Minus three I can handle.
I decided to order some char siew (BBQ pork and pork belly) with rice at the airport just in case, and it was actually really good.
But because I wasn't expecting it, I failed to take a picture, so instead you get a new year dragon.
Bye bye, Hong Kong. See you again real soon.
To have discovered an awesome congee place on the forth floor of the local wet market.
It seems to now be my signature move, I just rescued an old Chinese lady, who was clinging to some scaffolding, unsure of her footing and afraid to cross the street.
So we crossed.
Turns out she wanted to go down the street a bit, so we went. Where to?
McDonald's, where she appears to be a regular.
Was how I wanted to experience HK.
So far so good.
My hotel sort of wasn't where I thought it was, and then it was actually a different hotel, all of which had to be discovered through hand gestures and the universal sign for sleep (plus the words Wing Wah, as it turns out building names are much more useful than addresses), since there was no doorway on the street I expected to find it on.
I am staying in Mong Kok, a working class district that is one of the most densely populated areas of Hong Kong, and the heartland of the triad gangs.
Hong Kong is more exactly like I imagined Hong Kong would be than I even thought possible.
(Well, except for the drizzle, though I am enjoying the neon haze that it produces.)
I fucking love it.
Webus is the wifi available on the bus system, but I have been having a helluva time getting it to work. Luckily, a kind young man has been helping me make sense of my map vs the bus map.
Also, on the flight here, I sat beside a Penangite who lives in Windsor... on Partington!
My first night in Penang, I had dinner with two guys who brought me to the New Lane hawker stalls. We had char koay teow and char koay kak. I failed to take pics.
My last day in Penang, I had the (in)famous teow from the Lorong Selanat lady. She was not wearing her usual goggles.
For dinner, I finally managed to find the kak guy I had been looking for (in all the wrong places). I got the large for, I think, 5RM. That I would recommend.
In Ipoh, for dinner, I wound up ordering char koay teow from a Malay (Muslim) hawker stall, which they recommended as their specialty. It looked like this:
Now, your standard ckt (this one happens to be one of the most famous in town) looks more like this:
The former was served in a brown soupy sauce that was heavy on the cockles.
Cockles are typical, as are bean sprouts, flat rice noodles, shrimp, and eggs.
But... the standard version is fried. In lard. And usually served with bacon or some other pork product.
None of which I considered before ordering my Ipoh char koay teow.
That's the Eastern and Oriental, if you don't know.
Pool, ocean, mountains.
I discovered it by accident, looking for ocean access one day, and dropped in for a tour (and to use the ladies, natch). It is a glorious old hotel, though I am staying in the new section, because how can you pass up a balcony like that?
Did I mention the bathtub? And the black and white checkered marble floor?
I have run into a number of other quirks of being in a majority Muslim country.
Malaysia gained its independence in 1957.
This is where the automotive industry was at that same year:
Think that might explain why cities here are chopped up by highways and almost unnavigable on foot? (Last night, Googlemaps wanted me to hop a guardrail and dart across two onramps and two off ramps to get where I wanted to go.)
Forget KL, which is is nothing but highways proper - little Ipoh is bisected by at least two major 5-lane one-way arterials.
And somehow it's still easier to walk anywhere but Penang (where I have had it confirmed on good authority that the drivers really do gun for you).