Slept until almost half eleven, and I was wandering around for hours until I actually woke up. Decided to pay for another night in the cell, as I couldn’t be bothered to find somewhere else. Plus I wasn’t robbed or raped, so it met my minimum requirements.
I left via the stairwell, and almost trod on a couple of people sleeping there. It was a pretty manky and depressing place for a home; but it did inexplicably smell of rosemary, so I guess that takes the edge off.
I hopped on the ferry over to Hong Kong island, which was incredibly businessy and skyscrapery.
(I haven’t got much more to say about it, to be honest.)
I got collared and scammed by an “astrology student” in a mall, and let him do his thing as I found it entertaining. He spoke at me at a thousand miles an hour about having “powers” and being able to “see things” – such as my being a “lucky man” (and having ‘mug’ emblazoned on my forehead, presumably). At the beginning he wrote some things on a docket, scrunched it up and made me hold it in my hand. He told me I’d have three “lucky” days in the next couple of months, including the 20th of February. Stay tuned to see if that holds true. I put my hand on an overly-Photoshopped picture of his dreadlocked yogi sitting atop a mountain, he breathed on it, and lo! – I was granted future luck. I was asked to unfold the docket, and all of his ‘predictions’ about me had come true (two were as tenuous as fuck, but he did admittedly guess my age correctly). I was expecting the hook when it came… to a degree. He asked me for “note money” (of course), so I gave him ten bucks. He seemed insulted, and asked me for at least a hundred. A HUNDRED! I balked. When I told him this was too much, and he argued that he was a student, not a beggar. I pointed out that the $500 note in his wallet – presumably to solicit higher donations from his ‘clients’ – was more than I had for the rest of my stay. He pointed out that $10 was the equivalent of a quid. So I gave him an extra $20. I apologised, told him he seemed nice, wished him luck and left with a wink. I don’t believe in any of that stuff – hence I couldn’t swallow that the $100 price tag would’ve been an investment in my future happiness. But $30 – a pint, essentially – seemed a reasonable exchange for an entertaining diversion. He seemed happy with this compromise, and so called off the clouds of bad luck that he’d been summoning for me.
I decide to escape the CBD, head over to Lantau Island and catch the cable car to Ngong Ping – a monastery in the mountains with a big Buddha statue.
Ok, so the cable car journey shit up me proper! The view wasn’t terrific as it was really foggy, but – honestly – I think that probably saved me from going batshit mental with terror. Plus, it was like travelling to the clouds. The island is truly shrouded with mystery! And, by ‘mystery’, I of course mean small atmospheric droplets of water.
I had a glass of wine in the monk-sanctioned café, mooched around the monastery, and went up the endless stairs to have a natter with the big Buddha. He was pretty reserved, but I think we understood each other.
I found myself wondering why the cock the monks had chosen to pitch up where they did exactly, all the way across the mountains. I’d seen the track going through the woods beneath the cable car, and thought that it must’ve been a nightmare to traverse, let alone actually lay in the first place. Then, as we pulled away and the sunset broke through the mist, it occurred to me – it’s absolutely beautiful there. Sadly this photo doesn’t do it justice, but the way the clouds were combed over the mountains was bona fide magic:
So, to follow a bang with a whimper, I went to the Hong Kong Symphony Of Lights with a beer. For those not in the know, this is a nightly performance where the skyscrapers on the water do a light show in time with some music. And I can officially report that is was SPECTACULAR in its capacity to be underwhelming. Symphony Of Shite*.
Not much else to report really. I went on a hapless search for a decent bar, and the most promising lead turned out to be full of western businessmen, and two Chinese girls presumably looking for western businessmen. I think I’ll take a guide next time. By which I mean a guide to Hong Kong – not a girl guide. Er… I think maybe it’s time to stop.
*Sincerest apologies to my Faecesbook friends, who’ve already had to endure this ‘joke’.