Stanley Market and Adventures on the Road

Last night I had a sleepover at my cousins’ place. My Young Cousin (YC) spent the night with a friend, so the little kitten spent the night with me. That was fun – I’ve been without feline company since I left home. She brought me her toy mouse. We’re getting along just fine.
I got up a little after six this morning just in time to see the end of the Argentina vs Netherlands World Cup match. The kitty was riveted.
After the game, CW went to work, and FC and I set out for Stanley Market. Stanley is on the east end of Hong Kong Island, so we took the ferry to Central (since we were in Discovery Bay), and then we took the number 6 bus. The number 260 is faster, but it goes through a tunnel, so it’s less scenic. The six goes over the mountain.
This might be a good time to talk about driving and transportation in Hong Kong. Transportation is very inexpensive here. Taxis are very cheap, and trams, busses, and the MRT (Hong Kong’s subway system) are all efficient, clean, and very inexpensive. The ferries are the most expensive, and they still only cost about $5.00 US.
Everything goes fast here. Unless there’s traffic. And that’s also a special experience as vehicles jockey deftly for position. But in general, everyone drives fast. The busses go fast, the ferries go fast, the taxis, well, wear your seat belt. Wear your seat belt anyway.
Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way here. It’s important to be vigilant when crossing the street.
Busses, even the big double-decker busses, take turns at hair-raising speeds. The Top Gear guys would be in awe.
Now I think I’ve mentioned that Hong Kong is genuinely mountainous. The highest peak is over 3000 feet, and the lowest level is necessarily sea level. It’s impressive and intense.
So, there we were on the number six bus. We were screeching around turns on the mountain road as we headed to Stanley. People walk along the road. Cars jockey for position. Holy he’ll-on-wheels, Batman! Especially on the way back, when I was sitting on the cliff side, I had to remind myself to look out not down.
We did eventually get to Stanley Market. It’s a partially open-air, partially enclosed market. It’s wonderful. You can get just about anything there from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Want art? There’s art – kitsch and the good stuff. Want toys? Check. Clothes? Check. Lacquer boxes? Yup. Chopsticks? Tea posts and tea? Art supplies? Soccer balls? Flowers? Fresh lychee? It’s all there. We had a lot of fun (I did anyway), just looking around, and I did pick up a beautiful silk robe for myself, as well as a few gifts. I have a lot of grandchildren.
We ate lunch in a lovely Vietnamese restaurant located in a building that had been relocated from Central and rebuilt in Stanley. It’s a beautiful building.
We saw a roadside Buddhist shrine that had incense burning in it.
We had an adventurous ride back to Central and then back to Discovery Bay for some down time, dinner, and a movie. Tonight I’m back in my hotel. A good day.
That’s it. That’s my mite.

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