Here is a link to my pictures. The password is: italia.
I have reached home. The flight home was shorter than the flight there. The layover in San Fran was longer.
I left the sunshine of Hong Kong to the rain and fall weather of Seattle. Many leaves have fallen and most of them are in beautiful fall colors.
I forgot to mention that Alice has two cats. An older female named Usagi, which is Japanese for rabbit, and a younger male named Michiro, which is Japanese for lucky child. She actually is getting a third.
Here are some pictures. Michiro is the cat in the outfit.
Yesterday, I did nothing during the day but read. It felt nice.
I met Alice at her job and we took the ferry to Hong Island Island. We took the tram (the locals call it ding ding) down to Causeway Bay. We walked around their Times Square and some of the backstreets. We went to this yummy Japanese restaurant for dinner.
Well friends, my plane leaves in three hours to head home. I bought three smutty romance novels to tide me over. I just didn’t let myself do the conversion to USD. I am not allowed to purchase romance novels at full price no matter how tempting ;). I will share my secret shame of two baskets of romance novels hiding in my closet with you. SHHHH, don’t tell anyone. LOL!
I don’t really want to go. Can one just abandon their life? Tempting thought but alas not very realistic. Though one day maybe I just won’t come back. Well back to collect my stuff ;). Ireland felt like home to me. Maybe I should have just stayed there. WAHHHHHHH. I’ll be off the ledge when I get back and reality slaps me back into the here and now.
Oh well. Ready or not here I come.
Another summer day has come and gone a way in Paris and Rome but I DON’T want to go home.
I found myself in the New Kowloon area again yesterday. I took the subway to the Lok Fu station. I decided I wanted to see the Kowloon Walled City Park. I have seen plenty of parks this vacation, but the history of this one intrigued me. The area around New Kowloon seems a little depressed. It’s not as vibrant as the areas around Prince Edward, Mong Kok or Yau Ma Tei.
The park used to be in a fortress in 1847. Apparently a legal oversight left the park in Chinese control after the British leased the New Territories. During WWII, it was leveled and a ghetto called the Walled City was built up. It was a draw to triads, drug dealers, heroin addicts, pornographers, and large rats (allegedly the size of small dogs). In 1992, it was torn down and replaced with a park. It still has a sketchy feel to it, which isn’t surprising with all that history.
Since it was near, I also went to the Hau Wong Temple. It was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty and has had renovations done sporadically between 1822 and 1988. It was built to honor the emperor Ping’s most loyal advisor.
I then took the subway back a few spots to Mong Kok and walked around that area again. I saw the Gold Fish Market, which I hadn’t seen. It was pretty crowded when I went.
Alice and I will go to Hong Kong Island tonight for dinner since we didn’t go last night.
I woke up and got organized. Ready or not, I leave tomorrow. Funny, I was longing for home when I left, and now I am not ready to go back. I guess it’s always like this. It’s nice having nothing to do. I wake up each day and decide then what to do. At home comes responsibility.
I have a good life. At times during the trip, I felt like I was one of the “privileged.” It’s not really a comfortable feeling for me. No way am I in the top 1% being battled at home, but in the overall scheme of life in the universal family of humans, I have it good.
Last night, Alice and I went to the ladies market. I had been to the market during the day, and I must say I enjoyed the experience at night more. It felt like there were more people, and the energy was pretty cool. I also like that area a lot. It feels like I imagined Hong Kong would feel.
It’s about 1:30, and I am trying to motivate myself to leave and do something. Tomorrow is my last full day. I fly out Friday late morning. Since the museum is free today, I feel like that is where I should head. But, alas, I don’t really feel like doing anything. Tonight, we are going to take the ferry to Hong Kong Island for dinner and sightseeing.
Must leave building. LOL!
I met Alice for lunch for Dim Sum. Her friends Aster, Hilda, and Lavender joined us. I was so excited to have dim sum in Hong Kong. The place we went to was Jade Garden, which made me laugh because that is the name of the place I mostly go to in Seattle for dim sum. I can’t wait to share this with my coworkers. The food was good. Before I left, I found out that the dim sum items in Seattle are frozen, not fresh. So it felt good having some “fresh” dim sum. It was also nice meting some of Alice’s friends.
I decided to come back here and finish blogging. Tonight, we will go to the Ladies’ Market if the weather holds. It looks like it might start pouring down any second. I feel like I need to accomplish one thing a day and dim sum was on my list of things I wanted to do.
Yesterday, I slept in and was engrossed in a book. I finally left the hotel around one-ish. I took the subway to the Diamond Hill stop in the New Kowloon area to visit the Chi Lin Nunnery, which was quite beautiful. Allegedly no nails were used to build it. There were different openings with statues including one that was a Sakyamuni Buddhist. I don’t know much about the Buddhist faith. I noticed a lot of bowing and incense burning. There was a tape of chanting playing in the background. The nunnery is a replica of a house of worship from the Tang Dynasty, which was from 619-907. It opened in 2000. To get into it you enter a Lotus Pond Garden, which I loved. It was a very peaceful square. There was also another nice park adjacent called Hamma Hill Park. Across the street (and connected by a bridge) was the Nan Lian Garden, which was quite nice. I’ve seen quite a few nice parks this visit. It’s nice to get away from the concrete jungle and enter into the serenity of parks.
I then took the subway back one stop and went to the Wong Tai Sin Temple. There were a lot of people there praying and burning incense, so it was quite smoky. It opened in 1921 and is named for a person who was originally called Huang Chuping who was born in 328. He was said to be able to see the future and make wishes come true. According to my guidebook, worshippers from Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism visit. Again, not sure what the tenets of belief are for any of them. There are a lot of fortunetellers around the area. There was a very nice garden in the temple area.
It was hotter yesterday than it has been. I walked around New Kowloon some, but I didn’t find it as inspiring or interesting as the area around the Prince Edward, Mong Kok, or Yau Ma Tei subway stops, which has been my favorite areas so far. I did catch some glimpses at Lion Rock, which basically does look like a sitting lion. No attempt was even made to even think about climbing it.
Came back to the hotel and read some. Then I had dinner with Alice and then read some more.
This morning, I got up and read and then got ready. I am meeting Alice for dim sum for lunch. Yay! Today, I’m not sure what I will do. I might just come back to the room and read after lunch. Or, I could just hop on the subway and see where it takes me. Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I plan to go to another museum. Thursday, I will certainly take it easy. Friday, I fly home. Ready or not.