So far I’ve stayed four nights at the home of Saiyu Hui and Dora Ho and their three boys, Theo, Kyle, and Neil. I call Saiyu and Dora “uncle” and “auntie,” because that is pretty much what kids call their parents’ close friends. Theo, Kyle, and Neil call my dad “Uncle Mark.”
They live in a village near the new town of Ma On Shan in the northeast part of Hong Kong. They don’t live in a huge house. It’s a small apartment in a three-story building. There are two small bedrooms. The first is for Dora, Saiyu, and Neil (he’s two years old). The other is for Kyle and Theo.
They have one common room with a piano, a bunch of toys, a couch, two chairs, a TV, and a dining room table. Also there is a very small kitchen where they cook and where the helper named Annie lives. I’m going to have to figure out where Annie sleeps.
Having a full-time helper is really cool and totally different from what I am used to. Having help means no chores whatsoever. Annie cooks, cleans, does the laundry, washes the dishes, makes beds, and takes care of Neil as a nanny. I think it’s very luxurious to have all this help. Growing up with it would be heaven.
Today I went to rugby practice with Theo and Kyle. Most of the teachers there were either British or Australian. There is only one Chinese teacher, who is Uncle William—a friend of Uncle Saiyu and Auntie Dora. William has a son named Nick, who also plays rugby. Nick’s mom is Auntie Annie. I think if I lived here, rugby would be a fun thing to do. Nobody plays American football here, which I think is a good thing, because I don’t really like American football. I much prefer rugby.
After practice, we had lunch on the street—literally on the street (you can see the picture of me that proves it!). After lunch, we went into Kowloon and all of the boys took a walk around Nathan Road. We saw all the cool shops and stores—because there is literally shopping everywhere in Hong Kong. We went into Chungking Mansions, which is a big building where there are a lot of little guest houses, mostly run by Indian people. There are lots of Indian restaurants and stores in Chungking Mansions. It’s definitely not a real mansion. It’s kind of dirty and seems disorganized. But it was interesting.
Then, for the first time in my life, I took a double-decker bus. We all sat in the very front seats on the top deck. I took lots of pictures.
We went to a Japanese supermarket and got lots of sushi and Japanese snacks, and had all that for dinner.
I woke up refreshed, having slept the whole night (or day) through, having taken a melatonin pill my dad gave me before I went to sleep.
We got dressed, and I looked out the window. There was a great view of Kowloon, and we could see Hong Kong Island and the Peak in the distance. We headed out to find breakfast. I was starving.
Our hotel was basically built on top of a shopping mall. In Hong Kong, everything is a shopping mall. So that’s no big deal, I learned. We walked through the mall, and there was a McDonald’s. My dad and I both had egg McMuffins. McDonald’s is always a good place to eat breakfast, at least at first, when traveling.
Then after our breakfast, we took a long walk. Lots of shops everywhere. All buildings are at least about 10 stories tall, and many are much taller. We saw people playing Chinese chess under a stairway. We saw a juice vendor making juice with only a juicer and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The streets are crowded, and everyone seems to be doing something or going somewhere. We saw a small garbage collection center where they were compacting the trash. And then we saw a much larger collection center were the compacted trash is collected and taking to the dump.
We saw a temple that was absolutely filled with incense. It’s a traditional Chinese temple. We saw a very old wholesale fruit market. We walked all the way down from Mongkok, where our hotel is, to the harbor in Tsim Sha Tsui. We looked across the harbor and saw Hong Kong island. Every where you look there is a skyscraper.
Then we took the Star Ferry across the harbor. It was a fun experience, and the breeze felt very good. We walked around a little bit, and dad got a coffee. Then we took the subway (called the MTR) back to Mongkok to our hotel. We packed up and checked out.
Then we went back into the streets of Mongkok to look for something to eat for lunch. We found a noodle shop and ordered wonton noodles. Very good Chinese food. Then we rushed back to the hotel and caught a shuttle bus to the Kowloon Station to take a train back to the airport.
I am now on the plane heading to Hong Kong. We have been on for 4 ½ hours. We are not even halfway there. Everything is going fine and pretty boring. We are in the two middle seats. There are nine rows going down in the economy section. It goes 3,4,3. Since we got into Economy Plus, we get just a little extra legroom. Ahead of us and upstairs is business class. In the very front of the plane is first class, which we “accidentally” went in the wrong door when boarding to take a look at. There are really wide seats that can recline into a bed, with foot rests, cup holders, and fancy schmancy stuff.
In our cabin for dinner they served, we were offered pasta or chicken with gravy. I chose the pasta, it was good, but overcooked. A movie is about to come on. I’m going to watch it.