This post is bought to you by the new bluetooth keyboard that I bought in Wanchai! It will make my ipad posts easier!
I am now at the airport, about to leave for Seoul. The last 3 nights have been spent in Hong Kong, just having a holiday, and visiting my friend, A.
I met A in Melbourne, via a meetup group, and we quickly became friends, each liking each other's forthrightness. She had followed a boy to Hong Kong. I was a bit worried about her, as there were a few signs that she might be having difficulties. She was not able to easily get a job as a pharmacist, and, as she had no work, she had a bit of trouble making friends. She did have an Auntie here. Plus there is that natural worry that goes with seeing a friend go to a new country for a relationship.
Indeed, she did feel a bit lonely, but my concerns re: following the boy were unfounded; I met him a couple of times on this trip and he was lovely. He was financially supporting my friend and he really did seem to like her. I am really happy for her, and them.
It was a bit of a drawn-out trip, as I first flew into Seoul then doubled back to HK. I was flying at the pointy end of the plane so I was quite well rested (and full of satay sticks). The nice folks at Cathay also upgraded me from other pointy end of the plane (ie up the back with the dunnies) to premium economy. It was not business class but I did not complain. Only thing I had to figure out was the toilet etiquette (always hard when you are sitting on a window seat with a 6'5" German - Wanted to Pee Pee but felt I needed to hold it in). In the end he was ok, he is probably used to ladies with small weedy bladders!
I have been to Hong Kong before, and, on arrival, I remembered why I was excited. I find all the infectious disease protection paraphernalia (ie the fever detection cameras, the public health messages, the hand sanitiser) quite exciting. I don't know why. One of my favourite movies is Outbreak, with Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo.
Plus, there are the two national sports of shopping and eating.
The former, I am an aspirant rather than an elite. I don't have the finances to spend up big, and cannot rationalise getting into debt for big ticket items. Plus I suffer from a quite a lot of shopper's guilt (there is an whole other post in there).
The latter, as you may have gathered with previous posts, I am a champion. Defitely the top of the amateur leagues, anyway. One of my favourite aspects of travelling is eating the food, and if it is eaten at the top of a tall building with a nice view, so much the better. I ate some great food, a lot of which is in photographs below.
My friend and I did quite a lot of window shopping. HK has a lot of folks with a lot of disposable income, and it seems that every second shop sells either luxury goods like Louis Vuitton or Bulgari, or Precious Jewellery.
One great shop that I love in Hong Kong is one called Brand-Off, where they have second-hand designer wallets and handbags. If you have a spare AUD $6,000 you can buy a Hermes Birkin bag; a fraction of the new cost (!). I may have fell in love with one of the studded Balenciaga bags, but I just could not do it. Not this time. Maybe when I come up with my cure for what I am researching.....
Unfortunately, clothes shopping is a bit of a loss in HK if you are an average westerner, it just makes one feel like a Boombah. For the most part, the shoes are similarly teensy, but I did manage to get my hands on some absolutely BOSS shoes in my size at a discount. They are snakeskin loafer type jobbies with a silver cap. I know. BOSS. I will post photo.
Bobbi Brown cosmetics were doing makeup lessons for free, so I managed to snaffle one of those (it was not easy to find an appointment but I am nothing if not determined). I got the nice little lady to put on some makeup for me, I have always wanted to know how to do eyes, and she matched my eyeshadow with my eye colour to do a lovely and easy smoky eye. I then sprung for some of the cosmetics (a foundation, some eyeshadow, and a blush). I had been after a BB cream but found it might have been a bit too oily for my skin.
Also on the agenda was some sightseeing, and, A had posited a trip to Stanley on the bus. She suggested that we sit on the top deck so we could have a nice view. It was a very curvy journey, and only after the nausea hit I remembered my propensity towards motion sickness. As I also had blocked ears and sinuses, it became a bit of a grind and we had to abort the mission at repulse bay. Sweaty and pale (me) and okay (A), we staggered into a posh bar for some air conditioning and solid ground. They nearly turned us away, but A bossed them around in Cantonese so it was all good.
When we got back into town, I went searching for some antihistamines. One of my favourite things to do is find medicines overseas that are only available on prescription in Australia. It is my way of rebelling. I got some good, proper antihistamines and decongestants, no namby pamby stuff.
The piece de resistance, meal wise was on our final night, we went to a place called Din Tai Fung. It has (and correct me if I'm wrong) Cantonese/Taiwanese food, including fantastic dumplings, and the ones with soup in them that are all the rage in Melbourne. The best, most amazing egg fried rice ever, which was sumptuous and eggy without being greasy. The also had pork dumplings with truffle- that's three of my favourite things right there. It went perfectly with the Tsingtao beer, as though they had been matched by a master Sommelier. Apparently there is a DTF in Sydney, but it is not a patch on this one.
Yesterday, (am continuing this post from Seoul) I left Hong Kong. I managed to find my new signature lippy in the airport, under time pressure. It is appropriately called House Wine. It, unfortunately was sold out, so I went and had a real one before I boarded the plane.
I realise this post is quite a bit about cosmetics. I am becoming a bit obsessed. Perhaps it has something to do with being on the wrong side of 30, or perhaps it is because everyone is so well groomed in Asia and I felt I was letting down the side. Oh well.
In the meantime, please enjoy my photos, I can't quite download them here, you can follow me on Instagram @cillajean79 to have a nosey.
--------------Will post about Seoul Anon.