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December 15th 2014
Published: December 15th 2014
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What a lazy day. Slept until 08:30 and then worked on computer looking for info about Lijiang Airport. Finally by 11:30 I was out and going to deliver my bag of laundry. Whereas my few pieces cost $335HKD at the Nina Tower Hotel here at the downtown Laundry for 6 pieces I paid $60HKD. The clothes will be ready by six tomorrow.

Then into the MTR at Central and to Admiralty to find the Flagstaff Museum where the teapot collection of K.S.Lo is housed. The man became rich by selling Vitasoy products all over the world. He donated his collection of teapots to the city when he heard that Flagstaff House was going to be turned into a museum after being the residence of the Commander of British Forces in HK. In 1984 it became the museum for tea wares.

In 1994 a second building was erected to house the K.S.Lo collection of seals and fine Chinese ceramics. The most valuable seal is made from Tian stone, a stone more valuable than gold. The K.S.Lo collection contains three tian stone seals. Other seals displayed are made of ivory, bamboo, crystal, olive stone, cornelian and other types of stone. On the ground floor of this building is a tranquil Tearoom that serves only Chinese tea and tea snacks. I had yellow tea and fried beancakes ... translation - tofu - must remember bean does not mean kidney, black or lima.

The one tablespoon of tea comes as leaves in a small cup with a lid and is accompanied by a cup for drinking. On the table is a kettle on an electricity stand. The one tbls. of tea leaves is good for about five to six small cups of brew. The secret is not to leave the leaves too long in the water. When pouring hold back the leaves with the lid and pour fast so as not to lose any of the tea to the table.

The tea was enjoyed after visiting the nine galleries of Flagstaff House. In the galleries a continuous series of small and medium sized teapots were displayed behind glass. K.S.Lo encouraged the manufacture of purple clay teapots by contemporary potters in Yixing. Some of these teapots have visited the ROM in Toronto ...Sept - Jan. 91-92. In the collection are eight miniature teapots but since photos are not allowed these will not be seen unless I find then online somewhere.

Originally during the Song Dynasty the tea leaves were crushed into powder either in a stone grinder or with an iron wheel that travelled the length of an iron trough about 25 cm long. This method was replaced by an easier way ... steeping the tea leaves. The ethnic groups in China drink tea in various ways. The Kazakh people drink milk tea. Then there is gongfu tea, the preparation of which I witnessed in Guilin when visiting an organic tea plantation. Cream tea is prepared with cheese. Have to google that! And then there is whipped tea, kudos going to the person that can create the greates amount of froth.

To get to the Museum was not exactly easy. Stepping off the MTR I took an exit I thought was correct but it only lead to a maze of taxi lanes barred by iron railings.

After wandering around in corridor after corridor of shops and numerous walkways leading from one big skyscraper mall to another ... Lippo Centre,United Centre, Shangri-La, Pacific Place, High Court .... the end was in sight at the High Court Building.

Putting the water behind me and going up to Mid-Levels by escalator I found the sign for Flagstaff House. The way lead thru the most beautiful HongKong Park. Fountains, poinsettas, camellia trees, marigolds, tiny begonias and holiday decorations welcomed the passerbys and resting bench- sitters. Fish of every colour, especially orange, swam in the pools. Looking thru the trees the tops of glass towers were at eye level ... the escalators brought me up to such heights! me and everyone else coming and going to work or home or the park or the museum; not that theren was a crowd any where.

By five o├žlock I was ready to find my way back to the hotel. The shortest way would have been Lower Albert Street but I took that route after coming down from the Peak (Fernicular) Tram ... not a shop and definitely no source of food! not even a 7Eleven! along the length of the street. Anyway the route held bad memories. I had had to go to the toilet so badly the last time I walked here I thought surely I would have to squat behind a garbage can. BUT others had also been were using the route! DamnDamnDamn...now I pee whenever I pass the toilet sign and always before leaving a building.

Winding my way back to Admiralty I came upon Crystal Jade, a restaurant that had lineups in front of it when I passed at Lunchtime. Taking time to read the menu I decided on noodles with sea food and pork dumplings ... that's eight days of noodles after 28 days of rice!

An immediate welcome came with a glass of tea ... who knew it would appear on the bill as $6. The whole meal came to $145HKD which includes $13 tax. So in CAD21.64 ... not cheap ... really.

For today the 60 for laundry, 68 for Nivea and wipes, 35 for drinks, 47 for Starbucks and 88 for the tea and the tea cake in the TeaRoom came to a total of $563 = $84CAD and that's not even trying hard!

After the meal at Crystal Jade a decicion about the direction of return had to be made ... go right ...go left ... or ask?

I asked!

Once in the MTR I followed the Airport Express route thru the underground passages. I did not go all the way to the end. Too far.

Retracing my steps, i used exit C at Central. I never know where I am but I do know where I am going. This evening was no different. Found my way thru the buildings and up an alley way crowded with tiny hole in the wall shops their goods spilling out onto the street.

Its always good to get back ... even to my little little mini space. Two more sleep here. Hope the next place is bigger ...

And why do hotels have carpets ... damn dirt collectors ... impossible to keep fresh looking unless you are a seven star place!! and have powerful cleaning machines and many workers. YukYUkYuk!

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