Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 32

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Calgary > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 33 - Sat May 25 2024Wan Chai, Temple StreetHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 34 - Sun May 26 2024Chungking Mansions, Nathan Road, Ladies' MarketHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 35 - Mon May 27 2024Central Market, Sino CentreHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 36 - Tue May 28 2024Tea at Minimal (with WingBenny), Dragon CentreHong Kong, ChinaHong Kong, China
Day 37 - Wed May 29 2024Plane (HK > Singapore), Tampines N2 Shopping StreetHong Kong, ChinaSimei, Singapore
Day 38 - Thu May 30 2024Tampines Regional CentreSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 39 - Fri May 31 2024Lunch (with Debbie and Zixiang), Bras Basah Complex, I Light SingaporeSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 40 - Sat Jun 01 2024People's Park Complex, People's Park CentreSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 41 - Sun Jun 02 2024BishanSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 42 - Mon Jun 03 2024Dunman High School, Katong Shopping Centre, Parkway ParadeSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 43 - Tue Jun 04 2024Hell's MuseumSimei, SingaporeSimei, Singapore
Day 44 - Wed Jun 05 2024Flight (Singapore > San Francisco > Vancouver > Edmonton)Simei, SingaporeEdmonton, Canada
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts!Edmonton, CanadaWe'll see

Friday, May 24 2024 (Day 32)

Here are some pictures of Kel‘s place to start this blog entry. Front door area:

Dining room table, with my bags and boxes, next to the kitchen door visible in the above picture:

Kitchen left and right picture. There’s a laundry area past the far door:

Living room area (with my laptop in the background):

Some nice decorations:

My bedroom:

And the bathroom:

Here’s the balcony:

And here are some of the views from the balcony and various windows, night and day versions:

I woke up just before Kel did and so was able to see her off for the day. I actually regained my voice for a little bit in the morning, but it was on and off and I only had half a voice left by the time I passed through immigration and customs, and none at all by the time I reached the Hong Kong hotel and for the rest of the night afterwards.

To make things worse, my Holafly eSIM lasted for exactly ten days, so it was still working in the early morning when Kel left. but expired around when I was leaving the house to head to Guangzhou South Railway Station, sometime between 9:40 am and 10:00 am. This meant that once I left the building (passing by the puzzled front door guard as I stepped out into the drizzling rain with a suitcase and two bags), I had no Internet access at all, all the way until my train reached Hong Kong Kowloon West Station. China does not offer free WiFi anywhere (that among other things means that it is very unfriendly towards foreigners under its current regime), and the high-speed train did not have that internet that toggled on on the way in to Hong Kong once it crossed the border, the same way that it had the internet that toggled off when taking the train in the opposite direction.

Anyway, back at Guangzhou South Railway Station, there was a little police robot patrolling the area outside the security gate. It’s in the background of this shot if you squint.

There was also a guy that was in handcuffs and leg chains that went through the security scanner just before me. They waved me back so that he could go through. I snuck a picture afterwards.

I hope that’s not me in the future. They did not put me in leg chains when I was handcuffed at Singapore’s Changi Airport two years ago, but they did basically do that with the handcuffs and the two escorts next to me.

The waiting room of Guangzhou South Railway Station was unified, with all the departure gates in the same large room. There were two levels of shops, and every store was actually open! … That being said, there were at least three separate McDonalds branches *and* three KFC branches in there, so that’s how they found enough tenants I guess.

The A-gates and B-gates were on the opposite ends of the waiting area, along the short side of the big rectangle at least, but the train platforms were perpendicular to the waiting area so most of the trains had two gates that one could board from that were on opposide sides of the hall. My train to Hong Kong, for example, boarded from gates A7 and B7. They didn’t tell me which side was for the lower-numbered carriages and which side was for higher, but I guessed B was for the higher numbers (and that 8 was considered a high number and not merely a middle carriage) and I was right on both counts.

I queued up about 10 minutes early at the B-gate and was the first one in line this time:

There weren’t that many people though so the lines were short, but I wasn’t sure if my line or the one to my left was for manual verification, since its usually one of the end lines but that line was supposedly reserved for business class, people who needed more accessibility, as well as some other special groups. Even though there was someone else lined up there, the guard that was lounging behind the gates came up to that large gate 19 minutes before departure time (boarding was supposed to only start 15 minutes before departure) and waved to me to come up though, ignoring the foreigner guy who was actually queued up in that lane. I guess either from seeing my Canadian passport or my big suitcase or a combination of those two and knowing that I arrived first. He scanned me through and I found my seat and settled in for the 1 hour and change ride before anyone else.

The train still filled up though, even though there were plenty of tickets left even the night before. I was also able to confirm that they recycle seats, so that if someone leaves at a specific station along the way, it is possible for someone else to buy a ticket for the same seat that the first person had as long as the second person only boards afterwards, as this exact situation happened with the window seat in our row. I also learnt that there was a power outlet but that it was under our seat instead of under the seat in front of us, possibly due to the direction that the train was facing. I think it still was only one power socket for the row, between the center and window seat, too, but I didn’t care since the ride was short anyway.

Finally, I arrived at Hong Kong Kowloon, and crossed the China border and into the Hong Kong one (demarcated by lines on the ground). I wasn’t stopped even due to my throat, since I didn’t really have a cough. There was a temperature check section that I had to cross though, but I didn’t have a fever or chills so they never detected my smuggling of my China germs into Hong Kong, nor did I declare them at customs.

But finally, after all that, I had unfiltered internet again! Free WiFi (though I got a 5 day eSIM later on anyway) and without a stupid firewall! I immediately sent this poor Pikmin on an 18 day tour back to Japan to pick up some weird package that hadn’t expired. By the time that thing returns I’ll probably be back in Canada. I wonder if that will extend the return time even further.

To get to the train station near my lodging, I needed to take a total of 3 trains, even though it was only a 5 stop ride in the end. The floor was wet and some people had umbrellas, so I guessed that it was still raining outside, but it turned out that it was just a slight drizzle as usual. There was a green traffic light to cross just as I reached the top of the station, so I didn’t take my usual “first arrival” picture until I had crossed the road.

Between the railway station and the lodging was about 7 minutes worth of a little market street:

Still bustling despite the rain. To get to my hotel from the end of this road, I first had to jaywalk across an actual busy road with like 8 other people at the same time who were too lazy to go down one street in either direction to the traffic light. My excuse was that I was carrying a heavy pink luggage bag while refusing to let it touch the ground, so any reduction in steps I had to take was much appreciated.

Then, I had to climb a rather steep road up a hill to get to the actual hotel/service apartment. Is this place safe?

There was some nice rakugaki (graffiti) on the way up:

And here’s a view looking back down the way I came:

The front desk was staffed by 1 or 2 people anytime that I’ve passed by it so far:

But it’s obviously not open 24 hours since I received a passcode for the number pad outside the front door. I signed in (despite not having a voice at all by this point) and took my keycard up to my room. Pictures of said room follow:

It looked really nice, but was oddly missing some things like a power plug next to the bed, laundry detergent, and dishwashing liquid, but by and large anything that I asked the staff for, they very kindly provided. They even provided me with a couple of North America to Hong Kong power adaptors, which was excellent. I had to provide my credit card and let them put an extra damage deposit sort of thing on my card as part of check-in though, and I wonder if those little things will cost any extra at the end. I don’t think so, but that will drastically improve my score of the place if they do. Besides that, the place is quite comfortable and I approve of it, except for the one harmless fly that’s taken up residence in the bathroom.

After an hour and change of settling in, I went out again to get groceries for dinner, because I wanted to start up laundry afterwards and had no voice and it was still drizzling off and on anyway so there were plenty of reasons for me to not go exploring tonight. While downstairs in the main lobby, I noticed they had a lounge area there and took some pictures of it too.

This girl was also at the front desk, and although I never saw what she looked like from the front, I was smitten with her style from the back so I snuck a picture of her.

That baggy shirt over the short skirt, and those socks and shoes! I love those socks in particular, they’re such a vibe.

I asked for an umbrella from the front desk staff after the girl left, and was delighted when they pulled one out from the side room for me. More travelling days without needing to buy an umbrella. I walked west to a nearby supermarket that was located inside a building called Hopewell Centre.

The supermarket itself was okay:

But had a lot of imported items:


I used the word “but” there, because all the imported items meant that the prices of the items in the store all seemed rather high. I’m not sure if that’s just this store or if it’s the same for most of Hong Kong in general. There were also a lot of items that were lazily unlabelled and unpriced, and I had to get a store clerk to help me remove some items from the self-checkout machine because I had thought that those items had a special price for buying 3 instead of 1 (because everything ELSE from that brand on the same shelf had a special price for buying 3 instead of 1) even though it had been unlabelled. But nope, unlabelled apparently meant they also “forgot” to put that deal into the price system itself, so there was no mega discount and thus I wasn’t interested in buying it. I ended up buying a hotpot pack and going back to my lodging to cook that.

That being said, my first impressions of Hong Kong were really good. In particular, that supermarket drove it in that there were lots of English signs everywhere too, in addition to the Chinese ones. And I overheard several Chinese on the train speaking in English, something I never witnessed in mainland China itself. It’s not to the level of Singapore, where the Chinese speak English as a main language, but it’s partway there at least.

The rest of the night was me fighting with laundry, because I couldn’t figure out how to make the machine run its dry cycle. I gave up eventually and took out all the clothes to hang up and dry, but then there wasn’t anywhere to hang the hangers up either even though there was supposed to be a drying rack somewhere. I just ended up laying out all the clothes over the foot of my bed and over the chairs and letting them slowly air dry with the air-con on. At least my bed was really comfortable! And just one step away from the toilet sink for when I had something to spit out down the sink drain.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 31

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 33

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