After meeting my new friends I ventured out on my own into Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s tourism is impeccable. The maps are amazing and at every street corner they have signs in Chinese and English directing you towards tourist attractions. It was very easy to get around. The next day was Wednesday, which is the day that all the museums are free, which meant I had a lot of ground to cover.
I started at the Hong Kong history museum, which I had heard great reviews about. It was a great museum. I was very fortunate and most of the information was in Chinese and in English, which meant for the first time that I could actually understand some of the information presented to me. It went from the early history of Hong Kong to the recent. The thing that that interested me the most was finding out about Hong Kong being turned back over to China. It only happened 13 years ago when I was 15 and I don’t remember it at all. I was probably too consumed with drivers ed, cheerleading, and working towards me next A to considers such world events. It was a weird moment to realize that a significant world event had happened and I was obviously and too self involved to consider anything outside of my little life in Allendale. Oh how far I have come since then and yet in many respects still the same.
After the history museum I wondered across the courtyard to the science museum. A line had already formed, which made me think it was worth seeing, and it was. The science museum was more of a hands on interactive museum designed for kids, which was perfect for me, cause many days I still feel like a kid at heart. One section of the museum was on electricity and they had cut apart everyday appliances like fridges, dishwasher, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, blenders, ect., ect. and I found myself completely transfixed by finally seeing the inner workings of so many things I used everyday. It was a very large museum and their were other displays like a hall of mirrors, health and wellness, energy, automotive. Their was even a display on work hazards and I was propelled into the past, remembering concrete back rooms with cold folding chairs, and a lone TV and VCR on a cart rolled out to watch videos on how to properly pick things up and how to avoid slips, trips, and falls.
The museum finally became too overrun with children and parents and so I moved on to the art museum on the other side of town along the bay. It was a great combination of contemporarty art and modern art. Many of the ancient artifacts were familiar to me because I had seen similar things in Taiwan so I moved about the art museum quickly so I could get to the space museum next door before it closed.
The space museum was small but still interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by space and hold a secret ambition to someday work for NASA. I like thinking about vastness and although I have been trained to think of time in millions of years it still boggles my mind to think of light years. I often look up at the stars and wonder which of the brilliant white lights I can see have already changed and no one knows because they are so far away. The only thing I wish I had been able to do was walk on the moon. The museum had a special room where you could get strapped into a harness and feel what it might be like to walk on the moon. I waited in line for a long time but as I sized up the contraption I realized that a skirt was the not the appropriate attire, and although no one there would ever see me again, I decided that revealing the color of my panties was not really my travel style, despite how much I wanted to walk on the moon.
By now it was almost 8:00. Luckily the museums in Hong Kong have various hours so when one closes the other is still open. I headed out to the Avenue of Stars. It is a beautiful walkway along the bay which has seating to watch the Symphony of Lights. I propped my camera up next to some German tourists who had brought along some beer. It was then that I realized I was incredibly thirsty and hungry and wished I had been to smart as to bring my own beer. I was lucky that it was a clear night and I anticipated a great light show, similar to the water shows I use to watch at Grand Haven, with lights and water spurting everywhere to classical music, but of course on a much grander scale using buildings instead of water. The announcement came on and the music started to play as I watched across the bay as buildings lights flickered. Their were far less building that participated in the light show than I expected. It was really only a few buildings whose lights changed significantly. The skyline was radiant with neon lights but I still left feeling disappointed.
My hunger had finally grown and my stomach was angrily growling at me. I took the subway over to Hong Kong Island and found my way to Soho and one of the the worlds longest escalators. It was bizarre to see an escalator completely detached from any sort of building and plopped in the middle of high rises, high above the street so as not to interfere with traffic. You had to walk up to the escalator and from there it was smooth sailing, as long as you only wanted to go up. A theme I had seen throughout Asian countries was the escalators where only for going up, if you wanted to go back down you had to walk, and this escalator was no exception to the rule, the only difference was that it was a lot longer.
I finally found a district full of western restaurants and I could hardily contain my excitement at the variety of foods available to me once again. I walked along pondering my choices as my indecisive nature became increasingly annoying to me. After far too long I choose an Italian restaurant where I had the best linguini I could remember. Under normal circumstances I’m sure the food was really quite ordinary, but to me, it was the first western food (besides hamburgers) that I had had in over a year and in that brief moment, I felt like I was home.
I then headed over the the bar section of Hong Kong Island where I found myself on a mini Asian version of Bourbon Street. I grabbed a beer and sat and people watched for a long time.