Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hong Kong-Foreign Travel and International Experience Take Three

As the name suggests this is Take 3 of the post so Take One and Take Two should be read before this.What are u waiting for? Go read !!! :P
Ok 2 very Important things about Taiwan trip I missed in the previous post..The Awards ceremony I mentioned had a very elaborate dinner afterwards.Having only had fruits and juice for breakfast and Subway submarine for lunch I was obviously starving.I could have even had beef if it looked delicious.Oh I have this theory which  I put in practice that what doesn't look good doesn't taste good.The beef looked repulsive so I circumvented it.I steered clear of Squids and seaweed also.(Obviously) But  I stopped at ham stir fried noodles.It looked scrumptious and the starved me immediately piled it up on my plate.The rest of my plate was occupied by asparagus, lettuce and the like (hindi mein bole toh ghas phus).I sat at my team table and immediately started devouring the noddles.
What is that? my Gujarati teammate inquired
"Ham stir fried noddles" I replied cheerfully .The change in mood was of course because I had something to eat in my plate.
"What????" My strictly vegetarian Gujarati teammate shouted and gave me such a nasty look that I felt myself sinking and slouching in the chair
."But..But...I am hungry" I said feeling as guilty as if i had murdered the animal for the ham with my own bare hands
."What about Swine Flu"?, he countered.
I had no counter attack for that and I pushed away my plate and the cheerful expression i had a moment a go was replaced with a scowl.But I later found myself wishing I had never touched the ham noddles because during the return flight i was feeling a little feverish and I became paranoid that I had caught the flu :(

Then another very important event in my life happened later that night. It was the After Awards Party and alcohol was flowing freely.   Now the teetotaler me sat there sipping my soft drink I looked around at people consuming alcohol and I mused that I had paid for that too in my competition fee.Not only that I had paid for the food too.But neither did i eat their food nor did i drink their wine.What a waste of money , I  brooded.It was time to do some Paisa Vasooly , I decided. I then made a resolution and made my way towards one of my teammates.
"I want a sip of your Vodka" I said to her."Then I will think about whether to get my own glass." She more than willingly handed it to me.Having reached this stage now looked at the glass unsure.I was afraid it might burn my throat.Then with steely determination I put the glass to my lips and drew a sip."Ugghhh....Vile stuff !!"I concluded just after one sip. It tasted like lemon gone bad(I had Vodka with Sprite) but thankfully it didn't burn my throat as I had expected.I handed her the glass back and went back to my soft drink and to my ambition of making it to the List of Famous Teetotaler in Wikipedia.So much for Paisa Vasooly, I rued.Now u mustn't let this attempt of mine at Pasia Vasooly   fool u into thinking I am parsimonious in any way.But my 1 year stint in Gujjuland (My college was in Gujarat) was bound to affect  and give my thinking  its characteristic stingy touch .

Ok now back to where I left.We landed in Hong Kong at night and headed towards Causeway Bay which is one of Hong Kong's busiest shopping district.Since we were in Hong Kong only for a day we were putting up in a hostel in Causeway Bay It was nearing midnight but All of us wanted to explore the place so we headed out.Most shops were closed but the place was alive with neon signs.We were clicking pics in one such place when I caught one of my teammates excitedly pointing at something.Her face was glowing with happiness of the kind i didnt even see when we stood third in the competition.
"What is it?" we inquired
."Look This building has an Indian Restaurant on the 7th floor.All our faces lit up brighter than the neon lights of Hong Kong.We rushed to the lift giggling with pleasure at the mere thought of eating an Indian meal at last.We reached the restaurant only to find the owner switching off the lights, ready to close
Sign showing Mirch Masala(The Indian restaurent)

"Oh? You are closing?"we inquired.The crestfallen and dejected  look on our face quite apparent.
"Yes we close at midnight", the Indian owner of the restaurant replied.
"What time do u open in the morning?"
At 10" came the reply.
"Can we at least look at the menu?" we pleaded.He looked at us for a second then went got us the menu.We were drooling just looking at the name of the dishes.Kashmiri pulao with raita,Paneer kadai,Paneer Pasanda, Chicken butter masala  etc etc *slurp slurp*
We explained the reason for our weird behaviour and he said "Oh OK I can do one thing.I can ask the Chef to prepare some dishes for u and parcel it .Quickly decide what you want.We thanked him profusely and he said benevolently *Agar ek Indian dusre Indian ki help nai karega toh kaun karega"and I could have hugged him and planted a peck on his cheek right then and there but i refrained from such overt acts of expressing one's gratitude. :D :P 
Much before i landed in Hong Kong i had done some research on it.And since i was only there for a day i had my heart set on visiting Disneyland.But before that i wanted to make a stop at the Peak.This tourist destination was suggested to us by a Hong Kong participant.Did I mention him before?Oh damn I forgot.Ok will tell u in short that he was very cute and he also tried to teach me how to use chopsticks but alas i failed miserably and concluded  that my fingers are not flexible  and  dexterous enough to hold and use chopsticks :-| 

Off to The Peak I went with one of my teammates.The other two preferred to go to Mong Kok for shopping The Peak is Hong Kong's highest point.The Tram journey to reach The Peak is quite exhilarating.The design of the peak tram is very ingenious.Most part of the route is quite steep and the steepest slope angle is around 27 degree.This gives a very topsy turvy view of the city on the right.
The Peak Tram
Pablo Picasso at Madame Tussads
View From Sky Terrace
Now i expected the Peak to be some kind of mountain.It was but with so much more.It had a mall where one could do souvenir hunting and some pretty expensive shopping.It had great many restaurants for dining.It had a Sky terrace from where u could get a panoramic view of the Hong Kong city.U could enjoy the high speed wind blowing across your face at the Sky terrace and ponder over the wonders and delights that Hong Kong had to offer.On one side u could see the concrete jungle and right on the other the Victoria bay and the greenery around.And it also had a Maddame Tussads :D. I posed for innumerable pics with wax statues.My favorite ones are with 

Brad Pitt,Pierce Brosnan Lady Daina and Marlyn Monroe.
Then we headed to Disneyland from there.Disneyland is on another island in Hong Kong and it has its own train to ferry passengers to and fro too.The train is painted very colorfully and inside it also there are various small figures of Disney characters.Just as i got off the train i saw a little girl running around with Mickey Mouse Ears and anotherone with a Stitch cap(he too is a Disney cartoon.) .And i found myself grinning broadly from ear to ear.I resolved to get the Stitch 
Stitch Stuff toy/Cap
stuff toy.At the very entrance of Disneyland a giant a 

statue of a whale with Mickey Mouse surfing on the water coming out from its Blowhole welcomed us.
As soon as I lay my eyes on the Stitch cap i had seen earlier (.It was a cap with doubles up as a stuff toy.The mouth serves as the cap part and the body of the stuff toy dangles from the back of the head like a tail. :D Take a look at the pic for better understanding) i bought one from the first stall i came across.I had to shell out 195 HKD(Hong Kong dollars) for it.I was in a very jocund mood and put on the cap without caring how silly i looked.In my defense Disneyland is a place where one is allowed to act like a kid :D. As i walked 
along taking in the various sights i did a quick mental calculation as to how much my cap had cost me.It came out to be Rs. 1462.5  :-o (1 HKD was around 7.5 Indian Rupees that time.) I jerked away the cap from my head and gaped at it fr a second , my love for it diminishing slightly.Did i mention i had already spent 350 HKD on entry ticket. (Rs.2525) :-o ."But oh well ",i thought,"Its a wonderful souvenir to take back".I again donned on the cap and went back to looking silly.Throughout  Disneyland I fought a strong impulse to buy more souvenirs.I really had to  pull myself away from the Lion King T shirt *sob sob sniff*

There were many rides in Disneyland.One particular ride i enjoyed a lot was called Space Attack. It was a roller coaster with a difference.For one thing it was an indoor roller coaster.We passed through darkness and every now and then it was illuminated by beautiful pictures of space.It was a very thrilling ride and I went on it twice.The rest of the rides  I found a little silly and slow.There was a lot of stuff to do at Disneyland.It took us rest of the day to explore it all.And when the time came for Disneyland to close at 7 in the evening we were treated to a spectacular display of fireworks accompanied by nice music.Thus next day we headed back for our homeland :D .I enjoyed the trip immensely.Though after coming back i weighed a good 5 kgs less than I weighed went i had begun my journey.And that's not a good thing considering i weighed only 48 kgs in the beginning of the trip :P :-o



  1. I absolutely enjoyed reading your blaag! :D So much fun.. and you have such a great sense of humour. Awesome work. Lol @ the tofu incident. Awww @ mirch masala restaurant incident and Yay @ you guys getting 3rd in a competition!!! Keep writing. I am subscribing to your posts :D

  2. Dhanna huggggggggggggggggggggg >:D<
    Ok now the post :D This was so coolio :D waise i loved the pic of u and that blue topi thingy on ur head when u were in disneyland =D so sweet and cute <3
    i saw that on facebook long back waise... :D
    i can gulp vodka like there's no tomorrow. i love the taste be :O
    i love that Indian in that restaurant :) Usually Indians are never helpful to other Indians abroad, but your case was cool and a blessing for u guys =)

  3. @Mads : Topi thing is awesome no ? :D
    Will let u wear when we meet :D
    Vodka : *retches* :P
    Ya and the food was awesome too ... But the state we were in we would have gulped down anything :P