On the Road to Hong Kong
Following Back Home in Bangkok
August 25-31, 2003
On the way to Hong Kong.
Good morning from Hong Kong. You are looking at Kowloon from Hong Kong Island ... specifically, from Suite 1410 (*) at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
* No relation to Suite 1410 (AKA, Gore Vidal Suite) at The Oriental in Bangkok.
PS: Watcharee and I took the Star Ferry to Kowloon for lunch.
PPS: Here are some panoramas: two taken from our suite and one taken from the dock at Kowloon.
PPPPPPPPPPPPS: Night scenes.
Yet more PSSSSSSSSSSSSS's: Out on the town (Kowloon) for a Chinese dinner at The Peninsula and a ride back to the Mandarin Oriental on the Star Ferry.
After I focused in once more ... [('Nikonishly', from our suite) ... on Kowloon's old British Clock Tower] ... the four of us wandered over to the tram for the trip up to the top of Victoria Peak.
The views of the city from up here are spectacular ... [Note: I've beamed in yet again on Pei's Bank of China; and, yes, including ... sigh ... yet another picture of Hong Kong's tallest building ... this one taken from the 'ground' while we were making our way over to the tram station.] ... OK, getting back to the peak: really, the vista is magnificent.
While at the top the girls posed for some pictures while we were planning our ride down the mountain, by road ... toward Aberdeen Bay.
Later, a sampan ride around Aberdeen Bay highlighted just how decimated has become the 'boatage'. When I came here in '81 there were hundreds of live-on boats....now there are just a few dozen. Even three years ago there were scores more. Soon there will be none.
Finally we visited Stanley Market ... a Mecca for budget, souvenir and junk shopping. I bought another copy of Mao's little red book.
Hong Kong Island from the Star Ferry ...
Lunch at The Spring Moon Restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon.
Tonight we had dinner at The Ritz Carlton Hotel on Hong Kong Island ... but, of course, we had to walk by the Bank of China to get there.
Before I flood you with pictures of the Night Market and our visit to the Jumbo Floating restaurant I want to post this nighttime panorama of Hong Kong. It makes no difference that I took this picture as the evening was winding down ... long after our visit to the Night Market and way past the time that we finished dessert at the Jumbo.
The Night Street Market in Kowloon is just another example of the danger of underestimating what people will pay money for ... myself included. I bought two rubber human breasts (for elephant polo), one 'squashable' rubbery tomato and a highly 'squishable' raw egg (with unsolidified albumen with a mellowish yolk).
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant usually seats 2400 people; tonight there were only about a hundred diners ... leaving the Emperor's 'throne' easily accessible for photo posing. Before dinner Pom chose the lobster that she wanted killed. By the way, a little dedicated boat took us to and from the Jumbo ... rides which Pom and Golf most enjoyed.
THOCBDC does not directly accept responsibility for its 'forefather's' exploitation of marketing techniques based on the consumer's weakness for superstition (*): loaves & wine ... got it?
* Despite the obvious benefits that flowed from this 'milking' to the current operator of THOCBDC.
This afternoon we took the Star Ferry Harbor Cruise.
PS: Tonight we had "Our gala final dinner at Man Hua Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong where we said good-bye to old friends." (*). By the way, "Man Hua" means "Mandarin".
* Only Jean Marks will understand this sentence.
We flew from Hong Kong back to Bangkok this afternoon. HKG's airport is the standard by which all others must be judged.
PS: This morning I received a letter from a friend of mine (Prof. Bob Hogner) with whom I used to teach back in my professorial days. Bob still teaches at Florida International University. I don't. Anyway, he wrote seeking assistance in placing students in "Spring Break" positions that would be more 'rewarding' than the usual ones that students gravitate toward after a round of late winter exams.
I have been working around an idea that may enable me to bring a group (~12) students to Thailand around March 20-28 (arrive that Friday PM or Saturday PM, then leave that Monday (29) AM. I wonder if you have any ideas/conections that may turn it into a reality.
In the USA there is a program called Alternative Spring Break It is an organized activity for our various colleges' Spring Break, offering a community focused activity as an alternative to "wine, women, sun & beach" usually associated with college's Spring Breaks.
Two things come to mind:
1) There is an ongoing mine clearing project at the Burma border; it is up in the Golden Triangle area ... which is a bit of a stretch from BKK. The locals shy away from it as too many have lost lower limbs while trying to freshen their own neighborhood ... and the army has shown no interest in digging up stuff that might go "BANG". Volunteers would be welcome here.
2) Closer to 'home' ... in fact right in BKK ... there is always a need for female help in the 'curtain' hotels. The working girls in the lower end sex trade have such a high client pass-through that they would welcome some 'farang' ladies who would be willing to 'fluff' the rooms between 'tricks'. It's not hard work; just sheet changing, a little toilet washing-up, condom flushing and ash tray dumping. BTW, if you are bringing any blondes (thin ones) they could actually do some service work ... if they are pretty.
I am in Hong Kong right now ... but, I'd be glad to check further when I get back to BKK later in the week.
Actually, the Spring Break beaches and the beer sound pretty nice ... but, you know your people better than anyone.
All the best,
Next: Back in Bangkok