I’ve been in Hong Kong for just over a week now and I’m still grinning like a silly monkey every time I get outside. After living in London I thought I was ready for ‘just another big city’. Well, London is pretty big, but it’s not TALL! And I mean MONSTER TALL! I’ve never been in a city with skyscrapers everywhere before, and it sure is different.
Travelling around the city is not that tricky, the metro is properly translated everywhere, the buses are ok as long as you have a general clue as to which direction you’re supposed to go. Err, obviously I don’t, yet, but my flatmate and guide, Jussi, has a handy compass in his watch. Buying stuff in shops are also not too hard, point at something, give them your wallet and hope you don’t get scammed. Now, eating is bit harder! You go into a likely looking restaurant, you sit down and get a whole pile of menus, and if you’re lucky one of them will have a translated part. Lunch is usually taken care of around 2pm onwards and most places have a special tea-menu, a choice of a few dishes, maybe a soup and drink included. The tea-menu is certainly the cheapest option, but most of the time that one is not translated! Jussi is quite a bit braver than me, I’m particularly picky when it comes to lunch, the most important meal of the day! Anyway, Jussi just points at option 1 and smiles. And then you wait and see what you get. We call this game the Lunch Roulette. I haven’t played yet.
I have to confess that I’m loving the food here though, soup noodles, fried rice/noodles, lots of lovely vegetables, seafood, dumplings and what-have-you, fantastic! And tomorrow we’re going for proper dim sum for the first time, I can’t wait! Sorry Philippines, you haven’t got a finger on HK in the food department, you certainly win in the diving department though, so don’t cry.
One of the reasons I decided to come here was that Jussi is pretty active in this big group of adventurous people that go climbing, diving, hiking and similar things every week. The day after I arrived here I bought some climbing gear and shakily got back on a climbing wall again, around 17 years since I did it last timeâ€¦ I didn’t quite make it to the top that day but getting all the way up is my number one priority for tomorrow morning!
Last weekend we also went pretty far out in the HK archipelago and went camping! Jussi bought a whole load of camping gear and somehow I ended up with the only tent in the whole groupâ€¦ aaaaaand it started raining halfway through the night! I did get some looks when I climbed out of the tent next morning, all dry and comfortable. We also went diving out there, no the most amazing dives I’ve done but we still saw some pretty cool stuff down there in the murk. Some of the divers are going to do a few tech courses over winter and I’m going to join in, more mixed gases and additional tanks, very exciting! Deeper and longer!