My First Solo Trip: Hong Kong Day 2

1 Aug

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

I woke up a little bit after 8 am with barely any signs of sunlight. Rain drummed against the windows which made staying in bed slash under the covers the better option to anything else. I would’ve stayed that way for hours except that I follow a time schedule with my meals. If I eat breakfast too late, everything gets pushed back. That includes my favorite activity — sleep.

For that day, I wanted to be more organized and efficient. So I wrote down all the places that I wanted to visit with the fastest routes to get there. I said to myself: “Enough with the wandering and get the shopping over!”  I jinxed myself. The notebook was never pulled out of my bag.

Despite the freezing weather and my inexplicable low low tolerance for the cold, the inner Filipino in me won. I still decided to take a full shower.

Wasn’t sure if it was the Filipino in me or the lack of foresight but I decided to wear slippers for the dreary weather.  My slippers were not so useful as they lacked traction. I was literally slippin’ and slidin’.  Hong Kong fashion sense made sense that  day. The array of bright colored rubber boots and shoes boasted of their wet-free capabilities. I bet those two men by the trash can are foreigners.

Commuting was a struggle but my destination was definitely worth it.  Din Tai Fung was the only place where I really really really wanted to eat at for the entire trip. Ironically, this restaurant originates from Taiwan and not Hong Kong. But my love for Xiao Long Baos (next to Ube Siopaos or Hopias) reigned supreme. I’ve been a sucker for Chinese / Taiwanese food lately.

I am soy sauce averse and this also applies when I eat my dumplings.  I place black vinegar inside the hole and coat the skin with black vinegar once again.  I’m not  an expert when it comes to Chinese food but one of the things that stood out with DTF Xiao Long Bao’s are that they did not need to be handled with extra care. The skin was not too thin that it’ll instantly burst. This is a big thing for unskilled chopstick users like me.

I also ordered a pork bun. Silly of me to expect asado oozing out. I realized it was a Xiao Long Bao Pao that had the same meat quality. Good but wasn’t what my taste buds were expecting. I wish I ordered the Taro Dumplings instead.

After that great meal, my supposed itinerary for the day became non-existent. I felt that after checking Din Tai Fung off my list, I can just about do anything that I want. And so, I wandered around..walked wherever my feet would take me.

Streets in Hong Kong can get tricky. Just like an optical illusion, you begin to question yourself if you’ve been going around in circles. “Is this the same Swatch store I saw five minutes ago?” I never knew the answer.

And when my feet had had enough of getting wet, I checked out the fast food chain “Cafe de Coral”.

I wasn’t hungry enough for real food, so before heading in I grabbed my new found favorite — waffles (hot off the street)!  After examining the lunch sets, I asked the cashier if they had just plain coffee. Luckily, they did. But they did not have Splenda.. of course.

A random Chinese man asked me if the seat in front of me was taken. I said no. He must’ve felt my awkwardness because he did not proceed to sit. Instead, he left his pack of cigarettes to mark his territory but left at once. To do what, i’m not too sure.

And even if I was all about being adventurous and brave, I don’t think I would’ve lasted the rest of my coffee trying to converse with this man. So while he was away, I did a game of charades with one of the waitresses. She unlocked my request for a take-away cup for my coffee after about two minutes. We both smiled at each other widely (with sighs of relief) after we successfully communicated to each other.

I must have wandered pretty far off  after Cafe de Coral. I ended up in the part of the city wherein I can no longer find any entrances to the MTR. And when I looked to my left, I was pretty amazed by the sharp contrast between the old housing structures against the new sky scrapers.

Just as the sun was about to set, I saw a random stadium. For some reason, this was the indicator that told me to go back to the hotel. In high school, whenever varsity practices would commence, I would always take that as a sign to go home already. Since I tend to get easily distracted and wander off,  that was a pretty good decision given that I had dinner plans.

Thankfully, my friend was patient enough given that I postponed our dinner meet-up by 30 minutes. (Yes, I got distracted). He was nice enough to still treat me dinner at Peking Garden even though we did not have Peking Duck. We both agreed that would’ve not ended nicely given that just like soy sauce, I am oil averse. Instead, I got their mixed dumplings which were juicy (because of the inner soup!), fresh and clean tasting.  I enjoyed it so much that I was only able to take a photo of the after math.

After dinner, we headed out to go to the Star Ferry. Before making it to the dock, I got distracted easily by the massive OOH of Galaxy Note 8.0. I had to take a photo with it. The photo does not give its massiveness justice. It only captured  just about half of its width.

With the slight drizzle and the chilly winds, we finally got in the Star Ferry Cruise. The “shields” were sadly rolled down but we didn’t mind as we took the opportunity to catch up on just about four years worth of updates. And with the crossing from Kowloon to the Hong Kong side, that was the mark of the end of my wholesome night.

Check out “My First Solo Trip” at HK series in the following posts…

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  1. My First Solo Trip: Hong Kong Day 2 | Galaxy Note 8.0 - August 1, 2013

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