Toto, We’re Not In China Anymore….

I’ve left the mainland and arrived in Hong Kong. And so far this place is fantabulous!

My experience in Guangzhou was less than exciting. I was rained on the entire time. Heavy rain, complete with lots of lightning & thunder, which was pretty cool to see. We don’t get thunderstorms in San Francisco, so it was great to finally experience that again. So with the exception of braving the storm to run down the street and buy noodles twice a day, I pretty much hung out at the hostel.

Yesterday (Thursday) I hopped a train to Hong Kong for the weekend. Actually, I’ll stay here for 4 nights, but who knows, perhaps I’ll stay here a bit longer. As soon as I left the train station, it felt like a different world. A modern city with a diverse population. The first thing that struck me is that people were not staring at me like I’m an alien from another planet. The second was that people drive on the left — gotta look the right direction when crossing the streets. And the third was that there are many many non-Chinese restaurants! I was so happy to see food other than Chinese. Three weeks of the same cuisine has driven me mad. Plus, I wasn’t too keen on Chinese food to begin with.

It was easy to get to my hotel from the train station, and I checked into what must be the smallest hotel room ever made. Oh wait, I think they do have smaller in Japan. My room is about 6’3 long, by about 4′, with a tiny tiny bathroom on the side. When I lay in bed, I can touch my head on one wall, and my toes on the other, and place my hands on the other two with ease. But the place is clean. I’m on the 12th floor, Block E, of the Chung King Mansion – a really trippy building right in the thick of Kowloon. I’m a 2 minute walk to the waterfront, and museums, and all kinds of other stuff.

Mexican FoodLast night I took the ferry across to Kong Kong Island where I found a decent Mexican food restaurant. It happened to be right in the middle of a “pink light” district. I had a pretty good shrimp dish, chips and salsa, a jumbo margarita, all for around 50 bucks US – of course, being a big crazy city, it is expensive. But for the food I got, I could see being charged about the same in San Francisco.

Bored StrippersThe funny part was that from my open air seat in the restaurant I could watch all the bored strippers hanging out in front the “Waikiki Club” across the street. In fact the street was filled with bored strippers in front of their clubs – I guess it must have been a slow night….

Tonight I’m off to an area that my friend Zul recommended.¬†Lan Kwai Fong¬†should prove to be interesting on a Friday night.