Friday, 22 February 2008

Hong Kong!, 20:55, 22/02/2008

A twelve hour plane journey, coupled with some weird jetlag (I feel like it's still the same day, realise it isn't but everything also feels extremely far away..but not) and, well, quite a crazy city, is exhausting to say the least. I flew with Oasis Hong Kong, who aren't expensive (£196 one way, all inc.), but really, I shouldn't have expected too much. My leg room was extremely restricted and the food was terrible - but, the staff were happy enough, the people adjacent both gave me their contact details and invited me to various places (including Shenzen, and up-and-coming town in China, great for shopping and parties, apparently!), so that helped my along the way. The view from the plane was very special indeed, sand dunes upon sand dunes, covered in ice/snow, then mountains of green. Certainly, China is interesting from the sky.

I knew the weather wasn't going to be fantastic, reports of rain from the online weather websites told me that, but, I've only encountered a few flecks at the most. Generally, it's anything up to 20 degrees C, warm enough for a shirt anywhere you go.

Getting from the airport wasn't too much of a hassle, it's a fantastic piece of architecture and serves it's function. There are plenty of options for getting out of the place too, Airport Shuttles, Airport Buses, taxis, trains, it's all there. I paid HK$33 (£2) for a bus to Nathan Road (the electronic's district where everything dodgy and not is available), it took around half an hour or so, so pretty good value all in all, plus, the buses are exactly the same as ours (and drive on the same side of the road). Arriving at the place I was due to stay was a little confusing, as the bus takes you past many high-rising blocks of flats, through lush greenery, into roadworks, by some gritty looking slums, then into neon-light neopolitan Kowloon. I went inside the block, found my way around some dodgy looking stalls and shops, up to the 16th floor, and find a hand-written sign telling me to go to reception on the 13th floor. Okay, to the 13th floor! I get there.. there's a guy in the corridor with a small chair and table, and a list of printed out names. I point mine out, pay my HK$612 (£40) for the week's stay, and get led by a girl down an elevator, out of the building, past some other buildings, into another, past a load more dodgy looking shops indoors, mostly selling mobile phones, into another elevator, up to what I think is the 17th floor, around a corner, through two sets of doors, into a yellow door, down the corridor, and into the shittiest little room I have ever seen. Buy hey, £6 a night? Anyway, the bed? Well, imagine a small box room, one half has a big plank of wood suspended at waist-height, with a two-inch (at the most) squashed 'mattress' on it, one pillow, a wooly blanket, a shitty TV in the corner (no grounding pin on the plug, oh, and it doesn't work), a fan in the ceiling, and, well, that's it (thankfully). I say thankfully, simply because I would probably go crazy if I found some life-forms in there (such as cockroaches), but as it is, I'm going to chalk this up to what I can only describe as a life experience, one that I should really make note of and research the places I stay in. From now on, I don't think I'll be as stingy, it's just not worth it.

Escaping my room after the quick change of clothes (I've been wearing them since 9am on the 21st), I take ten minutes trying to escape Chungking Mansions (the block of apartments where all these little hostel things are located) and just walk.. I walk for what must have been an hour. If you're white, you seem to get hassled by every Indian guy in Hong Kong, trying to sell you his 'Rolex' or whatever it is he has on his arm. I've given up telling them to sod off, now I take the cool stance and look firmly ahead, ignoring any requests, or just shake my head everytime someone says 'excuse me kind sir', 'hello friend!', 'wanna buy cheap watch?', 'just check this out really good deal once time only please'. I suppose I'll be used to it tomorrow. I end up resting at a small restaurant, spiced beef with rice, HK$55 (£3.60) in total, with complementary green tea in a plastic cup. Then, onwards! I got a new SIM card (I'll update with a number soon), got the essentials (shaving foam, shower gel, hair-gel), and now I'm resting at the internet cafe with a girl from Jersey, who sadly has had to make do without her bag (as it was lost at the airport). Ouch..

Anyway, photos will be uploaded sometime, I'm shattered (I've been awake since 9am yesterday). Take care!

1 comment:

Hemzzz said...

You take care too...