Hong Kong Day 7 (December 31, 2005) – complete

2 01 2006

Down Day – Ha!

This morning we lazed around and woke up quite late – 1000. After getting out into the city again, we did a bit of local looking around, and went for some fish ball soup, at a little hole in the wall restaurant that apparently is THE place in Aberdeen to get fish ball soup. I don’t think I’m quite a connoisseur of this stuff, as it tasted good, but… I dunno. After lunch, we headed down to the wharf in Aberdeen, near where we are living. We took the “Shuttle” boat out to the Jumbo Seafood restaurant, and checked out the restaurant. It was quite luxurious in appearance, but my sources say the quality of the food has gone downhill from the restaurant’s glory days. It was a neat side excursion. After that little outing, we stopped by the local Chinese Laundry (yes they do exist) and brought our shirts and pants for washing. Great way to get your stuff dried, as nobody has a clothes drier in their apts in Hong Kong.

Here is one of the many, many pictures of apartment blocks around Hong Kong. Straight up!

Then – some actual down time. I hung out and MSN’ed while Mrs. D had a rest. We were going to be heading out for New Year’s so we wanted to make sure we were rested.

At 1800, Mrs D sends ME down to get the laundry. The WHITE guy! Luckily, it’s not far from home, so I didn’t get lost, and we had pre-paid, so it was easy to pick up. They recognized me immediately (I guess they don’t get a lot of Caucasian clients), and I was back in no time with fresh dried clothes!

Right after that, it was time to head out. We headed to TST (尖沙咀) east to see the celebration of lights, which was to start at 2000. We got out of the Ferry, and headed toward the avenue of stars. As we approach the area, we run into more and more police officers directing the crowd. We find ourselves being marshaled along, in a direction away from the area we want to be, and are told that they have turned our destination into a one-way pedestrian walk, so we’d have to go up a few blocks, and then walk back down. We entered the “Walk of Stars” near the Museum of Art. As we approach the area, we find ourselves becoming part of a tide of humanity. We were pressed by people every which way, and the police were directing us along a particular direction. We found a spot, and stuck there. It was a pretty good view of the buildings in Central, but there was a pole, and some adjustment was necessary. I tried some test shots with the camera, but it was looking grim without the tripod. It looks like I was going to be trying to shoot the lights with 1/20th, and 800 ISO. The show was good, but not spectacular. I guess I was imagining things along the lines of our Symphony of Fire. They had advertised as having fireworks with the show today, but it was only small shells. No big bursts 😦

Fireworks:

Building lights and fireworks:

When the show finished we headed along the Walk of Stars, and took some pics of the Bruce Lee statue for baggy. (Turns out from a later conversation, that he had done the same) So, with 3+ hours until midnight, Mrs. D and I figured we’d check out the various countdown/party sites. We headed over to Lan Kwai Fong (蘭桂坊) in Central first. Lan Kwai Fong is pretty much the tourist bar scene. There were a tonne of white people there, and the bars were cranking out very western music. The crowds were building, and people were already wall to wall in the streets. There were probably over 100 policemen in the area, and large signs directed people the direction in which they wanted people to go. Definitely gonna be a party here.

Crowd at Lan Kwai Fong

After Lan Kwai Fong, we headed down to Times Square in Causeway Bay. We reached the first entrance area, and were directed around a few times by the police and found ourselves walking circumferential to the area. Not what we were looking for. At the second entrance area, another, very polite, officer directed us back to the first. I told him that the first had sent us here. “Oh!”, says he, and directs us around the square further. At the third entrance street the police direct us back to the second again, and this time I ask him in my best tourist voice,”Honestly, do you think there is ANY chance that we’re going to be able to enter this area, since we keep being sent back and forth between entrances?” He says, “I guess it might be too full”. Perhaps they could coordinate this information instead of dangling the carrot of potential entrance in front of us, in what appeared to be a totally uncoordinated effort. NOTE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG: FIND A WAYYYYY BIGGER PLACE TO HOLD YOUR NEW YEARS CELEBRATIONS!!!

Having been bounced around Times Square for a while, we headed over to the “World Trade Centre”. We we were able to get within reasonable range of a group of hip hop artists who were entertaining the crowd. Unfortunately Mrs D was feeling a bit claustrophobic in the crowd, so we moved on and mixed and mingled with people around Times Square, while never getting close.

Midnight struck, and we all cheered. Promptly after that, we were on a bus back home. From home we called all our various relatives and wished them an early (in their time) Happy New Year. Finally hit the hay at 0200. Sorry for the late update.

Pictures at http://www.fotothing.com/dragonspeed

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