Last Day in Hong Kong

Months of planning and anticipation. That’s always the way. A day in the airport that seemed like it would never end. And now it all seems to have gone by so quickly! Today was my last day in Hong Kong. The concierge will call me at 0-dark-thirty so that I can get up, ready, and packed for.my 05:30 taxi to the airport.
Owing to Germany’s victory over Argentina in the wee hours of this morning (sigh), we had a later start today. I met FC at Pier 3 just after 11:00. This is the nutty thing. He took the ferry from Discovery Bay, on Lantau Island, to Central, on Hong Kong Island, and then we both went to the ferry to Mui Wo. On Lantau Island. Just around the bend from Discovery Bay. But to understand why it had to be like this you need to know about the Lamma Island ferry disaster.
In 2012, a Hong Kong Electric boat crashed into the Lamma Island ferry and there were casualties. As a result, new regulations require more staff on the ferries. There had been more frequent ferries from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo, but the new regulations put the cost of operations over the edge, and that ferry has now been cut back to twice a day to accommodate school children. At other times at is now necessary to make a triangle to go in a straight line. No matter, we got to Mui Wo.
Mui Wo is much more rural than even Chueng Chau. Very quiet place. We walked around a bit. We had some lunch in a Turkish restaurant. We saw some cool banyan trees. Also shrines everywhere. There are shrines everywhere here. And sometimes people grin incense by there door posts.
We came upon a bunch of people playing mahjong.
We took things very easy and eventually we headed back to Discovery Bay. Via Central. Alas. But we did make it back. I had a chance to say goodbye to the beasties, but not to YC, who wasn’t home. I did get to freshen up, which was nice. Then it was time to head out again. Back to the ferry and Central.
This time we headed to Kowloon. We went to the Chin King Mansions – a slightly scary place that could be used as the set for, say, Godspell or Jesus Christ Superstar. It’s pretty wild.
The pace is pretty rickety. People cue up for the elevators which can only handle a few people at a time. Different elevators are for different parts of the buildings. I don’t mean for different floors. I mean for different parts of the floors. There are questionable hostels and guest houses, and some, well, ahem, less-than-legal activities taking place also. And you can get samosas and condoms from the same little shop in the ground floor marketplace. It’s like the international epicenter for Hong Kong’s underclasses. And right across the street – right across the street, are high-end designer shops.
We were there for a little hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant that was very good.
After dinner we walked to the Peninsula Hotel, where my cousins spent their honeymoon. I’d given them a black and white portrait as an engagement present, and I took some more photos tonight to give them an update 25 years later. We also walked along the waterfront and took some photos with the Hong Kong Island nighttime skyline as a backdrop.
We then took one last ride on the Star ferry back to Central, and they escorted me back to my hotel. We said goodnight and goodbye, for now. And this time I won’t let it go 13 years between visits.
Tomorrow I’m going to Cambodia. Cambodia! Wow.
That’s my mite.

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