, as is so often the case, prawns aren't considered fish, and three of the five were just for Mikey. Also unfortunately, we had no idea what it was we were eating, making it hard to order the good ones again in future. The only one I really liked was a sort of shepherd's pie goo inside something that could have been steamed bread dough. Very nice, and easy to eat with chopsticks, too, which is a bonus. The others were all steamed, giving them the wobbly, jelly-like texture of mushrooms and jellyfish. But I ate plenty and enjoyed the experience. The nice lady grabbed Mikey about halfway into the meal and explained that if he paid now we'd get a discount, and then we carried on eating for a bit.

After a good but weird breakfast, we headed out to Central again and tried to book the 28-hour train to Beijing for when we got back from Tokyo. We weren't able to do that without a visa, and we couldn't get a visa without our passports, which we'd need for Japan, so we left empty-handed. That was a job for next week after all. Then we had nothing much we needed to do, so we went back to Causeway Bay and watched a film called 2046

which looked futuristic and sci-fi-ish and that I liked the posters of. It turned out to be something set in the '60s and while certainly interesting, it was hard to follow at times. There were androids and a lot of women with identical haircuts and a man who wanted to be Japanese. I think you had to be there.

We went all the way out to Central again to watch the city lights from the peak. We took the right bus and the tram, and made it up to the top by about 5.30. As we ate, in a slightly more upmarket version of a Harvester, the sun sank into the lilac haze and gradually the city came to life. It's a magical time, when such a big place wakes up, and it happened slowly. By the time we'd finished supper it was fully dark and we popped out onto the roof to take some photos. We even stayed for the fireworks again, and my theory that there is a bunch of people ruder than Israelis was confirmed. Old Japanese people. They push, stamp and elbow, ignoring anyone in their way and barge into photos with no thought for anyone else. Oh well. My bag's quite cumbersome on my back. Hope I didn't hurt anyone.

We stopped for a quick email and then headed back to the hotel. As I got in the door, the phone rang, which always scares me. Mikey had organised for Rupert to call and it was lovely to hear from him, a proper surprise. Especially as I was going to call him this evening anyway!

We watched the last half of the Eagles in concert on the telly and went to sleep. Another busy day doing very little.

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