Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 36

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

Tuesday, May 28 2024 (Day 36)

Housekeeping: I had forgotten to add one picture of a couple of my purchases to yesterday’s blog even though I had uploaded it with exactly that intention, so I shoved it at the end of the blog along with a couple of paragraphs of commentary.

Today was the day that I had scheduled with WingBenny to meet up, but my voice was still gone — I had regained back a little bit of voice when I woke up, but it was still hoarse, and even that faded away completely around lunch, and then came back a bit after that, so it was unreliable at best. And my phlegm was now coming out red, so there can’t be much innards left within me, right.

I reached out to him anyway and we arranged that we could meet somewhere for a sit-down and drink or something since this was my last day here anyway, and we made plans (in the morning) for around 2 pm for this at a location as yet determined. Not wanting to push myself too hard, I spent the morning at home working and grabbed breakfast from the free breakfast counter downstairs:

For lunch, I walked around the nearby neighbourhood and ended up at a dumpling/wonton place called Yuan Ji Yun Jiao. I made an order and sat down, watching two women at the back slave away at making the dumplings by hand as one online takeout order after another online takeout order was processed, and as many, many bags of dumpling soup were wrapped up one after the other, and picked up by a steady stream of guys with motorcycle helmets on their head.

It was obviously a very popular place to order delivery from, but even though the restaurant itself only was about half-full, there was no indication that it would take 25 minutes of me sitting at my table and waiting for them after paying for my order, to actually finally get to see my order reach the table.

The store was hot too, with no working air-conditioning or fan, and the outside of the glass of water that I got felt very oily. Also, this was another restaurant that did not provide tissue paper for guests. All that was really irritating. I actually really liked the dumplings and vegetables and soup though, so I can see why it’s so popular anyway (and why everyone avoids eating at the restaurant, even though it looked fairly clean).

I went back to my hotel room briefly after this with a bottle of tea and a small container of frozen tofu to cool myself down, and after topping up my Octopus transit card at 7-Eleven, hopefully with enough money to make it to the airport tomorrow. I found this note in my room from the room service, who had whirlwinded through my room and cleaned things up while I was gone.

Bug spraying! Thankfully tomorrow was my checkout day anyway and I have to be at the airport probably by sometime around 7:30 am, if not earlier, since the plane to Singapore leaves at 9:45 am. And I had already gotten rid of a couple bugs from my room over the past couple days anyway. Or were they trying to hint that there was a current infestation somewhere? Hopefully not. I say, as a fly buzzes around me.

Heading out again, I went toward the local Wan Chai subway station, and saw a security guard standing menacingly with sunglasses and a rifle as the ATM behind him was being opened. I still shot a picture of him from a safe distance and left before he could shoot me.

I had been chatting to WingBenny and had said that I had planned to spend the afternoon around the Sham Shui Po Station and neighbourhood in northern Kowloon. He suggested a cafe there called Minimal, and I heartily agreed since I am bad at picking places anyway, plus it looked like they sold some sort of ice cream there, which I figured would be good for soothing my throat.

I arrived at the area earlier than WingBenny, so I started by walking around the neighbourhood and taking some pictures:

Very nice. I really liked the architecture and the market stalls here, largely because there was a lot of space to move around between stalls and nothing looked too dirty for the most part. I also enjoyed looking up and seeing people’s clothing fluttering on laundry poles in the wind and wondering about the lives of the people that live here. I love daydreaming about things like that.

Eventually WingBenny arrived, and we went into the cafe to chill out. I alternated between using my hoarse voice to speak and the phone to type, which made communication not that optimal, but I had fun in the meetup anyway and I hope he did too. He actually primarily lives in Calgary, but comes over occasionally as his parents lives here, so we had a fair amount in common in terms of our experiences back in Canada. I gave him an Edmonton postcard anyway though, and then he paid for my tea snack, which was off the dessert menu — mille feuille, with praline, hazelnut, vanilla custard, and soft serve with two flavours (vanilla and chocolate).

This cost a whopping 84 HKD, or about $14.66 CAD, and I didn’t think I really appreciated it enough since I don’t have a sweet tooth (on top of it being obviously overpriced), but I had already had lunch so it didn’t make sense for me to buy something savoury, which would have been even more expensive. He refused to let me pay, but I did find out earlier in the day that he streams on Twitch now and then anyway, so I will probably subscribe to his channel for a few months and “return” his money that way, teehee. Once I get home.

As is customary, I also made him take a picture with Tigey before we departed:

I continued walking around the neighbourhood after we parted ways, as I was headed toward a shopping mall that I had heard about. I did love seeing the sights and sounds along the way though.

And I just had to take a picture of this store:

Not because it was a (used) CD store, as there were several of those here and there, but because there was a cat lying on top of one of the CD boxes:

It lazily flicked its tail and yawned and stretched as I (and the nearby store owner) looked on.

Soon after this, I reached the mall that I had been headed toward, Dragon Centre.

This mall was very uh, architecturally interesting. The bottom floor of the main building was fine at first glance:

But it had two up escalators near each other, but not right next to each other, that led up to the next level, which was bizarre.

And two more on the other side that came down from above too. As I went up and surveyed the land, I saw that the main part of the centre was basically a circular path that looped around a central area:

But then every floor also had a rectangular section that was like a miniature labyrinth with a bunch of small shops crammed in, it wasn’t a perfect square or rectangle and wasn’t a perfect grid of paths either, and some of the shops even had two or three different entrances from neighbouring paths.

A younger me would have loved buying those stones in the last picture above, with and/or for Huihan as we hung out and explored the mall together or something. I remember doing something similar with her and some stones back in Secondary 2.

Anyway, a separate labyrinth of stores existed on basically every floor from 1 or 2 all the way to 7. Some floors were themed, like floor 7 had a bunch of anime-themed stores, though nothing particular that caught my eye. Other floors had things like clothes, wigs, random trinkets, claw machines (although I think there were a bunch of these on every floor — and from my Taiwan experience I now know that these were probably just unoccupied stalls), toys, tea and food delicacies, and more. Not all the stalls were open, I’d say a good third to half of all the stalls on each floor were closed, but even then it was difficult as a visitor to see all the stalls on one floor since there was no way to traverse a logical, ordered path through the level, I just kept kind of coming onto junctions and turns and having to decide which way I wanted to go.

The foot traffic was actually decent in the mall and in some of the “main streets” of the labyrinth, but I did notice that the stalls in the corners tended to have a lot less visitors, and a couple of them looked like they had been converted into little warehouses, or booths like service centers or resting places or something that didn’t require constant foot traffic to operate. Still, it was very cool to walk through.

Then, I noticed that the up escalator on the 5th floor went right to the 7th floor, skipping the 6th, which was a “normal” shopping level. Why? I have no idea, but it seemed like the only way to reach the 6th floor by escalator was to go up to 7, and then head to the down escalator and descend to 6 from there. However, taking the up escalator again from the 7th floor again skipped a level, putting me right on the 9th floor, which was the very top one. And here, there was a tiny amusement centre.

Complete with.. roller coaster rails that went over the circular pit stretching down through the mall.

Now the net at the top of the circular well picture earlier made sense. That net was hung at floor 7 over the circular pit in the middle of the mall. Neither the mechanism nor the actual roller coaster itself was anywhere in sight though, so that part of the mall was probably sealed off or something. There were a couple people up here, mostly parents with kids, but not many, and it wasn’t too interesting, so I went back down to the 8th level.

The 8th floor turned out to be a food court area, where I saw a stall selling Shanghai Noodles that looked very much like the dish I knew from Canada, so I ordered it and had some. It was actually fairly close to that, which made me wonder how much of that dish is actually authentic to Shanghai and whether the Western version of the dish actually was more or less correct for once or not. The chilli that the guy provided tasted way off from what I expected though.

I took a few pictures of the 8th floor dining area afterwards. There were some stalls bunched around a main area, including the one I ate from.

But then there were also stalls just sort of shoved in alongside the passageway that went around the circular pit below the roller coaster, with only a couple of tables nearby them.

And some were framed by cool olden photographs to try to instill an old-timey food stall ambience to the entire place.

It was all very cool and very neat to see. There was also a separate food court down on what I believe was the 6th floor even though the 6th floor wasn’t just a food floor.

And if that was indeed the 6th floor, then it was very strange that both the food places in the mall were tucked away on the two levels that you couldn’t get to just by taking up escalators from the ground floor. So weird.

I went home after this without any other notable thing happening, although I did take this picture which struck my fancy and imagination with its aesthetics.

Once I reached home, I did a pivot and looked away from Hong Kong, starting to buy my plane tickets home from Singapore since it was now within 24 hours of my arrival there and I could thus cancel the tickets if needed (I believe) within the 24 hour full refund window if it turns out that the ICA bounces me from being able to enter Singapore’s border tomorrow. Hopefully my voice recovers before tomorrow too, or else it could make it harder for me to explain things, although my voice range somehow dramatically improved during the evening and now I think I can almost talk normally again, with only a slight hoarseness left.

I’ll explain the plane tickets I bought tomorrow though once I know if they’re confirmed or not, because there’s some shenanigans I built into it. For now, I’m ending this blog post with a hope that tomorrow goes well, and my plane schedule for tomorrow morning:

Wed May 29 2024
Flight: HB 257
Takeoff: Hong Kong 09:45 (GMT+8)
Landing: Singapore 13:45 (GMT+8)
Duration: 4h 0m

I would also like to sneak a complaint in here that two of the lodging’s provided slippers have now broken. Like the fabric toe cover part of the slipper has just entirely ripped off. This is not conserving resources, this is wasting them (especially since they removed the old slippers so I can’t combine and mismatch the one good slipper from each pair as well). Also, they have not replenished the travel toothpaste tubes in three days now, so maybe they are actually transitioning over to the new “eco-friendly” system or whatever of providing as little amenities to guests.

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