Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Out of Jecheon.

Sorry for the blogging delay, I don't have any excuses as I haven't actually been teaching. I've been at work 40 hours a week but I've only taught around 12 classes since the end of December. I've watched a lot of TV shows - The Vampire Diaries, Face Off, Castle, Cougar Town - I've almost completed a crochet blanket, I've played a ton of Bejewelled Blitz and I've eaten several bowls of snail soup.

Tom and I had to split up some of our vacation time, primarily because his principal is a bit of a dick nice person. We got to go to Taiwan together, but had an extra three days of holiday to spend apart. As a result, Tom went to Japan for a bit and I jettisoned off to Hong Kong for an awesome long weekend.

I've wanted to visit HK for ages, not just for the food (okay, it's a big part of it) but also because one of my besties has lived there for almost 6 years. A week before I was due to leave I started to freak out because I hadn't done any planning. I got in touch with my friends Dan and Kim who had both visited Hong Kong and Sandy before and both of them responded with a resounding OMG SANDY IS THE BEST TOUR GUIDE EVER. They were right.

Sandy collected me from the airport and we took the train to Hong Kong Island where she lives. My friend had recommended I take the Mid-levels escalator while I was visiting and conveniently it's the best way to get to Sandy's sweet apartment. Along with being generally pleased to get away from Jecheon's -17 temperature, the area around Sandy's place is full of awesome restaurants and cafes and cool stuff to look at. We dumped my backpack at her apartment and went to a cafe where it was possible to order a FLAT WHITE. I knew I wasn't in Korea any more.

Because we hadn't seen each other in 3 years (!) we spent the afternoon and evening chatting like crazy and in between managed to fit in a tram ride to Causeway Bay, a dim sum dinner and an abortive attempt to catch the Peak tram. I think I was too busy being amazed to take many pictures, but I do have these:

Blurry, blurry picture of Causeway Bay at night. Super-popular shopping area and possessor of the World's Busiest Street, according to my guide.

Super sad that although I haven't had a land line in over 3 years, I didn't buy one of these bedazzled torso phones.

Even sadder I didn't buy a bedazzled toilet phone or that awesome Rolling Stones-esque lips phone (the tongue is the handset. So many regrets.

I have a bit of a thing where when I visit a new country (or a new city, who am I kidding?) I like to look at a supermarket. I am not sure what the draw is, I just like to see what's available, what the most popular items are and what you can pick up for next to nothing. It's something I share with my Mum, but it could be from the numerous supermarket jobs I had between the ages of 16 and 23. 

Living in Jecheon isn't so bad but I remember talking to a friend when I was living in Buan, and she was too lazy because the shop was a 15 minute walk from her flat and she really wanted a coke or something. I had just lived a Monty Python type scenario, where I'd completed a 6 hour return trip - nay! - QUEST! - to get cheese from Costco in Seoul, battling freezing temperatures and bulk-sized food-obsessed crowds of Koreans. 15 minutes to the dairy in summer? Luxury.

So, when Sandy took me to one near Times Square, and I was almost overcome. Hong Kong has amazing supermarkets, like Chaffers New World but with more international items. I remember Sandy telling me she was happy I was so easily entertained as I squealed over Arnott's Shapes and 50 cent dragonfruit and Bundaberg Ginger beer. I even took pictures. Sad.

24.80 HKD = $3.85 NZ
We finished my first evening in Hong Kong with a pint of cider (CIDER!!) and a glass or two of New Zealand wine (NEW! ZEALAND! WINE!) and then passed out ready for day 2.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous does it - Mum here. Escalators - long ones I find scary...in Rome they had long descents underground to various platforms...I love visiting supermarkets in other countries...you quickly realise that NZ supermarkets are huge compared to some European countries and people shop in other ways...love food markets also. The cardboard forts sound so interesting.