Hong Kong, China
Woke up on my hard sleeper on the train bound for Guangzhou at roughly 07:30, reached Guangzhou Railway Station at 09:00, disembarked the train, searched for the entrance to the subway, finally found it despite lack of signs in English or universal symbology, boarded the subway’s metro train, made my way to Guangzhou East Railway Station, bought my ticket to Kowloon, drank a mango smoothie with juice balls, ate a double Quarter Pounder with cheese and fries, then drank a Iced Mocha, entered Chinese Customs at 13:30 and received my exit stamp, boarded the train to Guangzhou, the train departed at 14:04, was treated to Tibetan spring water and a documentary on Tibet during the train ride, reached Kowloon at 16:05, disembarked that train, entered Hong Kong Customs and made it through, found an ATM to withdraw Hong Kong Dollars, walked out of the train station to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, enjoyed the views of the many skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island and the smell of the salty sea, walked north along Nathan Road to where the hostel is located that I booked with, became annoyed by all the people accosting me into trying to stay in their guesthouse or sell me counterfeit watches, found the building where the hostel is located, took the elevator upstairs, checked in, dropped my bags off in my room and locker, and left to explore Hong Kong.
The building the hostel is located in is dominated by various shopping and food stalls on the first and second floors; also the building is scummy and shady looking and not very clean; luckily the rooms are okay. Just like in Shanghai, the hostel I chose to stay at is located next to a major street (Nathan Road here, East Nanjing Road there) that is full of people trying to sell me watches, “massagees”, and sex; the difference is that in Shanghai, all these people were Chinese, here most of them are Indians; in fact, the hostel I’m staying at is managed by Indians. Hong Kong is definitely different than the cities I visited in mainland China; it is more of an International City, filled mostly with Chinese, but also many Westerners, Africans, Indians, and some Arabs. Also, naturally being a very large and prosperous city, Hong Kong attracts many bottom feeders and dregs of society, which is why so many people on the street will try to sell you watches, sex, and hash (although the drug dealers mostly come out at night, mostly).
Anyway, after exiting the hostel building, I walked back to the Promenade to enjoy the views without the sixty pounds of weight in my bags; then I walked north to Kowloon Park which didn’t have much to enjoy. After exiting the park, I wandered through various streets, observing all the different electric signs and buzzing atmosphere created by all the shoppers and sellers. I also noticed a number of signs and posters for saunas, which I gathered by the entrances and signs, that these saunas must be of the same variety I read that Macau has: they are fronts for prostitution (I later checked online and found that for the most part they are straight-up saunas and spas, but the masseuses will pretty much do everything except vaginal and anal intercourse if you pay for it; I also found out that in Hong Kong prostitution is legal as long as it is not organized and the women all work individually). During my night walk I came across a part of the street and sidewalk that was blocked off by the police and there was a crowd looking up at the building; I can only assume that there must’ve been some brave man willing to jump into the great unknown. I asked an onlooker what was happening, but he didn’t know; he then asked if I wanted to buy some marijuana or hash; I declined his offer and told him that I don’t do drugs myself, but I support the legalization of marijuana and other less harmful drugs; this answer seemed to please him (drugs are actually illegal in Hong Kong and carry a hefty fine and a jail sentence, which makes it all the more strange that so many people were trying to sell me drugs during my night walk). Soon after, the police took down the barricades and the crowd dispersed; the suicidal man chose life.
Eventually I made it back to the Promenade where I stayed with the crowds of onlookers to watch the light show at 20:00. The buildings on both sides of the water (on Kowloon and Hong Kong Island) have their multicolored outside lights, spotlights, and lasers synchronized to the music that plays over loudspeakers for ten minutes, starting at 20:00. After that free display, I walked back north until I found a restaurant to dine at: Pizza Hut, which is a fancified chain restaurant in Asia; there is no cheap buffet, but instead fine Italian dishes and exquisite pizzas served on porcelain dishes and drinks poured in actual glasses as opposed to opaque red plastic cups (the pasta I ordered took fifteen minutes to deliver – is it possible they cook to order here and they don’t have giant pots of pasta ready to go with a fat, greasy, hairy man in a wife-beater smoking cigarette whilst stirring the pots continuously as he coughs up phlegm all over the food?). After that unexpected fine meal, I walked back to the hostel and eventually fell asleep.