Friday, June 24, 2005

"If God had wanted me to be a duck...

So much rain!
Posted by Zeus

...He would have given me webbed feet." Which would have come in handy today. Today began wth rain. Not the pleasant, oh look, its raining kind of rain. More like the head for the hills grab all you can carry kind of rain. Michelle was sure she saw a Chinese Junk floating down Nathan Road in the middle of Hong Kong.

Today's agenda was to head out to the Western Market, then the Man Mo Temple and then the Jade Market. We grabbed our umbrellas, confident we could handle a little moisture from the sky, and hit the road to the Star Ferry terminal. Less than two blocks away from our hotel we were completely soaked to the skin from the waist down. We looked like we tried to wade across Victoria Harbor rather than take the ferry. The rain was relentless. The farther we walked the harder the rain came down. We finally got to the ferry terminal, purchased our tickets and waited for the next ferry. Given all the rain and wind, the ride across the harbor was not as rough as we thought it would be. If it was a clear day, the view from the top deck of the ferry would have been great.

We got off the ferry and walked around a bit until we got our bearings. We took the trolley a few blocks up and got off at the Western Market. Not exactly what we thought it would be but still it was inside and air conditioned. It was like a very small mini-mall inside. We went upstairs and visited various fabric vendors. We made a few purchases, looked around the bottom floor briefly and then left. Back out into the rain. We had lunch at a French cafe type place and then went walking to the Man Mo Temple. The rain was not as bad now but we still needed our umbrellas. There were so many people out walking that we kept getting run over. We also learned that Michelle is also the perfect height to be gouged in the eye by an umbrella passing by.

We got to the Man Mo Temple and took a few pics outside. We went inside and the man there indicated that we could take pictures inside. This temple is dedicated to the gods of Literature (Man) and Martial Arts (Mo). An interesting thing about this temple is the hanging spiral incense that burns constantly. It was very sweet smelling and we both wondered just how long it would take to burn through a whole spriral of incense. Michelle snapped a few pictures and we left. We checked out the souvenier shop next door and it turned out to be attached to another part of the temple. We looked in and found a whole wall covered with plaques honoring the dead. They were all numbered and had chinese names on them and some even had a picture. It was very interesting. I am not sure where there numbering started but the last one on the wall that was blank was 8,110.

We left Man Mo and headed back to the ferry terminal to cross the harbor back to our side. We were going to the Jade Market. Unfortunately, the rain had completely soaked Michelle's Teva sandals and they were beginning to rub a raw spot on her ankle. We decided to detour to the hotel and grab a bandaid. We realized once we were in our room that the Jade Market closes really early and we had missed for today. Something to add to tomorrow's agenda.

After a quick nap we were off to dinner at Murphy's Irish Pub. Irish pub in Hong Kong??? Aside from the fact the color scheme inside the pub was wrong, it was a typical pub. It even came with a loud, drunk Irishman. He was sitting with another man and an asian woman. My uncharitable comment for the day came when I asked Michelle how much that woman would have to drink before the loud man became attractive. Not much was apparently the answer because only moments later she was kissing him. Dinner was good and I promised Michelle that tomorrow we would actually eat Chinese food.

After dinner we took cab to the Temple street Night Market. Think Chinese Swap Meet. It was blocks of claptrap and trinkets all for a very reasonable price. We walked the entire street up and down. We made a few small purchases and then took a cab back to the wrong hotel. Turns out that in a city owned and occupied by the British for 150 years, where english was spoken widely, we got the one cab driver who didn't speak english and didn't have a clue what or where our hotel was. He first took us to the Regal Hotel. If I had known where we were at that point we would have gotten out and walked. I told him that was the wrong place and repeated our hotel name. He nodded his head and off we went again. This time we stopped at a bus turnout so he could call in to his dispatcher. The best part was when he handed me the microphone to say the name of our hotel. I had to do this twice. Finally, the dispatcher told him how to get to our hotel and we were off again. Really it was a nice city tour that we didn't know we were getting.

We're back at the hotel now and it is 12:45am so I guess we will sign off and go to bed now. Tomorrow should be another fun, rain filled day in Hong Kong.

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