Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 34

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

Sunday, May 26 2024 (Day 34)

My voice is still not recovered yet, so it was another slightly muted day in terms of activity. I stayed home the entire morning and a little into lunch, getting some blog and work stuff done as always, and then researvhing my trip home. I actually have it mostly planned out now — HK until May 29, flight to Singapore in the morning of May 29, 6 nights there probably at a not-totally-legal homestay similar to what I did last time, and then on Jun 04, I will fly United from Singapore to Vancouver via San Francisco for a bit over $700 CAD, and then check out and check back into the airport and take a domestic flight to Edmonton for somewhere between $100-$150 CAD, landing at some point in the afternoon.

The only issue is that I cannot book this yet because I don’t yet know if they’ll let me into Singapore, so the safest way to do this is to book my ticket late at night on May 28, or early May 29, and then use the 24 hour full refund policy that I believe United Airlines has to cancel it if I get rejected entry into SIngapore. That’s only two days away, and currently according to Google Flights, the United flight I’m looking at for my main flight back is $704 for quite a few more days over the next two weeks, including two days from now, so there probably will be spots a couple days from now still.

Unless the whole thing is a sale that I am not aware of and cannot find information on, and it expires in the next two days, then I will rage and never come home. It better not, because it’s a good deal, especially since it includes one carry-on and two checked baggage too (even though I only have one checked). Vancouver to Edmonton flights are trivial to find, and will probably be $100 to $150 or so.

Talking about deals, I saw this in my main account:

April 16 was the last time I stopped by Safeway, and it was the morning of May 26 in Edmonton when they sent that email… so they give offers if you don’t shop there in just under 5 weeks? Hm. 500 bonus points is about $5 CAD, so it’s not a ton, but it is something.

Talking about which, I’ve earned 3,113 Scene+ points on my credit card while overseas, so that’s $31.13 I can throw back toward the cost of the trip as well, likely by applying it against the cost of one of my plane tickets charged to my credit card (like the Vancouver to Edmonton one) once I get home. And after I claim those 500 bonus points.

That plane trip also looks like it’ll land in Vancouver at 1:12 pm, and it looks like I likely won’t be able to catch an immediate flight back, but I might be able to catch one later that night, or chill in Vancouver for one night and then catch a plane at will the next day. We’ll see. I haven’t booked anything yet so booking that end flight now would be premature.

A couple days. We’ll see. We’ve come so far now, Tigey. But for today, we sat at home and crunched some numbers. I even chased off the daily maid service.

Eventually, I decided to go out. I went to Chungking Mansions, which was located north of the bay on the mainland, and was a place that both Kel and Seren had mentioned for various reasons too — Seren that it was a great place to eat at (she provided me with several videos and recommendations), and Kel that it was a terrible place for a single female to live at but a good place to visit nonetheless.

It was really quite interesting. The outside looked like this:

And upon walking inside, I saw two elevators to the left. And a long queue of people lined up for it to use it to get to the floors above. This is what the queue looks like when it was short:

And when it gets long, it goes around the side of the shops:

The hotel rooms and such were above the main floor, but there were only those really cramped elevators to get up to them, plus some dingy stairs somewhere or other. That main entrance visible in the picture was decent, but there were a couple of other entrances/exits from the ground floor that just sort of empty out into a dirty alley with puddles of water in it.

That being said, the interior of even the first floor of the building seemed clean and hygienic, so I had no problems eating here. It was not just food places too, it was grocery stores, phone/electronic repair stores, sweets stores, toy stores, and so on. Mostly Indian or Pakistani or African based. A good number of the stores were closed, and some Indian uncles that I drifted by somewhere along the way were just passed out on chairs, but there were enough people walking around that the place didn’t feel abandoned

I liked this area overall. I ended up at a shop, recommended by one of Seren‘s videos, called Ghana Locals. It serves Ghanaian food, as one might be able to guess from the name, and the proprietors spoke English and were kind when communicating with me even after they discovered that I had no voice and could only communicate through phone typing (in Google Translate) and hand gestures. They suggested a couple of dishes, and I picked one called Fufu and Peanut Soup with Goat Meat:

Google review menu photos showed the prices of their food to be cheaper in the past, but this dish (and most of the others) cost 100 HKD now. Despite that, this was fantastic — the curry wasn’t hot (though there was an option for that, that didn’t seem like a smart idea with my lost voice) and so acted as a slightly sweet gravy for the fufu, which texturally tasted like mashed potato but obviously wasn’t. It reminded me of KFC‘s whipped potatoes/mashed potatoes while being its own completely separate dish, and so sprinkled a great memory like garnish on top of the dish itself, which was itself also great and quite filling. Bonus points for accepting credit card payment as well, and for the free bottle of cold water. I enjoyed it quite a bit, gave the women three thumbs up, and then left.

Next up, I walked north along the main road, called Nathan Road, heading toward a market a couple of subway stations away to the north. The subway followed the road too, which was nice so that if it started to rain, which it didn’t, then I could have just ducked into the nearest station. Or one of the myriad of malls along the way. I walked into some of those to cool down but didn’t take pictures, and took pictures of some that I didn’t walk into. It was one of those days.

I was particularly happy with this shot:

And also this shot had a mime wearing a face mask standing on a box in the background and trying to hold his position and not move as much as possible for donations:

I also saw at least three separate deployments of ambulances, multiple police cars or motorbikes, and/or multiple fire engines, in the time that I was in this area, which was supposed to be a 36 mniute trek but took me about an hour and 15 minutes because of diversions.

Is the people density so high here that multiple accidents or emergencies just sort of happen every day by sheer misfortune? The humanoid density got higher as I went further north, and eventually I reached the area that I was headed to, Mong Kok, a busy area with another pedestrian street market called Ladies’ Market in the middle of it. Busy like this:

Also I’d started to get used to all the <English Male Name> Roads or Streets that Hong Kong Kowloon seems to love, things like Nathan Road, Gascoigne Road, Nelson Street, Pitt Street, and so on. But then they have other weird names shoved in there too.

Who named these roads? Why???

Ladies’ Market looked like the gallery immediately following these paragraphs, and I’m not sure where the name came from (and I didn’t bother looking it up) but it wasn’t particularly focused on female fashion or anything like that. It was exactly like Temple Street yesterday and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but after having visited that one, a lot of items were “duplicated” here — exact same item, exact same price. Some things like clothes were different, of course, I think Ladies’ Market had a better variety of clothes, but they were largely touristy (Hong Kong branded gifts) with a couple of specialty stores like a sports jersey stall and a Japanese or Chinese traditional outfit stall, but largely you had your bag stalls, hat stalls, souvenir stalls, etc that you can find at any other market, plus a couple of interesting stalls here and there mixed in like an art stall (but I feel like Temple Street had one of those too).

It even had one store selling those little figure set boxes like from yesterday, although they didn’t have the Bocchi the Rock! ones that I saw. Either way, this time I inquired (via phone typing) as to the price so I could tell how much the other one was, because, y’know, they’re exactly the same set of stalls anyway. I learnt that each box was 150 HKD, so just over $25 Canadian. It’s very tempting to go back to Temple Street and get that one I was eyeing yesterday.

Yeah, after Temple Street it was a bit samey. I do believe there might have been some shops down the side too, though many of the ones I noticed were closed, but also the walking path here was far, far narrower compared to Temple Street, and it was slightly difficult trying to traverse back and forth through the stalls and navigating the two single file lines of people headed in each direction while making sure no one bumped me enough to pickpocket Tigey from me. Despite all that, it was fun, I enjoy walking around markets like this even though I seldom buy anything from them. Also, unlike Temple Street, there was no street food section in this Ladies’ Market.

I did end up buying something extraneous on this trip out to the markets though. I ran into a random Linlee store along the side of the road, and picked up a cup of random lemon tea from them, as well as a pink duck! It came from a tray of mostly basic yellow ducks, but I already had a basic yellow duck, so I typed on my phone and asked the cashier if there was a way to pay more to get a special duck (in Guangzhou, the current deal when I was there was apparently to pay 3 extra yuan to get one of five special ducks, of which I ended up with one of them thanks to Kel). She shrugged and looked a bit confused at that, but there were a couple of coloured ducks in the tub of yellow ducks seated next to the window, so she pulled the pink duck out and set it next to the tray, and then the person who actually made the drink handed me the drink and that pink duck.

Here’s the price list for the drinks:

My comment on this is that in China, a lot of the drinks cost around $3 CAD, which I thought was already overpriced on its own, since there was very little actual lemon tea in each cup, but it was okay anyway since it came with a cute duck. Here, the equally small drinks cost $6 CAD each! It was no wonder that the Linlee stand had no queue when I first approached it (although a small queue formed behind me after), whereas the other random lemonade stand next to it had a 5-6 person queue waiting to be served.

Anyway, here’s the duck saying goodbye to the rest of her crew:

And then later on, back at my lodging, saying hello to Tigey.

~HELLO~.

That’s a yandere duck if I’ve ever seen one.

I took the train back south after that, and one of my modus operandi is that I sometimes like to stop one station away from my destination and then walk back, which is exactly what I did here, stopping at Admiralty Station and walking home from there instead of taking a transfer to another line to get to the nearer Wan Chai Station. I’m glad I saw that, because I ran across these amazing sights:

There were little picnic sites or something everywhere. I thought people were queueing for something at first, but then I started seeing them everywhere, in bus interchanges, stairwells, walkways, and so on, and I was very confused by this. Or was there some sort of religious event going on?

I managed to find out more about what was happening once I got home and did some Googling though. This Wikipedia article talks about the phenomenon, as does this BBC travel article (local), basically it’s largely Filipino maids, who generally get Sundays off from the families that they serve and live with, meeting up together and enjoying the day with their friends. Some were eating, some were singing to karaoke machines or radios, but most of them were just resting and chatting and putteirng away on the phone while they hung out on their picnic mats with friends and/or acquaintances, whiling the day away barefooted. It was extremely eye-opening to see, and then to think about in post-mortem once I figured out what I saw actually was. Singapore has Filipino maids hired to serve families too but I don’t think they have anything like this, at least nothing that I’ve ever seen or heard of. I wonder if other countries do.

It was also lucky happenstance that I even ran across them, since I came out through a northeast exit from Gibraltar Station and then found that I couldn’t really cross southeast from there, so I ended up circling a bus terminal and up some stairs into some walkways that crossed past a mall and over a road and that’s where most of them were located. If I had chosen another exit I probably would never have seen any of them at all, since once I was past the immediate vicinity of northeastern Gibraltar Station, there were no more of these Filipino social groups to be found. Though I did capture this guy trying to capture three girls walking away or something like that. What kind of creep loves taking pictures of other people doing things, right?

My lunch had been late so I wasn’t remotely hungry at all, and I was passing the supermarket that I had been to two days ago, so instead of dinner, I wanted to go get some ice cream to see if that would help get rid of what I essentially concluded was some sort of laryngitis. I did see this on the shelves there, which amused me as I had no idea that Netflix had branded snacks of any kind:

But popcorn wouldn’t have helped me. Instead, I bought a bottle of soya milk, as well as this small tub of ice cream:

Apparently both honey and ice cream help, so honeycomb ice cream or whatever that hokey pokey was should doubly help, right? I ate it over two sessions that evening, re-freezing It in between. It was okay, until the end, when the remnants turned into ice cream puddles that were not worth freezing up again. I spooned it up and drank it all, and it was awful. I apparently regained enough of my voice from that box to let out a hoarse, high-pitched “Yucks!” though.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 33

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 35

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