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Wednesday 20th October - Hong Kong
By Claire
Monday, 25th October 2004 10:01

A week or so ago, when we applied for our Chinese visas, someone handed us a menu on the escalator. They normally ignore us if the advert is written in Chinese, or just foist them on us indiscriminately, so we tend to throw them away, but that time I did manage to get a look at it. There were a lot of dim sum on the menu, all described in English, and we fancied trying it sometime. So that was our plan for today. First we went to the post office - this may well be the last post we do, depending on when we get back to Hong Kong after China. We had to send the parcel by airmail because we'd be cutting it fine getting it home before Christmas, but the box was only small and not too expensive. It should be there in ten days.

The walk to the restaurant was further than we thought but not too far away. We ordered five dishes and almost all of them were the same thing just presented in a different way: pork and vegeatables minced together so it was like sausangemeat, wrapped in pastry and then fried, boiled or served in soups. It was all very tasty and there was not a prawn or chicken foot in sight.

Then we went to the harbour to watch some planes. Last night, while we were thinking of what to do today, the news came on and a lady said that if we're at a loss for something to do today we should go to the harbour and see some planes. A French acrobatic team was going to be doing a display over Kowloon at about 2 this afternoon. It was like the lady was talking specifically to us. So we went into the convention centre and wandered round all the stalls selling lovely Indian silks and bendy desk lamps and then sat outside in the haze. The large buildings on the other side of the water were almost invisible, and a weird fuzz of blueish white had merged the land and the sky. A few people with large cameras were waiting with us, so we knew we were in the right place. After about 20 minutes, a neat diamond of nine planes flew overhead. We waited for them to do something acrobatic but half an hour later they hadn't returned so we collected our laundry and got changed instead.

We went to the Indian Embassy and waited in a long queue for about forty minutes. The grumpy guy took one look at the form, screamed that we should come back IN THE MORNING like the paper said and dismissed us with a wave of his hand. So we took another train out to Kowloon for some supper. We ended up at a Japanese restaurant and after they'd found an English-speaking lady to help up, we ordered loads of things. She laughed that most of them contained potato, and then the dishes started arriving. We haven't had a single Japanese dish that wasn't delicious, and I think that might be because there aren't any hidden ingredients - if it has fish with it, they'll say so because it's part of the meal. Which means that we enjoyed every last bite and were very full afterwards. What we needed now was a nice walk and the Eagles in concert. Which we got.

We found the Hong Kong Coliseum by following the crowds of middle-aged Americans in jeans with jumpers slung over their shoulders. The seats were easy to find too, and the whole place was well-laid out and signed. It was a huge hall full of empty seats, and as eight o'clock approached it didn't look like the place was going to fill up. The concert was due to start at 8 but when, at 8.20 nothing had happened, we though we'd have time to run to the loo, the lights went out and people started cheering. Typical. But we found our seats again before the music started. The hall was completely full, it seemed, except for a few seats round the edges, and people were still arriving all the way through.

The concert was really, really good. It felt a bit cheeky being there and having no idea of what the songs were. Most people started cheering after the first couple of notes were played and we were still none the wiser by the end of the song, but every one they played was fun and catchy and I realised I did know quite a few of their songs. They didn't play Hotel California until the encore, but I didn't realise it was an encore cos I knew they wouldn't finish without playing our song. They played for about two and a half hours, which was much longer than I was expecting and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. On the way out, Mikey bought me a Hotel California t-shirt which I wore all the way home. We were very happy.

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