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Published: April 27th 2012
Mitchell bushy tailed
Jet lag? What jet lag.
We've had a great couple of days here in HK.
The weather gods decided to give us a break on Wednesday so we went to Ocean Park. Finn, Trish and Chris's son, and therefore our boys' wee cousin, took the day off school and came too. You think I exaggerate sometimes. You should've heard Finn and Seth on the subject of roller coasters! The things they were going to do.
Anyway we, at least Susan and I, and Trish when she got there later, were well and truly roller coastered out by the end. In fact I was feeling sick. I don't need any more roller coasters for a while now. But the boys all kept going back for more.
The whole aquarium and rainforest and conservation side of things is very good too, just to prove there is a point to it all. So it was a good day finished off with dinner at Trish & Chris's local Nepalese restaurant at Mui Wo.
Now you can't come to Hong Kong and not go shopping. So on Thursday we took the MTR (mass transit railway, and I mean MASS transit railway, the underground train system here) into
superb dim sum lunch
the heart of deepest, darkest fake-everything territority on Kowloon side - to the street markets of Shamshui Po and Mong Kok.
The good news was that, even though Mong Kok is the most densely populated part of the planet, it was absolutely teeming with torrential rain so the crowds stayed away. Still crowded but not ridiculous. The other good news was that, drawing on all our previous experience living here plus advice from Trish, we were prepared with rainjackets and umbrellas. Nothing was going to stop us. There were deals to be done here. The bad news of course was the non stop rain.
Anyway, Mitchell picked up about 6 football shirts and can now pass as Messi, Ronaldo or any number of other superstars of the game. Seth can be Van Persie and some other guy I've never heard of and whose name I can't pronounce, but who is famous apparently. Good prices too. Mawhinneys 2 Hong Kong street traders 0.
We picked up various other items that, I am told, represented good savings. Mawhinneys 3-0.
Then as were were wandering through the narrow lanes a guy quietly said almostin a whisper "copy watch". So
I got myself a very smart looking genuine imitation rolex watch for the princely sum of about NZ$40 bucks. Then we saw a real one exactly the same as my one in a real shop just afterwards selling for HK$67,000. Mawhineys 4-0.
Unfortunately when we got home Trish and Chris both, independently, said I should have paid no more than NZ$20. Bugger. Mawhinneys 4 Hong Kong 1. Trish actually used the words "ripped off". Ouch. Maybe Mawhinneys 4 Hong Kong 2.
Don't tell Susan but I realised later that night that the watch wasn't exactly keeping the correct time all that well. This was a closely guarded secret for about a day until Seth sprung me. Susan 1 Russell -1.
Further deals were "closed" later when I went back to the tailor who made some suits for me years ago. They actually found my paper records and Susan and I had both had stuff tailor made by them 17 years ago! I didn't enquire whether my dimensions had changed since then. But anyway I decided to get them to make me a new suit. I'm still a bit hazy about the folowing turn of events but I
ended up walking out with them convincing me I needed 2 suits and 6 shirts! 2 points to them - all tied up now at 4-4.
The boys and myself were done by now but Susan wanted another hour to herself so we went to the Space Musuem. To be fair, she hadn't bought anything much for herself and sometimes needs to be able to get away, in her trance-like state, shopping by herself. When we met up she maintained that she still hadn't made a purchase, but I'll never really know. She could have things sent directly to NZ. Possible. Might even be Susan 2 Russell -1.
And just to prove that wine and books go together all over the world, Susan went off with Trish to Trish's book club that night.
The next day, now Friday, we really only had the morning before catching our flight to Beijing, so we went to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. It was fine when we got there, and was even good when we climbed all the way up to the top. But then this massive rain cloud came in at high speed, and suddenly we literally
Mong Kok markets
couldn't see 10 metres in front of us. We got drenched. You get some funny looks, even in Hong Kong, when you squelch your way into the airport terminal.
So that was Hong Kong stage 1. Beijing next.
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