Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 35

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

Monday, May 27 2024 (Day 35)

Today’s like what, the 4th day in a row that I’ve had a near complete loss of voice? And I’ve been basically sick since the last day of Taiwan, on Day 20, with a couple good but not perfect days in between, and it’s now already Day 34. This is obviously due to the lack of good immunity soup.

Two blog posts ago, I showed a document that said that power would be out in my lodging from 10 am to 2 pm. That was scheduled for today, so it felt like I was getting ready to leave the place. By this I meant that I had to unplug my laptop, pack up a few things (so that room service could come in while I was gone), plan out where to go very early in the morning, and then skittle out of there before “checkout time” (the time that the elevators would stop working) rolled around. So the morning was interesting and rushed, just like my last checkout day usually is. Just kidding, that’s because I usually don’t start packing until 30 minutes before checkout time.

I looked up the Michelin Bib site for Hong Kong for nearby food places for brunch like Seren had suggested, and settled on a noodle shop on Hong Kong Island, a bit west of me. I took a train there, but I was early anyway as it opened at 11 am and I was kicked out of my rented lodging just before 10 am. So I walked around, wandering in and out of shopping malls and taking pictures of weird landscapes and sculptures:

I really like Hong Kong so far, much more than either China or Taiwan anyway, and I mused a bit over the reason today. I think it’s partly because there’s a lot of sloped terrain, so there’s a lot of weird, unnatural urban cityscape stuff here, like you can be on a normal ground level path, and then the path ends at a junction that has both an upper and a lower path you can follow, like this one where the path goes down to a left-right road and then up again past it.

It’s pretty magnificent if you’re not trying to get anywhere in a hurry, and it’s nice for exploring and getting lost and distracted in. There’s buildings everywhere, and that brings me to the second thing I like about it — at least so far, when I’m wandering along a street, it feels like a lot more of the buildings are enterable and might hide small malls or pockets or shops, and a lot more of the roads and alleys between buildings are also interesting and often have stalls squirreled away here or there either. It gives me the feeling that I’m exploring a large game city where the devs didn’t cheap out and make most of the buildings unenterable. Of course buildings in real life aren’t unenterable, but things like security guards, endless rows of office buildings, metal gates, closed shops etc do give that impression nonetheless. Whereas here, it feels like there’s something interesting down every twist and turn.

Like this, I went down to that road from the picture above and then went a little ways along to where there was a path leading up to the noodle shop I was headed to, and I found a small, random market clinging on for survival on the slopes itself! On the sloped stairs there! Who puts stalls there? Why?

Ducks. They’re also arranged large to small, with the large ones on the higher side of the stall so it looks like they’re forming a slope in the same direction as the real slope…

Apparently there’s a rather nice Linlee store near the noodle store where I ended up having brunch, where it looks like a giant duck is breaking through a wall or somethng. Kel told me about it, but I didn’t think to look it up until later on in the day, by which time I had already left this neighbourhood. Oh well.

But for the moment, I reached my chosen store, Tsim Chai Kee, just after it opened, and got ushered to a table which was shared with a bunch of other people, no privacy screens or anything at all.

In addition, they didn’t provide free tissues at all. Or any free water or anything like that. I ordered their Two Toppings Noodle, with wonton and fresh minced fish ball as my two toppings. The wonton was great, but the noodle was bleh, and the fish ball (which was actually a meat ball, not a fish ball, and there IS a difference, damn it), had ginger or something in it, which was a weird choice. The broth was nice too, but wasn’t enough to save my opinion of the meal and the place. Which also didn’t accept credit cards. There was almost nothing redeemable about the place except the wonton and the broth, and the experience of sharing a table with others, and the women staring like hawks at everyone dining and yoinking the bowl away the moment someone finishes and puts it down. The place wasn’t even particularly busy yet.

After that little disaster of a brunch, I wandered north, looking for a shopping mall because I had my mask on but had no tissue to wipe off the oil from my lips, so I wanted a place with a nice washroom to clean my mouth at. I ran into this escalator, part of what is called the Central to Mid Levels Escalator System. I didn’t go all the way down or up or anything like that, but it was cool to see. There are apparently like 20 of them more or less chained together to help people ascend (or descend, at certain times of the day).

I then finally found a mall, and I was really glad that everything that had happened before this point today had happened, in order to lead me to where I now was. This mall was called Central Market, and it became my favourite place in Hong Kong that I have found so far.

I first ended up on a Street Food level on the second level of the three storey building, which was interesting, though nothing special just yet.

There were a good number of people wandering through the entire mall, and even several people taking cameras through the mall. The first one I saw was in this Street Food area too, and it looked like a professional with a tripod and everything.

The second were a couple of girls that represented a more casual, camera-wielding crowd that wandered through the place looking for occasional selfie shots or, like me, cataloguing and chronicling cool things. Like the stairs, they were quite cool.

The last shot is a shot I was happy with, as I landed a shot of two other people taking a photograph of three other people with cameras who were talking with each other (well, the 3rd guy on the left of the pair was coming in to talk to them). it looked like most of them were part of some sort of club, as they congregated there for quite some time and then wandered the place as a group of 6-8 people or so. They also had some photography gear like a white reflective umbrella with them.

Each level was a big loop, and on the other side of the 2nd level, away from the Food Street area, was a regular shopping area that looked like this.

The third level would end up being very similar layout-wise to this half of the second level. Little shopfronts on the side, with sometimes extra little shops or even little table stalls in the middle. The whole mall was laid out beautifully, with nothing remotely approaching big chain shops but not random souvenir shops with offerings similar to ten other random souvenir shops in the area or anything like that either. Rather, the mall, via the tenants that it had gathered, seemed to pursue a goal of having sustainability and/or eclectic products, and I dug both of those.

When I was wandering around the second level, some of the shops there were still closed for whatever reason. But there was still stuff to see, like these Chinese idiom puzzles posted on the outside of a store. (I don’t know my idioms well enough to know any of these.)

Even the storefronts didn’t have front doors, so “closed” stalls looked like these:

And this guy on the left of this picture was in the midst of opening his store, a store selling stuff for pet dogs. That store on the right was where I bought a drink much later on from as well.

There were lots of cute things for sale, like these cute succulents that I would never have been able to bring home. Same for that bear.

I then ran into this store, named Slowood, at one end of the loop. This was by far the best store in the mall, the one that I spent the longest time in, and also the store that made me fall in love with the mall. It sold a bunch of sustainable and vegan stuff for homes, and I wish they had stores outside of Hong Kong and perhaps even somehow in Edmonton, Canada as well, because I wanted so much more from them.

Like these fancy toothpastes.

And these dryer balls.

And these cockroach.. defense.. bricks. Well, I hopefully don’t need them, but I sent a picture of them to Kel, who immediately knew where I was but said the product was new to her, and that she’d forward the pictures to a friend with cockroach problems, heh.

And these cool sponges.

And these really nice bowls.

Actually, I did get those bowls in the end. And a set of spoons that was probably a bit overpriced.

I continued walking around afterwards,and I think these next few pictures are from the third level of the mall.

There were some toy and figure stores on the top level.

Some characters I recognized, many I didn’t.

And this guy.. I’ve never seen a figure of Mr Bean.

Well then. Moving on. This was a paint store and I liked that blue pouring paint sculpture in the middle.

Heres a store selling model cars and figures and tiny dinosaurs and such.

Here’s a little bazaar area with tables that were basically like little Etsy stores.

This specific area had a bunch of unique-seeming clothes and items.

They couldn’t figure out what to put on this map for Saskatchewan and Manitoba except crops.

These two dogs were just seated on their owner’s chair and quietly staring at passersby like me.

These lamps looked pretty and interesting and I liked the history bit. They in particular seemed to be products not made for overseas visitor consumption though.

Here’s a tea and.. seafood store? I wasn’t actually sure what most of these items are, but they were expensive.

In the basement, there were a bunch of plaques showcasing the history of the Central Market and how it used to be a fish and meat market, and how it then got developed over four stages over the years to what it was now (and how it got shut down and then rejuvenated into its current incarnation).

Not far from there was a stall that was a re-creation of an old fish market stall, using a bunch of props and apparently some AI to restore the scene from an old photograph. It wasn’t an actual stall selling anything though.

Finally, the bottom level was a large shared dining area with some shops in the side, and a nice middle courtyard. This one wasn’t as interesting to me but that was fine at this point, and it was very busy.

I went back up to look for that drink store, but ran across this stall first and loved the mood from it.

And after getting and finishing my milk tea from that store, I realized that I couldn’t find an actual dustbin for it.. but I did find this.

It was lined with a garbage bag so I assume it was fine to throw things in there. I wasn’t actually 100% sure that it was a bin and no one else was throwing anything into it in the 10 minutes or so that I was watching it.

I didn’t take any pictures of it but I really liked their washrooms too, there was one on each level but the fancy sinks were basically “outside” the washrooms and visible from the main walkways, and there was also a digital sign on each doorway showing how many vacant stalls there were in the corresponding gender’s washrooms on each level.

But all good things had to end, and eventually I left the Central Market, and took a train north across the water to Kowloon again. Among the things I saw while walking around was this nice primary school that was completely fenced off with barbed wire and all.

And this very familiar name. An Aeon Style supermarket!

They even had my favourite tea, the Asahi Juurokucha, and had several versions of it that I had never seen to boot. I tried a strong blend and it wasn’t that good, but was at least hydration.

They also had cooked rice packets, so I guess they do exist in Hong Kong too, in the right (Japanese) stores.

I ended up back at the Mong Kok neighbourhood where I had finished my walk yesterday. I was looking for a particular anime-focused indoor mall called Sino Centre, but several others in the area had been mentioned as possibly anime-focused too, like this one called CTMA Centre.

This was a terrible mall for anime stuff though, with just a couple of figurine stores and that was about it. Also it more or less forbade pictures, and food and drink, and a bunch of other things, and at that point why not just forbid people altogether? I did sneak a picture from somewhere on one of their upper levels, and it was neat walking around the narrow little indoor mall still, but yeah. It was very empty and I didn’t stay long either.

I did eventually find Sino Centre, and this place was conversely very, very busy. Although it was just a four storey (I think) mall, it took a long time to navigate because there were so many stores, and so many people. My pictures don’t really reflect that because I mostly took pictures when people weren’t directly in the way. But so many people.

It wasn’t a fully anime place though, like there were a chunk of stores dedicated to Asian idol groups, and I was looking for the supposed CD stores that were here too. There was maybe one CD store on the first or second level right by the top of the escalator, and there were a couple of stalls here and there that had an occasional CD tucked into their stock, but most of the CD stores were actually down in the basement, and many of them specialized in Cantopop or Chinese or English CDs. There were a couple I found that sold Japanese CDs, like this one, that specialized in Japanese CDs (largely anime).

The best one that I found was this Tin Tin Trading Company store though, with three or four boxes of older Japanese anime and TV soundtrack CDs at decent-seeming prices.

Not that I did end up buying anything from there, as they were largely from shows that I had no idea about, and then when I was browsing through the last box and squeezed into a corner for it, I suddenly got overcome by a bad coughing fit and had to hurry out of the store as it just wouldn’t stop. Thank goodness for that tea bottle in my bag, and the face mask that I was wearing that masked some of it to the public, as not being able to stop coughing (while trying not to visibly seem like I was in distress so as not to summon those emergency vehicles like yesterday) meant that I couldn’t breathe normally for a little bit.

The drink and hydration did eventually finally calm me down though, but that was my sign that it was time to leave this place, especially since at this point my phone was giving me battery warnings. I went out of the mall to a random restaurant nearby called The Ninth Restaurant, and ordered a nice soup noodle dish called Signature Eight Treasures, which supposedly perhaps helps with health and such, or at least prosperity and luck.

It wasn’t too bad, but they also did not provide tissues, and when I inquired about it they added a 3 HKD charge on my bill for tissues… and then never brought me the tissues anyway. Whatever. I finished my meal and washed myself up with a cup of water that they had somehow brought me for free, and then disputed the 3 HKD charge at the cashier and got it taken off the bill since I no longer needed the tissue.

I then made my way home, and just in time as well since my phone battery died (from 8% right to 0%) right as I was in the lobby of my lodging. I did laundry that evening but nothing else of note really happened, except that I had to cancel a work meeting since I still had no voice (though it was getting better as I could wheeze a little now) and instead spent the evening knocking out my tickets for the day. And coughing my innards out.

Oh, but I did buy two things from the anime section of Sino Centre though.

The left one is an acrylic stand of a character from Kusuriya no Hitorigoto. In fact, it’s the character that was cosplayed in this picture, taken from Day 31.

The right one is a keychain of a scene and character from Sousou no Frieren, the small version of this plushie that I had seen way back on Day 15, during the healthy days of my youth.

That one was slightly suspect because it looked like the wrong character caught inside the mimic though, it’s only the white-robe elf mage, Frieren, that ever gets caught. It was also too big and too expensive, and I never saw another similar plushie after that. This keychain though was a good consolation prize. And one day I will find that actual plushie.

The acrylic stand was 40 HKD ($7 CAD) and the keychain was 25 HKD (a bit under $4.50 CAD). I was happy with both of those prices.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 34

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 36

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