Thursday, August 27, 2009

Asia Adventures - Post 14 (Hong Kong)

I’ve been trying to wrap up my Asia vacation stories since I am leaving in a few hours for my next big vacation (a cruise around the Mediterranean…yes it is okay to hate me). I figured it would start to get confusing. Plus it goes to show how awesome the past year has been where I have been too busy writing about my everyday life.

We flew from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam back to Hong Kong. Did I mention how nice the Asian airlines all are? It could be a 45 minute flight and we still got a meal and on demand movies. Domestic USA flights, you suck ass!

We met up with Evan again and he took us to lunch at a very authentic Chinese place (ie real fish heads and no one spoke more than a couple of words of English). After almost three weeks solid of Asian cuisine, we all were ready for something “American”. Dana took one look at the picture menu (yep yet another picture menu, God Bless Them), folded her arms and said very manner of fact “I want chicken fried rice”. Now in China, people don’t eat fried rice as a restaurant meal (shocker I know, like General Tso’s Chicken). They take leftovers the next day and throw them all into a wok and fry it up so it all tastes the same. It is like having turkey sandwiches the day after thanksgiving. Anyway, the waiter didn’t understand why she wanted “leftover” food. Dana repeated her request, this time emphasizing “chicken fried rice”. Now the waiter’s mom came over, listened, and vigorously shook her head in agreement. Later they appeared with a meal consisting of a fried whole chicken next to a plate of steamed white rice. They were SO happy to please a foreigner and presented their dish with immense pride. The waiter’s mom said “chicken fried…(pause)…rice” and pointed at the components. I laughed so hard it hurt. I think Dana wasn’t as amused but enjoyed the fried chicken (it was really good).

One souvenir Dana and Olga wanted to bring back was authentic Chinese herbal tea. We were dropped off in the medicine district that was full of dried shark fins, shriveled up lizards, pickled plants, spices and unidentifiable objects. It was a mixture of interesting and bad smells kind-of like walking through a nursing home. Of course everything was in Cantonese, so finding actual tea (as opposed to dried fish eyes) was an adventure.
Later that afternoon we visited a couple of locally historic temples. Again, I don’t know what it is with incense, but the smoke almost knocks you down. All of my pictures are cloudy because of it. For dinner, I had Korean BBQ for the first time. Why have I NOT ever eaten this before? I mean you get to grill at your table all the meat (and by meat, I mean bacon) you want. Sure they had veggies, but I didn’t even attempt to cook those because it would take space away from the sirloin or octopus (yes, I am a big fan of octopus and squid…and bacon). The best (or worst) story of the trip came on the very last night. I warn you that I am not editing down the story and DO realize I look like the biggest jerk in the world (so you know it is true). Evan took us out to a club/disco with some other French and Australian ex-pats. There were monstrous levels of alcohol consumed. Dana went home first because she was responsible enough to realize that we have an early flight in the morning and it would be good NOT to be hung over during the 15hr flight. Olga came home next and crashed on her bed. The room had two single beds and it was my turn to sleep on the floor. Evidently, she rolled to one side of the bed and puked all over the floor. This woke up Dana who now had to explain to the front desk we needed a cleanup. Of course the night crew spoke very little English, so Dana was like “mop, trash, bucket, clean, stomach, etc”. Luckily when they showed up and saw the puke they knew exactly what to do (vomit is the universal language). Now while they are cleaning up, I come home. Imagine my drunken stupor of walking into my hotel room and seeing a bunch of Chinese men (I am in the right room right). I apparently (note, too intoxicated to remember) started saying in my non-indoor voice “Asians…why are their ASIANS in my room”. Yeah, nine beers in and I am still the same non-PC person I always am. I later puked in the tub (hey it wasn’t the carpet) and still to this day feel incredibly sympathetic towards Dana. In the morning, I thankfully didn’t need to do much since I packed the previous night (before the drinky drinky). While I was getting dressed, I noticed that the clothes I laid out for the flight smelled funny. I had them in a folded pile on the floor near my pillow…near Olga’s bed…oh crap! Yep, she puked on my clothes. I was able to rinse them in the sink and still wear them (wet but clean-ish), and frankly I deserved some sort of punishment for my behavior last night. The funny part (abet now I can laugh, but at the time I was pissed) is that Olga woke up and was like “why are you washing your clothes”. Dana had to then explain to her the previous night. Ironically, when our flight was landing, the woman sitting next to Olga started to use her barf bag. Olga whispered to me, “oh that is so disgusting, she really should do that somewhere else”. Really, should you be the pot or the kettle? I laugh now at that whole situation.
Hollywood Ave Park
Fun with costumes at the night market
Bambo scaffolding. Obviously there is no Chinese OSHA.
Interesting name for a strip joint. eyed monster, the pink snake, okay you get the point Pictures of the Hong Kong skyline taken from the ferry.


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