Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hong Kong Day 2 and 3

So day two wound up just being me and my friend, I'll call her B2. She was also the person who took us around the day before and took us to Modern Toilet, but I didn't give her a name there. Anyways, it was just the two of us all day and calling her B2 makes me smile. :)
Anyways... We started out walking through town taking more pictures and going where she was leading. We did wind up meeting a most likely fake monk. (We had been warned before leaving our ship that there was a tendency in Hong Kong for people to walk around in Buddhist monk clothing and ask for money but there is no real charity.) I did what I always do with pesky street vendors. (I did it often in Vietnam and whenever people walk near me asking for money or to sell stuff.) I looked straight ahead and kept walking. B2 wasn't as smart, she wound up "buying" some small bookmark or something from him before he walked on. Finally we got to the trolley up to Victoria's Peak, which I expected to be a lovely viewpoint. Turned out to be a lovely terrace... on top of an expensive mall. Oh well, we went into a wax museum and I got pictures of me posing with Nicole Kidman at the Oscars and me fawning over Elvis and editing Shakespeare's writing over his shoulder as well as a number of other fun stuff before we headed up to the terrace to get pictures over Hong Kong and Victoria's Harbor. Lovely pictures, too many people and a place set up to pose you for a price. Sorry, but that is why you bring a friend. Why pay to have the original on someone else's camera when you can have someone take it on yours for free? After the lo-o-ong line for the trolley down, we headed toward what was called a craft market to look for stuff for my beading. Nope, craft there means sewing. However, they had a rather large variety of Halloween costumes for the beginning of spring. I'll have to remember that next time I come and plan my Halloween ahead of time.... :) After the caft market we headed through a fresh food market and B2 found a butcher stall that had animal hearts hanging outside and she got pictures of them.
The next place we stopped was called something like The Golden Chicken and it was pretty good. I would definitely recommend it. I had a seafood fried rice dish and B2 had a fried pork over rice dish that she had been craving so we both left happy and headed to the fabric store that was rather the main part of our trip. Turns out the fabric store/market is a level of a store dedicated to stores brimming with fabric of all types and prices. I decided to buy a black fabric whith red flowers on it to practice stitching with beads. (Hmm, still haven't started that...) After that we headed for Temple Street Night market that seemed to sell everything but the clothes I was looking for or jewelry I might actually wear. Oh well, plenty of electronics and no reason to spend money. Not bad all in all and I returned to the ship happy.
The next day I went out with two different friends and we headed for Lady's Market. First on my friend's agenda was a massage, that lasted nearly two hours and the short shoulder massage I got was painful and left me uncomfortable for that day and the next. Maybe I should look into taking care of my posture so massages don't hurt as much... Anyways, Lady's Market had clothes and lots and lots of sparklies of all types from jewelry to sparkly shirts to cute gem animals that turned out to be boxes. They also had clothes and I bought a lovely Chinese style light blue dress with a peacock on it. No clue when or where I'll wear it but it was gorgeous. We wound up having supper at Pizza Hut and I had a noodle dish and helped them eat their pizzas before we went back to shopping and ended for the day.
Hmm, it was a good trip and I cannot wait to go back but there are other places to visit and other things to see, so until next time, this is Li'l B signing off and wishing you all the best.

Hong Kong Day 1

"Where East meets West", that is the motto of Hong Kong and it describes it pretty well. One of my lifelong goals was to visit China so I was pretty excited to learn I'd be visiting Hong Kong this trip, although I'm not sure it actually counts as being in China...
My first view of Hong Kong was at night and there were so many lights that it looked like one long haze as far as I could see along the island. The next morning I saw why. The island contains over 7700 skyscrapers of varying sizes, shapes, and colors to form a multicolored collage under a red sun that morning. Gorgeous welcome to the tiny island city.
Okay, my first day out I went with a not so amature photographer and one just getting into the hobby full time. Basically they kept stopping every few minutes to get another picture or another angle and occasionally I'd take a picture too. (I have at least one set of them taking a picture at the same time and then comparing the pictures. It made me laugh.) Eventually we ate at a lovely French place that wasn't as good as the girl had remembered. (It tasted good but the servings were small and were rather like air.) From there we caught the subway to an island on the outskirts of the main island to see the giant Buddha. Once we left the train station, we stood in the long line for the tram up there. (If we decided to take the Trail of Wisdom or something like that up, we would not have wanted to see anything as it would have taken all day just to get to the shops. I may like hiking, but only when the hiking is the trip, not a long and tiring way to a destination. So we got in the tram and set out. Now by "tram" you may be thinking something on ground that would take us beside the trail. Nope, this tram was a sky tram, like one I was on at the Minnesota State Fair last time I was home that took me over the Fair. This one took the three of us over the trail after it had taken us over a lake. The tram we got I could see all the way around and got some amazing pictures of tree formations, the ocean and islands beyond the trees, the trail below is and the gentle Buddha sitting on top of the island as we approached the hill it sat on. Amazing trip. Well, once we got there we started walking up to the Buddha. Of course, one of them had to stop and buy the massive "sugar floss" as they called it (otherwise known as a two or three foot mass of cotton candy, diameter wise). I took pictures while they devoured it. Unfortunately I took them all on their cameras (before keeping them all while I ate mine. Fewer blackmail/goofy pictures that way... :) ) When we finally got to the Buddha, I must admit it was massive. Unfortunately, it was built as a tourist attraction, not a sanctuary. The museum inside the Buddha had some cultural/religious paintings one of my partners was able to explain about and the focus of the museum was a winding staircase up to a room housing a bone part of one of the Buddhas, another relic I wasn't fascinated by. Anyways, we got done with the museum and got some pictures next to massive statues of people and lotuses and awesome views over trees before heading down the two floor long outdoor steps and heading to the temple. As much as I love the type of art they have out here, this temple was more of a showcase of color than a sanctuary for me, although I now know what a real lotus plant looks like. I also had a bite of some sort of lotus cake that felt like I was eating silicone, you know that jiggly rubber that has a weird texture when you bite it? (Okay, so I don't eat silicone but that was what I told my friends when I set it down.) Those things done, we hit the shops as we headed down to wait in the long line for the tram down. Here I should explain something about the people in Hong Kong. They have no concept of personal space. It makes sense when you think about how many people live on the small island that make up Hong Kong, but it was really annoying to literally have a lady's front rubbing my back while in the line down. Literally. I could feel the chest and stomach of the lady behind me and she had no problem standing like that for a few minutes until I could step away. Was I ever happy to get in that tram.
We took the tram back down to the train station and headed to a restaurant my friend had seen advertised called The Modern Toilet. It was rather cool. We sat on empty toilets not bolted to the floor and our table was a sink with a glass pane over it. Our cold drinks came in small urinals and the ice cream came in a small tub on top of ice shaving flavored like chocolate, the hot drinks were served in "toilets". The room we were sitting in had shower heads of various types tastefully lining the walls and my friend said each section had different wall decorations. The food was also very good so we had a good time.
However, that was the end of that day as the night had come and our curfew was drawing near. )Yes, I'm twenty-one years old and my job has me on a curfew. we grumble all the time.)
And now I must sign off for to day and wish you all a lovely day until tomorrow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Korea part 2

Sorry about this. It's been so long since I was at Korea that I really can't think of anything amazing that happened there. I found an awesome cream soda called Milkis that I think is actually made of some type of carbonated milk. It was good, just be sure to drink it shortly after opening it as it goes sorta sour. I also got to the international market which was huge. Apparently indoor stores are over rated there as all the local stores(from appliances to linens to jewelry to clothes) were small stores that spilled out into the streets to sell their wares. I was happy to find a beading store I will definitely keep in mind. (I got a strand of pearls for $9US. Not sure they're real, but they look nice. Now I just have to string them and find an outfit to wear them with.) I also picked up some jewelry, which is rare, but made me smile. While, that's all for now, this is Li'l B wishing you all the best and signing off.