Sometime between Dec 31st and Jan 1st, 2010
No New Years Eve kiss but I bet $100 HK dollars I was drooling instead. At about 12am in somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, I was 4000 feet in the air, laying against an airplane window situating comfort, dreaming of the new year ahead. At about 12 hours into the flight, I lost circulation in my knee caps, but the excitement kept the blood flowing throughout the rest of my body. My only regret thus far was having no one beside to share the pleasant pain.
Jan 1st, 2010
The plane touched down at 3:32pm. Hong Kong airport was tremendous with long terminals, express conveyor rails, and electronic vending machines around every corner. I was happy to see English accompaniment on every Chinese sign, and found my way to the bus transit. Somehow I got on the right doubledecker CityBus, N21, which takes you from the airport to Tsim Tsai Shui, southeast side of Kowloon. The bus ride took about 45 minutes crossing over the Hong Kong bridge, passing by residential high rises that had to of been well over 40 stories high, bringing me from Lantau Island to Kowloon.
At 5:30pm, I checked into a guesthouse at ChungKing Mansions. I booked the night online in case I didn't find Aaron, my mom's client's good friend from Florida who apparently escaped a couple months ago and spontaneously moved to the island in October. He understood the unfamiliarity of a brand new place alone and assured me he would help me get acquainted. We discussed that I would contact him from the airport to meet up with him on Hong Kong island which turned out to be a lot harder than was imagined, so I just continued on without his assistance, in hopes I would still find my way.
At 7:22, I started to cry. I sat down on the bed that the hostel. The white sheets were stained and the mattress frame was fit for a midget. The floors were sticky and damp and the walls were cracked with mold. The hallways smelled of body odor and dirt, and it was obvious the men at the reception desk were completely unconcerned with the well being of themselves or others. After I finished almost regretting my decision to travel independently, I wiped my face, and went back to the 7th floor and demanded a cleaner room, a properly sized bed, and wifi. "I sorry madam, I sorry, here, no problem." And, they brought me to a cleaner (at best) room.
Jan 2nd, 2010
I woke up and went straight to a yoga studio. Pure Yoga was located on top of the Peninsula Hotel building and was a beautiful facility. After an incredible Hatha hot flow class, I was able to use their showers and blow driers, and started feeling a little more like a human again. At around lunchtime I contacted Aaron and met up with him for sushi. We walked down Canton Street and found a strip of bars and restaurants. Afterwards, we took a tour of the streets walking a loop around the seaport and Ocean Terminal. I quickly discovered that Hong Kong people are completely obsessed with shopping, considering the copious amounts of malls and stores that are built on top of each other up and down the streets. Apparently a rich city as well, many of the Chinese girls sported a plethora of designer clothes and accessories.