Aug 20, 2001
First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who showed up at the Crow Bar. I hope that you stayed for at least a few more drinks after I left.
In the airport I met Danielle. She's flown in from LAX and arrived 5 minutes before me. While I was stuck in economy hell she had somehow been upgraded to business class. She surprised me for a LA chick. I didn't expect her to join me in the "one step up from" the worst slum in Hong Kong and certainly didn't expect her to happily eat squid and chickens feet from street vendors.
On the weather
To make my best attempt to quote Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam - "It's hot outside, damn hot, damn hot and wet. Tomorrow we expect more damn hot and wet with maybe some shitty in the afternoon"
Took an afternoon trip to the island of Cheng Chau and had Dim Sum for lunch. Pork buns, shrimp rolls, sticky rice and a coke. It was an odd moment when I realized that I had the exact same lunch a few weeks before and 10000 miles away on a little alley off of Kearney.
The Hong Kong "mansions"
We're staying at the Mirador mansion. These buildings are huge monoliths - cities unto themselves. Restaurants, money changers, stores selling trinkets or indian movies on the lower floors. Level upon level of slums above. As were walking into town at 6 in the morning there are a couple of firetrucks putting out a fire in one of the mansions. The guidebook tells us that the Mirador caught on fire in 1998 and it did a lot of good - forcing some much overdo renovations. The good laugh the first day was the signs in the elevator that instead of reading "In case of fire..." state "When there is a fire..."
Danielle won $2000 in the lottery and decided that she's going on vacation. After a month in Europe she has to return home. But the travel bug had struck. One month later, she's back at it. Her friend "flaked" on joining her for a trip to S. America. Instead, she somehow ended up on a plane for Asia. She's totally hooked and planning for her trip around the world.
The day before we checked in there were 3 mongolians staying in the dorm room we now occupy. They were loud, drunk and obnoxious. Paul complained to the manager of the hostel and they were asked to leave. They moved upstairs to another hostel in the same building and continued to argue. Last night, one of the Mongolians stabbed another one to death. They very easily could have still been our roommates.
Fire, death, shitty weather - it might sound like I'm having a bad time, but actually everything is going nicely. I'm healthy, happy, having a good adventure and drinking a happy-hour beer while writing this journal entry. Tomorrow I hop on a plane to Bali.