Monday, February 5, 2007
Hong Kong, day 4
Today, Matthias was in the 747-400 sim all day, so I decided to go downtown by myself. I must say, just riding the subway is entertaining for me. Since we are staying on Lan-tau island, by the airport, it takes almost an hour to get downtown. I just people watch the entire way.
I first went to the Flagstaff Museum of Tea. It's located in Hong Kong Park. It was a beautiful day, almost 70 degrees F. The Museum of Tea was right up my alley. It took you through the history of drinking tea in China, with lots of examples of pottery from each dynasty. It even had "poetry of tea". I liked how even the way tea should be prepared was carefully explained: " when the water begins to generate bubbles like "fish eyes" and sounds like "wind blowing through the pine trees", this is when you add salt. When bubbles are like a "string of beads", stir and add the tea powder." Cool.
After I got out of the museum, I wandered through Hong Kong Park, looking at fountains, fish ponds with turtles, and water lilies. What a beautiful oasis to find in the middle of a city filled with skyscrapers. I picked a perfect day to be in a park. I managed to find a spiral staircase leading to a vantage point, from which I took some nice photos of the skyline, and the Tea museum with tall buildings behind.
I next went to the Hong Kong center for visual arts, where there was an exhibit of art from the graduating students. I was the only person in there. So if you are in a crowded city and you want to escape, just go and look at art, apparently. It was interesting to see art being created by students from a completely different part of the world.
It was not a long walk to the Hong Kong botanical gardens. Matthias and I had been there in October, but it was such a nice day, I decided to stay outside and enjoy the sun. I tried to see everything we didn't see in October. I was unable to see any of the aviaries, either in Hong Kong park or the botanical gardens. Here's the sign explaining why. I did get to see a jaguar, and a bunch of monkeys and tamarinds. Orangatans, too! There are many stairs to climb up and down in Hong Kong, and I pretty much climbed stairs the whole time I was downtown.
After a couple hours of park enjoyment, I decided to work my way back to the hotel. I walked to the subway. There is an interchange between the downtown subway and the subway to our hotel, and in the middle of this interchange, was a diorama of a giant "Hello kitty" getting married!!! Try not to throw up, but I was forced to take a photo for nostalgic reasons. My sister and I had Japanese pen pals growing up, and they used to send us all kinds of Hello Kitty paraphanelia. I have to tell you, I was not the only one photographing the wedding of Hello Kitty - just the only non-native!!! Funny. Becca, I took this photo for you.
Riding the subway back, I realized how tired I was, but NOT TOO TIRED to do a little bit of shopping!! ha ha ha. I made a goal for myself to buy purple things today, so I bought a pair of purple pants, and two purple shirts. Nice! Purple is much harder to find in the US. For all of you fashionistas out there, I am happy to announce that the fashion of the 80's is alive and well in HK: short denim skirts or long sweaters worn with leggings, stripes everywhere, converse with tight ankle jeans, and - believe it or not ARGYLE!!!! No kidding. Perhaps the next set of photos should be fashions...