We’re out of clean clothes, there’s not enough coffee, our feet hurt, and even finding things interesting seems like a chore. Over all of this, a typhoon threatens to trap us here forever. There’s a debate among the people we meet here. I suppose it’s the same debate we have in the states, this typhoon is gonna be crazy vs. this typhoon ain’t shit. Joe and I are glued to the weather trying to figure out if our flights are going to be cancelled. Meanwhile the city is ending nonessential services and taping up windows. It’s going to be very, very close. As I sit here right now, it’s cloudy but peaceful. It’s Friday morning and we both woke up in a good mood, but if I don’t get to go home I’m going to lose it. I fear for Joe more than anything. I’ve already thrown an empty water bottle at him and it’s only 11:30am.
We didn’t exactly fly out of the hotel yesterday either. We got to “breakfast” at noon. We went to a place called the Flying Pan.
This place served big breakfasts on even bigger plates.
Perfect for people who don’t like their foods to touch. We got this down and headed to the big buddha.
This city is cool as hell and their infrastructure is modern and easy. The subway is a dream. The trains run all the time and the maps are super user friendly.
It was only our second day on it but we felt like we could go anywhere. We took the gold line out to Tung Chung and boarded the cable car up to big buddha.
We’re still getting along well and, surprisingly, still find each other amusing. Our jokes now have a weary, fatalistic tint to them but we’re in it together.
We got to the cable cars and elected to pay a little more for the “Crystal Carriage,” a cable car with a glass bottom, which was not as exciting as I thought it was going to be.
The rest of the view was fabulous.
For the first time this trip we had neglected to put on sunscreen, and I had forgotten my sunglasses so when we got to the top I purchased a Hunter Thompson costume from the gift shop.
I did this because I didn’t think there would be anywhere to buy sunscreen and I was becoming very concerned about sun exposure. We were on the home stretch, how dumb was I gonna feel about getting roasted on the second to last day? Evidently more dumb than I felt in a pair of cheap aviators and a Hong Kong bucket hat because I wore the hell out of those things. 100 feet after the gift shop there was a 7/11.
“Probably have sunscreen in there.” Joe observed.
The Subway and Starbucks should have clued me in to the fact that this was a fully appointed tourist trap. The buddha itself was impressive and lovely. Joe did some nice work up here.
We did a lap around big buddha and headed back down. On the cable car down we were with two nice Australian ladies and a guy from San Francisco. We know he’s from San Francisco because I asked him.
“Where are you from?”
“Oh cool. I live in LA. He’s from LA but lives in New York.”
“Well I like San Francisco.”
We got back to the subway and took it directly to a different buddhist temple, the Chi Lin Nunnery.
This was a little more our speed. Tranquil and not at all crowded. Ringing the courtyard were pieces of stone with pearls of buddhist wisdom.
There were people praying, quiet chanting, and banzai trees which I now know are all staples of buddhist temples.
Side Note: I’m running out of words to describe buddhist temples.
We walked out of there and straight across the street to more elegance. The Nan Lian Garden.
A gorgeous garden with woodworking exhibits.
After this we went to Mong Kok to see the flower market. This was a long day. Mong Kok flower market is more a bunch of streets with flower stores than it is a market, per se, but it was still pretty and smelled great as you might imagine. We sat on a park bench drinking water while we waited for Rachael. She took us up to the roof of her building which had some pretty spectacular views.
Then we went to get dim sum at Dim Dim Sum.
Paul, another of Rachael’s friends, met us there and he’s a sweetheart and he’s from Scotland so full marks all around. We had the good accent table.
The dinner was fantastic. Again, no pictures, except this one of the menu.
Thank god I got a picture of that breakfast though, right?
This was a long day. I’m gonna try to speed this up.
We went to a market,
and finally it was getting late and those two teachers had school in the morning so we bid them a good night and started back to our hotel.
That’s when it really got started.
God this was a long day.
“Google darts bars.” Joe told me.
I googled darts bars. It’s 11pm at this point and we’ve been out walking around for 12, 13 hours.
“There’s one called ‘Cask’ in Wan Chai.”
We got on the subway, which I’m now starting to resent is so easy to use, and got off near this place and walk the ten minutes. We see the sign. It’s on the 4th floor of this building. We take the elevator up. It opens onto an empty hallway but the door to Cask is right in front of us. It’s deathly quiet. We look at each other. Is this the right place? I open the door to Cask.
Everyone inside turns to look at us. We’ve just walked smack dab into league night. There are about 20 people in there and 10 of them are wearing team dart shirts that say, “Hooray A One” on the back. The other half are in civilian clothes but are still recognizable as a dart team. Two women are facing off at the only board in use. They are staring at us. We freeze. They all freeze. The only person working there gets up and quietly shows us to a table. The action resumes. We order a beer and a coke and watch them play, debating whether or not we can throw on one of the other boards. We know what this is like, when you’re throwing league darts and two yokels walk in and start chucking and carrying on at one of the other boards. It’s annoying. We decide that we can’t be those yokels and google OTHER darts bars.
Jesus god in heaven this was a long day.
We find one called Triangle Darts that’s on the way to our hotel. This one is a little hard to find but we eventually we do. It’s on the 22nd floor of a building in Causeway Bay. We take the elevator up.
As soon as we step off the elevator we hear singing. We take two steps in, see that this bar has darts AND karaoke, and Joe’s head immediately explodes. He was so excited he started speaking in tongues. There were about 12 people in there, some playing darts, some singing, and they were all super nice. They were also drunk. Great vibe in there though. We played a few games of darts and Joe made me sing Ed Sheeran.
We played a game of three man 701 with the guy on the far left in that picture. He was so drunk he kept skipping Joe’s turn and the game ended when he stopped playing completely to tell us, that his father and grandfather were the heart of Beijing? Or possibly that he was old, but young at heart? Something about 100 years? Then he was carted away by his friends and we finished the game with Oscar, a good dart player and a serviceable singer.
They exchanged numbers. Joe did a rendition of U2’s With or Without You, we played another three man 701 with Oscar that Joe won and then it was finally time to get. the. fuck. out of there. Joe promised everyone who was still in the bar that we’d be back tomorrow because this was the greatest bar in the history of the universe and we went home.
Holy typhoon buddha this was a long day.