Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hoofing it to Times Square

Another thing that I noticed about Hong Kong was the high degree of signage displayed to tell citizens and tourists where they were and in which direction points of interest were located as well as offering "helpful" advice.


I couldn't resisting taking a photo of the sign to the left instructing pedestrians to "Stay calm and Do not push in the crowd." I think these were posted because of the mass of people who would come here to watch the hand over anniversary fireworks. Anyway, as you might already know, sometimes I need to be reminded to Stay calm and not push in the crowd -- I was joking that I should make this my desktop wallpaper at work. I also found the signs on the subway that said "Show you have a loving heart. Let's care for others! Please offer your seat to anyone in need" to be amusing.


I think that on my first full day in HK just about every five minutes I would mention to whomever happened to be around me how I wanted/needed to get a watch. Since my crappy cellphone wasn't really working over there I had turned it off and left it in the hotel room, and without a watch I had no to way to tell time; plus I figured I needed a dive watch anyway... Reed told me how he had bought a fancy new camera the day before at this big six-story shopping mall called Times Square: he was thinking about maybe buying a pair of sneakers so we both decided to head back there.





We took the Star Ferry back across the harbor to Causeway bay and then, for some reason, we figured we could walk there -- even after the policeman we asked for directions basically told us it was far and pointed to a skyscraper with a big Sharp advertisement at its apex telling us it was near there.

Hong Kong is the most pedestrian friendly city I've ever been in. As densely packed as it was we were able to walk pretty much in a straight line with no problem. We walked down covered walkways, through buildings, past gardens, up escalators, over streets. It was still drizzling on and off. I remember at one point we walked down this long narrow street packed with shops: furniture stores next to butcher shops next to jewelry stores. I felt like it was quite a glimpse into the vitality of life in Hong Kong and also that it was very trippy.

At one point, after we walked through another huge shopping mall on our journey, we came upon a plaza where an old monk in a grey robe was soliciting donations from passersby toting shopping bags. I was kind of fascinated with the monk and probably sort of staring, so I figured I ought to at least stop and give him a dollar coin. He held a tin cup in one hand and what I want to call a prayer stick in the other. As I struggled to fish the dollar out of my pocket the monk gestured with the stick and said something: I'd like to think maybe I got some sort of special blessing, but for all I know he was saying "hurry up, white boy."

So we got lost and had to ask a few more people for directions, but eventually we made it to Times Square. We also passed through or by several other big malls and a few watch stores but we were kind of on a mission. I ended up buying this cool Nike watch there that is waterproof up to 100m and a sort of stylin.

Conveniently enough there was a subway stop right below the mall so we took the subway back. Like I said, it was a bit of trek but I feel like the journey gave me a chance to get to know Hong Kong a little better.

5 comments:

Josie said...

at least he didnt beat you with the prayer stick!

Ada said...

Repeat after me "I WILL STAY CALM!!"

nola32 said...

you needed a dive watch?!? so what did the tally end up being for your dive? you had the lessons, the waterproof camera equipment, the dive watch...am i missing anything? and all for a picture of a fish to go in your bathroom. i hope it really tied the room together. only you, my dear. only you.

nola32 said...

you needed a dive watch?!? so what did the tally end up being for your dive? you had the lessons, the waterproof camera equipment, the dive watch...am i missing anything? and all for a picture of a fish to go in your bathroom. i hope it really tied the room together. only you, my dear. only you.

Meeg said...

I still haven't developed that picture either.