Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hong Kong Visits

Last week Steph and I were in Hong Kong makin' it happen. It was in reality a family trip that that I was very, very uber lucky to have been invited. Steph's family treats me real nice.

Day 1: We got off to a rough start in that we showed up to the airport, two hours ahead of time like we're supposed to. I spent about $30 participating in commerce. Airport commerce, so easy, so overpriced. Upon boarding we had a really sweet setup, the two seats in the middle row. Nice. Steph being of weaker bladder owned the isle seat and I had the seat just inside and to my shock and surprise I had no neighbor. I kept waiting thinking every passerby would eventually stop, do a quick look up and look down and ultimately confirm this was indeed the right seat. I fully expected Steph and I to have to file out into the isle waiting eternally for this person to get comfy. It never happened. It's the little things in air travel that one has to hold onto in these days of even shittier shitty food and less roomy un-roomy seats. As our departure time had passed the realization had set in that we hadn't actually gone anywhere. Fuck!!! And then the captain gets on the horn and says "Yeah, having a problem with the window on this plane so grab yer shit and go back into the terminal and wait it out while we switch planes." Two hours later and we board the new plane, same seats. Nice. More waiting. Lot's more waiting. And then we're informed that we'll be off in just 7 minutes. About an hour later we're told to get the fuck off the plane and come back at 7 a.m. tomorrow. WTF? Bear in mind we'd basically spent the equivalent of a workday at the airport. I guess technically since I was using up precious vacay time I was in fact getting paid for it.

Day 2: 7a.m. FUCKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Back to the Airporrt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But we left finally. I got to see 1/2 half of Marley and Me on the way. I still think they should have made Marley live. True story or not. Movies that kill the protagonist in the end are simply un-American. Anyway we made it to Hong Kong and there was simply no time for fucking games yo! We had about 30 minutes to freshen up and be in the lobby. I used to be in the Air Force for a little bit. I was quite good at the whole "you have x amount of minutes to be ready for some shit" thing. I'm not in the Air Force anymore so I'm not very gifted at being to prompt when I feel I require the full "freshening" treatment. Also, there's the issue of my hair. It requires much attention to even make it look lame. Needless to say we made it and had an awesome boat ride around the bay. Let me just say that this was my first time to Hong Kong so pretty much everything excited me. Steph's family is from there, and she's been there like a thousand times. We had some Din-Dins at this amazing restaurant with a view of the whole bay. The food was amazing. The place is called Hutong. Look it up when you're there.

Day 3: Shanghai for Steph and the Fam. Hotel room keeping and luggage guarding for me. I spent the day walking around Kowloon, where we satyed, taking pictures with my Holga. I also ate some awesome street noodles. Dericious! During the day I got off the Subway somewhere in the financial district and found myself near the tram to the Peak. So, I took it. I rode the train up the hillside with scads of roundeyes like myself. the view from the top was very pretty. Later that evening I was to meet up with cousin Vic. Vic lives in HK but he's from Canada. Anyway he took me to eat some delicious curry and we drank wine and stuff like that.

Day 4: I think I walked around the wet markets taking pictures with my Holga on this day. I can't 100% remember exactly what I did though. I guess this is why I'd end up with a very patchy, unreadable memoir. I'm just terrible at remembering things that happen to me sometimes. I do remember that all of the Indian dudes in Hong Kong seem to sell but 3 items in this order: suits, Rolex watches for half off and finally Hashish. Victor and I took our dinner at a very fancy Japanese restaurant called Zuma. It was way posh.

Day 5: Today I met up with cousin Victor for a trip to Lamma Island. Who knew that just a half hour by boat would bring me to a locale that could not have seemed farther away from a city like Hong Kong than it did. As soon as we stepped off the boat I felt like I was on Phuket . It was just ridiculously low key. Very vegan. Very Yoga. Very Lamma. It's my understanding that peeps love to come to Lamma to just drop off the map and I for got that feeling about it. Lot's of ex pats. Lunch at a super vegetarian restaurant. It was actually a nice departure from the power Hong Kong cuisine I'd been having. Steph also made her return today. Annnddddd................

From here on out we ended up on an epically edible odyssey. Our lives were not our own as we were ushered from place to place in a rapid fire succession of stop and go. We had egg puffs, stinky tofu, egg tarts, amazingly mouth numbing Sichuan frog and crab, (which I will delve into the details of on my spicy eats blog) a totally typical fancy Chinese restaurant that served great duck and jiggly desserts and even better noodle making demonstrations. Oh and their carpeting was amazingly luscious. Not withstanding, we had a wild Omikase dinner at an awesome Sushi bar. It wasan orgy of Toro, Wagyu, and the chefs own plum wine. It was dish after dish and drink after drink. It was an orgy Caligula would have been proud to host. And finally we wrapped the trip up with dinner at the, awesome to even exist, Modern Toiletfor a not so delicious meal in a fun atmosphere. Oh yeah and somewhere in between we took a cable car up to the giant Buddha statue that resides like 45 minutes drive outside the city. It was kinda sad because neither of us were in the mood for this excursion but it would have been rude to turn down the offer. It was really horrible to see at the feet of Buddha a faux village with a Starbucks and other such tourist haunts to turn what should probably be a quiet and reflective experience into an outing to an Olive Garden in Omaha. But we did manage to take a very awesome and terrible photo there. I'm proud of that. And we did have another 3 hour delay at the airport on the way home and BTW Frost Nixon was a boring movie. Anyway from here on out I'll let the pics do the talking. As soon as I get my Holga film processed I'll be posting those as well.

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