24-27 June 2015
It’s been 4 full years and Mark is finally graduating from SMU! 😀 So for his graduation trip, we decided to go around his favourite places on Earth. Mainly places that serve up his beloved food…
We planned for a 2-week-long vacation to Hong Kong & Japan!
First up… Onward to Hong Kong! *happily pulls luggage*
Hong Kong has been one of my favourite countries for the longest time – with the simple reason that my dear Lily is from there! 😉 So before getting to Japan, Mark and I stopped at Hong Kong for a few days.
It was going to be a long vacation and we needed to make arrangements for our “children” to be taken care of…
I was extremely unwilling to leave them alone… *crazy cat lady mode ON*
So to ensure that my babies were decently taken care of, I prepared a chart for Mark’s mom who so kindly offered to take care of them!
Thank you, Auntie! *kisses*
And with everything in place, Mark and I jetted off to Hong Kong! 😀
Caught “The Judge” on my way there – mainly because Robert Downey Jr. was acting in it. Quite a beautiful show about family, differences & forgiveness and lifelong lessons – needless to say, I cried. -_- Such an emotional freak.
So while I was searching for places to stay in Hong Kong, I remembered someone telling me that if I wanted to really experience Hong Kong… I needed to stay in Kowloon at least once. So that I did. I booked an apartment in Hong Kong, Kowloon!
Upon reaching Hong Kong Airport, we took one of the buses down to the district of Kowloon.
Once we walked nearer towards our apartment, it rapidly became clear as to why Lily advised me against staying there and it dawned upon me that I might not be very comfortable…
The streets had the smell of sewage, small & cheap eateries everywhere and houses so close to each other I almost felt claustrophobic.
This was the corridor of the apartment I booked… Dark, gloomy and didn’t have a pleasant smell to it.
And it was quite literally what is known as a coffin apartment. It was extremely tiny! Well, I knew it would be small – but somehow didn’t expect it to be that small. Before my stay there, I actually didn’t believe that couples shared a super-single bed in Hong Kong.
But apparently they do! That bed was a super-single and it was hardly comfortable.
The rather large lizard running about aside… That got me screaming a little actually.
The worst part of the apartment was actually the washroom. The toilet bowl wasn’t attached to the ground; so basically every single time we settled our buttocks on it, we had to do a balancing act. And upon flushing, whatever that your body let out would also be let out onto the washroom floor. Pee and poo leaked out and floated around every time…
It was awful… 😦
However I must say that the location of the apartment is not too shabby – it’s near quite a number of good places!
After settling down, we went to explore.
I was rather intrigued with this car parking machine! 😀
And downstairs was this famous diner called Dim Dim Sum! It serves up some of the best Hong Kong dishes.
After just one meal there, it quickly escalated its way to Mark’s heart. He was utterly hooked.
In the evenings we went walking around the streets; enjoying the night lights of the city. 🙂 And because I was living in that area, I noticed things I didn’t before. Like the darker side of the city – what some would define as sleazy.
It was quite eyeopening… A prostitute almost approached Mark – but I quickly grabbed onto his arm when I spotted her. After I noticed her, I realised there were a lot more where she came from. And sex stores & streets with stalls that sell sex toys.
And every.single.time Mark had the chance, he’d scoot to Dim Dim Sum.
And since we were in Hong Kong, Mark suggested to headed down to Ocean Park!
Breakfast was quite delightful! It was simple, cheap and good. 😀 I really enjoyed it! And it was actually considered a treat in the eyes of the people there – the average person would order just the noodles, not the set.
The uncle simply said, “Expensive.”
I was quite taken aback. I was used to eating food that made me happy – while others were eating food merely to appease hunger and live.
So anyway, I just smiled and Mark & I headed to the MTR station.
I enjoyed Disneyland Hong Kong, so I was interested to see what Ocean Park had to offer. 😉
The entire park was built very nicely! It’s on quite a mountainous area and everything was lush in greenery for the Summer! ❤
LINE mascots walked the park among other mascots!
Live birds without chains were perched on open-air containments.
Plus spectacular views that are hard to beat!
The weather was diabolical, it was almost impossible to not squint our eyes!
All rides had really long queues and nothing really interested the both of us… So we settled for aquariums!
Marine life is an interest of Mark’s and the air-con was an interest for me! 😀
Other than the air-con, I basked in the gorgeous sea life that was present in front of me.
Mark didn’t just bask… He would have jumped into the tank and if he could. It was the only time he bothered to take the camera from me and went click-crazy. My memory card is filled with lots of blue now…
And because of the crazy crowds and killer heat – we didn’t sit a single ride.
We just took a taxi back to Kowloon…
Taxi Uncle: You’re staying in Kowloon?
Taxi: You don’t look like the sort that will stay in that sort of area…
Me: Haha! What sort of area is it?
Taxi: You look like you’ll be staying in a much more luxurious location. It’s not your kind of place.
Indeed, uncle. How right you are.
I was actually glad we were at the end of our Hong Kong lap of the trip because I was mighty uncomfortable. While Mark managed to survive with his manly National Service experience and his love for Dim Dim Sum, I found nothing at all. 😦
But before we bid Kowloon farewell, we sat down at one of the eateries – sat outside and munched away!
And we sat the bus to the airport – ready to fly off to The Land of the Rising Sun!
I got so sick of Chinese cuisine, I practically begged for something Western. In full honesty, Chinese food was never one of my favourites…
When I saw the golden arches of McDonald’s at the airport, I ran there!
And other than the McPork, they have other things different from Singapore’s McDonald’s as well!
Like this McWings Platter!
And this dessert! Basically apple pie combined with hot fudge sundae! Oooooh.
And as I sat there eating away, I realised that I saw the city entirely differently. It wasn’t the shopping paradise I initially saw it as – I saw it for the city it was. Bare; naked.
The streets were cramped and dirty; the smell of sewage flooded the air like a pungent virus that sickens you to the core; the local people actually do manual labour that Singaporeans don’t want to do.
Then I realised how pampered I am. I couldn’t even stand those days in Kowloon – in a cheap apartment. And I was so uncomfortable about everything that I actually started throwing up whatever I ate/drank; I just felt so suffocated and repulsed by it all. From the 2nd day onwards, practically everything I ate was vomited out because I couldn’t stand the smell. And I could barely sleep on that cramped bed with Mark; I had about barely 2 hours of disturbed sleep a night and I often woke up with splitting headaches.
And so I woke up to the fact on how lucky I really am – how lucky most Singaporeans really are, actually.
So with a new mindset, I got on the plane with Mark and together we set off to The Land of the Rising Sun. 🙂
…I still can’t figure out how Mark managed to sleep so soundly, eat so heartily and all that like everything was just dandy with him.
Maybe he’s right. I’m just daddy’s spoiled princess.