February 19, 2016 by pecanbutter
I wanted to write about my adventure in Hong Kong without data. I thought I could. I thought why not? It could be fun looking for free wifi, I thought. It was going to be like going back to basics.
I was so in total self denial. What made me thought I could survive overseas without it baffled me. I needed to google map even here in Singapore.
Most places in Hong Kong required me to purchase a merchandise for a password. I did not record my host’s address the conventional way so l was lucky I managed to call my host after being lost for quite a bit.
Having no data is a pain in the ass.
I probably haven’t grasp the ideology of traveling light. I had in my bag a set of clothes for running, a set for bed time and a set for ’emergencies’. What? I had facial wash, moisturisers for face and body, eye drops, hair wax, tooth paste and toothbrush. My spiky ball. Two jackets, one fleece jacket, one thinner long sleeved running tee, one thicker for if its cold.
Yes I know. So much stuff.
From when I arrived, weather looked dreary and looked like it was about to rain but thankfully it was not cold. I hope it wouldn’t rain on the morning of the run. I fear the race being cancelled. I fear being wet and cold on a really cold hill top.
It wasn’t fun getting lost, walking up and down the slopes carrying my luggage.
I walked for about a km out and back with my luggage searching for the place that was just where my ride alighted me. Great.
I practised my Cantonese ordering desert, and using my limited vocab, enquired about the train to the city. I think the guy was pissed either because I made a mess of the canto or he thought I thought he didn’t understand english.
And all I wanted to do was practise.
I had food at 楼香莲 famous cha Chan Teng. Crowded. Many people filled the place, likely made up of locals and tourists like myself. When the carts came, everyone dashed forward towards the servers. Atmosphere was kind of authentic – kettles of water boiling besides the table, push carts of food, grumpy rude servers, old chinese people handing out red packets because it is still the CNY period.
I got ushered to sit at a table with this old lady. She must be a regular. She was giving out ang baos to the staff and of cos they treated her like a queen, with her own kettle of boiling water. I asked about her tea (in Cantonese) and what tea it was. Bo something or something bo then she said 水清茶美.
I ate this black moss, chicken and mushroom dish which the elderly regular lady mentioned was only available during cny. Black moss is 发菜 which has the same sound as 发 as in ‘to become rich.’
The lady kept asking the servers for 猪手 but they sold out. The chef came out to say hello. To her. An old Uncle at another table and silently handed out red packets to some of the staff.
That was not enough. I went to another place, Tsui Wah. I watched a man order a healthy breakfast set of egg white and whole meal bun for lunch. Then I saw a plate of maggie like pork ribs noodles come in. “So much?” I thought to myself before I discovered it was actually a set! SO MUCH FOOD!
The staff is rude but the food makes up for it, I think.
The race happened at Repulse Bay. I started the morning at repulse Bay a little too early. I left the house at 6 am, the Singaporean in me, to make the trip early for the race. I totally overlooked the fact that HK is an island which is smaller than Singapore and you could probably reach one end to the other on foot.
Weather was not cold even without sun. The weather was still gloomy. I should have left my outer wear at the house. Now besides the pouch with my passport, my phone, my cash, the GoPro, I had to carry this sweater. Bah.
The elderlies in HK are so freaking stron. A group of them headed out to the beach in their swim wear, without the sun in sight and it was cold out! I saw a woman naked running from the beach with her clothes in her hands, to the showers. Yes, she was naked.
I saw more elderlies coming in to swim.
On the trail:
Legs were lactic acid maxed out. Running uphill felt easier than downhills because of my knee ailments.
This trail run marked my first overseas run for 2016!
I spent the morning after the run at Luk Yu. The place was a little too sterile for my taste, unlike the previous two places. We weren’t allowed to share of tables and it felt too similar to the chinese eating places in Singapore.
Dim sum was a little pricey and the place too fancy for the staff to be this rude.
I got to say that the ingredients used were of superior qualit. I could taste the freshness in the prawns, the pork etc. Staff service could be better. They weren’t very helpful when I asked them what were their signature dishes.
There was no way I was going to sit near the entrance of the toilet but that was where they placed me.
I scrutinised the menu and looked for familiar words like ‘虾’ ‘包’ 叉烧’ ‘卷”酥’ In the end I almost got what I wanted with the exception of the ginger century egg thingy (which I didn’t know what it was from the menu). I got the egg tarts, the pork pastries.
I have got to get someone to decipher the menu before hitting the dim sum places.
Secondhand book shops
Wanted to go Kubrick, this really cool book store that was a cafe and a cinema but realised it was in in Kowloon. Another time. Went to book smart or smart book , a second hand bookstore. If I ever want a book that is second hand that was the place to go to. Mountains of books and I saw a few recent titles there. Went back to Tsiu Wah (the place after dim sum after the morning run at repulse Bay, where I saw the man order the egg white bfast) for a cup of milk te. I didn’t get to drink much of yesterday’s cos it was too late in the day and though I took away I didn’t want to risk stomach upset by drinking overnight milk tea. The tea was good. According to them they use Ceylon tea with the condensed milk. Strong tea with milk makes a lot of sense.
Arrived back in Singapore . No V day surprise ‘we came to pick you up! SURPRISE!’ welcome. Bah. There was a cab line jam so I had to take a train out of Changi back to TPY but train service to the west side had halted (cos it was too late) so I had to take a cab from Tanah Merah.
Refer to this for future out of Singapore weekend trips
1. Take train to Tanah Merah to cab cheaper.
2. First time taking Uber. The experience was not bad. It was a non cab.
Mountain tortoise me.
3. Future late flight back, must arrange for mickey to be fed so can stay over at Tpy.
5. Prepare two bags, one to bring overseas and dump once back in singapore and one to bring for work the next morning.
6. Put an extra set of work clothes in the car.