Hong Kong: My First Full Day

Last week I didn’t know what congee was. This morning I had it for breakfast. Today was my first full day in Hong Kong, and I’m still a bit giddy with the idea of just being in Asia.
I had breakfast in my hotel. The buffet included options for a full English breakfast, and Japanese and Chinese selections, as well as things that Americans would recognize. I tried some congee (clearly made from rice, slightly sweet, a bit watery and served warm) and I also tried some dragon fruit, as well as some more familiar fare. Tomorrow I will be more adventurous.
After breakfast I went across the street to change some money. The exchange gave me what I looked up as the current going rate – $7.75HK per $1.00US. I’m not really sure how they’re making money.
Then I briefly explored by my hotel (dried fish for sale across the street – I will post pictures when I return home) before Cousin’s Wife (CW) came to meet me.
We set out and took the tram for a while and headed into the central district.
Construction is a constant event in Hong Kong. The most amazing thing about that is the scaffolding. It’s made out of bamboo! I know bamboo is strong, but holy cow!
When we got off the tram CW got an Octopus card for me so that I can use it on the busses, trams, ferry, the MRT (train) and even in convenience stores! Then we started walking.
We walked through the fancy shopping district, and also through alleys with open-air stalls that sell everything.
Now, I know that things don’t always translate well, but when I saw the Yiu Fat Seafood stall I really had to take some pictures. I thought for a moment that I was in a James Bond movie. And if it swims …or just sits in the ocean… It’s in this market.
I took pictures of all sorts of fruit that I have no idea about what they are.
We walked through a big mall that looks pretty much like every mall in every big city in the world. Except maybe for the tea store. At the other end of the mall is a walkway that took us to the ferry terminal.
We then took the ferry to Discovery Bay. This is on Lantau Island, where Hong Kong Disney is, and where my cousins and many other ex-pats live. No private cars are allowed. There are busses and golf carts, but mostly busses. My cousins have a fantastic view of the bay and Hong Kong Island.
Real estate square footage is reported by including a percentage of the common hallways, lobby, and elevator, so a 1500-square-foot apartment is really much smaller than that. Space is at a premium here. My hotel room is compact, but lovely, and so is my cousins’ apartment.
I spent some time in the apartment, and also walking around the plaza. We had dinner together, and then CW and I went for a walk all the way down to the beach.
Two nights ago, I had my feet in the wet sand of the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco. This evening, I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean in Discovery Bay (South China Sea) in Hong Kong. Before I boarded my flight, someone asked me why I was flying to Hong Kong, and I told him it was because it was too far to swim. It is too far to swim, yet I have now touched two ends of the same ocean. It’s the same and entirely different.
That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.

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