Tuesday, October 18, 2005

27.09.05, Hong Kong: Ocean Park

Shit! Realized I forgot to bring spare contacts with me. Forget my head next.

No problem. Went to the nearest optician and bought 1.5 months worth of contacts for $120HK without any prescription or checkup. They do in fact require a person to have a prescription; it's just that they will take your word for it that you do if you happen to remember the numbers, and don't need to see an actual piece of paper.

Bought the aforementioned Octopus card and withrew some money from an ATM (that's "automatic teller machine" and not "alemman tason mies" for you cynics). One can survive on credit cards in Hong Kong but none of the cheaper places take them. Luckily the ATMs are as numerous as the public toilets.

Went to the Avenue of the Stars, which is a promenade on the southern tip of Kowloon. They have local movie stars' handprints. Recognized most of the names and was very proud of myself.

It keeps raining, or rather starts and stops all the time. On the Avenue of the Stars you can actually see small areas of rain approaching over the mountains from the south. The locals tend to stream into stores and subway stations when the rain starts and out when it ends.

I keep getting confused because they use the word "subway" to mean a pedestrian underpass. The actual subway is called MTR.

During one rain I take refuge under some roof on the Avenue of the Stars. Some cleanly dressed guy in a Sikh turban looks at my face and says "I can see you are very lucky today" and tries to predict many good things in my future, and then asks for money. I tell him to bugger off. Later I see many more such guys each of whom starts the conversation with those same words. I start telling them "I gave at the office". They look confused.

The Ocean park has seals and dolphins and sharks and fish that eat kiinankaali and birds and fucking butterflies and everything that a decent ocean park should have, and two giant pandas in addition, but the best thing is the cable car that connects the lower part of the park with the upper parts. It's a very long ride with great views.

The park is full of organized tour groups of rather ill-behaved mainland tourists (the funny thing is that small "disorganized" groups of mainland tourists behave much better) who stare at my tits and point and summon each other to take a look. One of them stretches his neck so far while riding the escalator that he actually runs into a tree. In addition at least some of them use the toilets by climbing up on the bowl and crouching there, and at least one of them falls off.

I get back home and go to the nearest supermarket. There a cute young guy tries to pick me up, but, alas, one look on his face is enough to tell me that I cannot bet my freedom for the next n years on my belief that the guy has in fact turned eighteen. He claims to be 23 but looks 15. He also claims that he would like to be just friends, but I know what kind of friendship you normally get from total strangers with an erection so big that they have trouble walking.

Night market in Mongkok sells watches, ribbons, hairpins, scarves, jewelry and suchlike. More fun to look at than to shop. I buy some hairsticks.

I buy some pastry (they have very good pastries here) from a bakery and a takeout dinner from Pak Lin restaurant. The dish contains eel and sea blubber, but nobody seems to be able to explain what a sea blubber is. Whatever it was, I don't recommend it, but the eel was good.

No comments: