A storm is coming to Hong Kong [YQrtw Day 126 Aug 14]

Dreadful typhoon day in Hong Kong

Location: Hong Kong

According to the directions by the hostel, I could take a bus from the airport to the hostel for HK$40. Unfortunately, due to the typhoon, no buses on my route was going.

Dude, where's my bus?
Dude, where’s my bus?

I didn’t know about the no-bus thing and was waiting at the bus stop. Then a taxi man told me about the situation and proposed driving me to Hong Kong Island for about HK$200. I told him that I was on a budget and would prefer taking the train instead.

The Airport Express into Hong Kong island was HK$100. I paid and extra HK$5 to get to Causeway Bay where my hostel is.

There was eerily few people out in the streets when I got there at about 8:30am.

Only people out were tourists
Only people out were tourists

Checking in a rather dodgy hostel

At check-in, I was told to wait a while for the room to be prepared. I waited a long while and had to ask again for my bed before I was shown to my room.

My hostel is fortunately not in the Chungking Mansion area. Still, it wasn’t a proper hostel area. Several units in the residential building were turned into tiny rooms/storage space packed to the brim with beds.

When the hostel person and I got into my room, one of the girls on the top bunk woke up and screamed. She only saw the man and didn’t see me. I would scream too when a strange Chinese man comes into my room while I was sleeping.

After a shower, I head out into the streets for some food and to see what happens on Typhoon Day.

Typhoon day in Hong Kong

What is a hoisted typhoon?
What is a hoisted typhoon?

Well, nothing much happens on Typhoon Day. Only about 2 percent of shops were open. I ended up eating egg tarts for breakfast at a posh hotel. The Portugese/Macanese egg tarts were so good.

Awesome egg tarts with good Italian coffee
Awesome egg tarts with good Italian coffee

Lunch was a very expensive takeaway from the supermarket. HK$290 for rice, a bit of chicken, roasted meat and one half of a salted egg.

I explored the empty streets with an umbrella before I got the takeaway and went back to the hostel.

The wind was pretty strong and the rain was heavy. Almost everyone on the streets were tourists, specifically Mainland Chinese tourists. I think we’re the only fools going out into the typhoon.

Typhoon day in Hong Kong
Typhoon day in Hong Kong
It's raining water, sadly not men
It’s raining water, sadly not men

After I had my lunch, it was about 1pm. My head was aching from jet lag and I decided to take a nap. My nap turned out into a 5-hour sleepathon. I’m awake now and typing but I think I might go back to bed after I send this off to you.

Until tomorrow! Let’s hope the typhoon goes away and I can have some real food. Oh, I also need to figure out where I’ll be sleeping tomorrow because my bed has been booked up.

Literally the shortest day of my life [YQrtw Day 125 Aug 13]

safe landing

Location: Pacific Ocean

My flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong left around August 13 midnight and reached on August 14 at about 6am. The flight was about 14 hours long.

so if we do a bit of subtraction, we can deduce that August 13 lasted about 6 hours for me. That’s the shortest day of my life!

Of course this does not take into consideration that one other time I flew from San Francisco to SIngapore. But then I’ve forgotten how long that flight was so we’ll just take it that August 13 was the shortest day of my live.

Happy to blend in

Being on the Cathay Pacific flight from LAX to HKG was the first time in many months that I was around so many East Asian people. It was a weird feeling being one of the faces that blended into the crow,

I was expecting people to holler, “Chino!” as they did in South and Central America and the crowd to riot but Latin American stranger said that so all was calm and peaceful.

The 14-hour flight didn’t feel that long. I’ve been travelling so much on this trip that the process of getting from one place to another doesn’t seem very significant now. As long as I get there without vomiting, I’m happy.

Watching ‘Library Wars’

I did watch quite a lot of shows on the plane.

My very favorite movie among all that I’ve watched was Library Wars. It’s a Japanese movie adapted from a manga (Japanese comic) series. I have a friend who’s a fan of the comic so I thought I should give it a try. Plus, the male lead actors are all damn hot. Seriously.

Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, tears streamed down my face. I’ve forgotten how much Japanese films and manga make me cry happy/sad tears. There was quite a lot of book burning going on in the movie. Those scene make me cry silently. I think there would be less of an effect if they burnt Kindles. (Coincidentally, sales of e-readers have dropped so low in the period of the movie that they were mentioned once in a news program.)

The premise of the movie is that the Japanese government have set up a Media Betterment Unit (aka Bastards Who Burn Books) which censors unhealthy media in the public by deleting files off the internet and burning books. There is another much less funded unit against this censorship. It’s the “Library Protection Unit”” (or something like that) which helps preserve these so-called “unhealthy media” by gathering the materials in their library.

The public is free to use resources from The Library. The Library will also protect the privacy of the readers and not reveal what they have been reading.

Back to the plot, our gutsy Heroine signed up to be one of the Protection Team (PT) in the Library Unit because a member of the PT saved her from a jerk from the Media Betterment Unit. She even nicknamed this mysterious unknown person as her Prince (they do a lot of that in Japanese comics).

By 20 minutes of the movie, we–the audience–guessed that the hero (or her “prince) is actually our heroine’s rather nasty Higher-Up. He is supposed to be a lot shorter than her but the guy who played the role did a lot of Dreamy Prince roles that we cannot help associate him with Dreaminess.

There’s also the Sidekick to Higher-Up played by the guy who usually plays the leading man when he’s in his own movie. Sidekick and Higher-Up have a very strong bromance going on. But we know that they are straight because they do a lot of action-related training.

There’s also the Handsome-Smart-Well-Pedigreed-but-Snobbish-Boy and the Beautiful-Smart-Friend-of-Heroine. Even though Snobbish Boy confessed his confused love to Heroine, by the end of the movie, we all hope that the two Beautiful non-leading characters end up together because they are so smart and good looking.

I’m glad I watched the movie because reading the comic or else I might get the The Book is Much Better than The Movie syndrome.

Other shows I’ve watched were many of The Big Bang Theory episodes from Season 6. It’s funny how I started following this series in South America and not back in Singapore.

Bing Bang Theory on the plane
Bing Bang Theory on the plane

Bumpy landing

There’s a typhoon coming to Hong Kong about the same time as my arrival. Luckily, the typhoon was still in Guangdong when the place was landing.

It wasn’t a smooth landing as the pilot had to pull up the plane back into the air once.

Safe landing
Safe landing

There were a few crying kids. I’m not sure why they are dry crying with lots of crying noises but no tears. Is it because their ears hurt or that they are afraid to die? I wasn’t sitting near a kid so I couldn’t ask him.

I would tell the kid, “Hey, you should be crying when the adults are crying. Not now. Nothing bad is happening now.” Then I’ll point to a random corner of the screen and say that I think I saw a UFO.

Still, we manage to land safely and the kids stopped making loud noises.

It’s time to formally meet Hong Kong.