Sunday in Hong Kong

This morning began with breakfast once again in my hotel. This time I put some crunchy flakes (that’s what the little sign said – crunchy flakes – of what I have no idea) on my congee. I definitely like congee.
My cousins met me at my hotel, and if went to church with them. It’s an ex-pat (mostly) church, but the ex-pats are from all over the place. I was introduced to a couple from Mexico, as well as to a couple from my own home town of New York. Services are in English. This particular church dates to colonial times and was the Scottish National church at one time, although now it is generically Protestant.
After church we went for lunch in the same neighborhood (the Mid-levels, so named for being halfway up the mountain). We went to a vegetarian dim sum place. It was great! My cousins graciously allowed me to pick the tea, so I chose chrysanthemum tea, just because I’ve never had it before. It’s good – very earthy.
As is the tradition here, the plates are very small and there is a small bowl and spoon at each place that each person uses to eat from. My cousins did the ordering, so I’m not entirely sure what we ate, except for the rice packets wrapped in lotus leaves. Rice does not automatically come with meals here.
Typically, there are no napkins, but this restaurant had a box of tissues on each table.
After lunch CW went home to do some work and FC took me around some more. I should have taken some comfortable walking shoes with me, so my feet are yelling at me now, but I’ll recover.
We went to Hong Kong Park and walked through the aviary. The birds, from all over South Asia and Australia, didn’t seem to mind the heat.
Have I mentioned the heat? It has been wickedly hot here. I mean brutally, unforgivingly hot. And humid. I think I lost 12 lbs. today. It’s rather wilting.
Where was I? Oh yes, the aviary. I will post pictures to this blog when I return – I don’t have the capability now. The birds are fantastically colorful and beautiful. The walking deck is fairly high up, so visitors get to be fairly close to the birds. Also, they hang feeders with fresh fruit very close to the walkway so that the birds get up close. They’re used to the people walking through, so they aren’t particularly skittish. It was lovely.
After the aviary, we walked through some lovely gardens in the park, and then we took the Star Island ferry to the Kowloon side where we had a great view of the Hong Kong Island skyline.
Walking to the ferry terminal, in the central district near the ferry and the IFC mall, we saw hordes of people, mostly young women, and mostly Filipino, just sitting around. They were sitting on the steps, and on blankets that they’d spread on the pedestrian walkway. These are the domestic workers, and Sunday is their day off. Most of them live in, and they have no where to go, so they just hang out out there we saw one pop-up tent. Not a bad idea. Some picnics. Some people were playing card games. Some we’re chatting. A few were taking pictures. Hong Kong is so expensive for them.
We stopped in at the Peninsula Hotel on Kowloon and didn’t have afternoon tea (because the line was so long) but sat down in the bar and had a drink and a cool-down before heading to Lantau Island for dinner.
We met up with CW and Young Cousin (YC) at the flat, and then went to a very nice Thai restaurant for dinner. We went back to the flat after dinner, and I left them watching the Wimbledon men’s final after a while and headed back to my hotel. I’m learning my way around somewhat.
I have an Octopus card for transportation, and today I learned how to reload it. I know how to get a cab. I know how to get to and from my cousins’ and my hotel.
Tomorrow I’ll be on my own until dinner. This is exciting!
That’s Ll I’ve got. That’s my mite.

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