So as I mentioned before I was in pretty bad shape in Hong Kong. I think I know what got me and it may not have been the noodles at all. On my last full day I decided to skip out on the hot water kettle in the common area altogether and my head seemed clearer. So I did get a day to kind of check everything off my list short of going to the history museum (and I didn't pick up any of the fancy lai see I meant to, but that's OK). I ate a small spread of char siu bao, jung, and jook at 10AM, I got my hair trimmed at a nearby hair salon where they spoke a little English (I picked it because it seemed more reputable than the other place inside offering a "cut and shampool"), rode around on the star ferry, went up steep hills to Man Mo temple, and ended the whole thing by seeing the symphony of lights show they advertise everywhere.
All in all, though it may have been a bit much at times I can see Hong Kong's appeal. I did enjoy being able to communicate with more people who spoke English, my eating options (when I could eat), seeing how people dress differently here than where I'm located, and I suppose just the variety of things you can expect in a major city. It's certainly very different from Hunan. I'd like to go back, but maybe next time I'll spend a little extra for a room with a window and try to go outside of Tsim Sha Tsui and the crazy walkways leading from the Central star ferry pier. While I'm not a big shopper, I wish I had seen more of the shops. I found Man Wa lane (Chop Alley) towards the end of the day and though I've pretty much got my heart on buying a name chop from Zhuzhou, I can't deny that the options here in Hong Kong were pretty enticing. You could pick all kinds of stones and they had helpful charts showing you the different styles they could use in carving your name. Some of them were really brightly colored and who knows? Maybe I'll find myself with a small collection someday because I just can't choose. But since I have wanted one for a while, I think I'll stick to making sure the one I get in China is meaningful to me. I've been thinking that since this coming year is the year of the sheep and I was born in the year of the sheep, I'll probably ask for my chop to give a nod to that.
So I should probably talk about the one really concrete thing on my list for Hong Kong: Man Mo temple. This temple is dedicated to both the gods of war and literature, and when Lonely Planet wrote something about breathing in the incense I assumed it was just meant to be dramatic/get you excited about the feel of a place in the way guidebooks tend to. But no. It's a little place with huge coils of incense hanging from the ceiling and there's pretty much nothing to breathe except incense after you've already walked up (or I walked up) steep hills and crossed the antiques road. Then again, this is a temple we're talking about, so I guess you wouldn't necessarily put it somewhere in easy reach. That and from what I understand of Eastern religion, mountains are often viewed as sacred spaces. Caught me off guard anyway though, since the road looks so short on the map but says nothing about the heights you have to scale.
Religious life has been surprising here for sure. More in the public eye than I've become used to. Anyway,
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