|Wow, Back in the city!!! In planning our visit to Hong Kong I contacted our friends Ferrell and Molly Daste. They recently moved to HK from San Francisco. By recently we mean Molly had arrived earlier in the week with their three children. Ferrell had moved there a few months before to find a house and start his job. We were excited to be with friends and stay at their home, as we had not seen any friends from home in a long time.
Molly and Ferrell live in Stanley fifteen minutes from downtown Hong Kong. We had arrived on an early morning flight from Singapore. After a quick "planes, trains and automobiles" experience we were greeted by Connie, their live-in Ama. Most Ex-Pats who have children hire a live in nanny called "ama". They cook, clean, take care of the children...all dependent on what is needed and negotiated. Connie whipped us into shape and cooked some fantastic meals, did our laundry...ironing everything, jeans, underwear, you name it. Told Drew he shouldn't get used to this though.
Hong Kong feels like a major city in US, very similar to SF.
One morning I (Drew) rode to work with Ferrell and parted ways "downtown" to explore Kowloon. This is the neighboring city across the bay. East meets west here very quickly. Within a few blocks of walking around you feel like you could be in the middle of China. The few hours I had here was a great experience to look into a very different culture. There were people scattered around this park I came across practicing Tai Chi. The exercises reminded me of my Mom who has been practicing Tai Chi for a few years. About a year ago (or so) she began sword training similar to the group in the photos.
The night before we left we had dinner at a restaurant called Hutong in Kowloon. The food was amazing, and the experience! The restaurant is located on the 38th floor and has floor to ceiling windows. You sit looking back onto the Hong Kong skyline. Once it gets dark that's when it gets fun...the buildings in HK all light up and you feel like you are at Disneyworld watching the light show. All of the buildings light up with neon lights...flickering, changing colors and shooting laser lights up into the sky. Amazing experience!
Jen and I were exploring Stanley market, just down the street from the Daste's house. We had been in Hong Kong for a few days and had not yet eaten any traditional Chinese food. We came upon a small restaurant with a signed saying "no service charge". We decided we were going to "give it a go". We quickly figured out no service charge means you have to tackle the waiter to place an order. Jen and I are were the only white people in the place so I knew it was one of those situations where we just have to play along. It was funny...we had a table that sat 5 people. People just come in and sit at any available seat whether they know the person or not. Our table was the last to fill...no one wanted to sit with the Guylos! (white people). To ensure we had clean utensils and teacups there is a pot of hot water on the table to wash everything off. After ordering it was almost no time until we had some of the best food we have ever had. Awesome experience.
Hong Kong was a fun stop and we look forward to going back in the future.