Hello, I am a tourist

Saturday: Yesterday was a very long day; I don’t have class and so, after a very long Thursday, I wanted to take the day off and explore. If I were to do this every Friday, I doubt I would come close to exploring all that Hong Kong has to offer. Such a big city with SO much to do. I’m really glad I decided to exchange to a large city. Anyway, I woke up and went to Sha Tin to walk around. I left the station at a new exit and found signs for a temple, so I followed them. La di da! I found a memorial hill (I think it was called Po Fook), or in other words a cemetery site. It was pretty fantastic. There was a whole lotta incense, and I left with the smell still clinging to my clothes. It felt weird and, to a point, disrespectful to be taking pictures of a cemetery and of the serene reverence of the place, but then I remembered that I took pictures of an American cemetery. Even though the Chinese seem to be more respectful of their ancestors (not that westerners aren’t), I didn’t find myself to be disrespectful in a disrespectful manner. What I mean to say is that I decided that I was doing may or may not have been disrespectful, but it was a little ambiguous. It’s not like I was spitting on their graves or snuffing out the incense or taking the oranges/fruit their families had left for them or anything…
More photos to follow in a photo post. All in all it was really cool. A sunny day, not too hot, and it was really quiet. Really refreshing after a full day sitting in class ZzZzZzZzZ. Just kidding. But seriously.

When I was leaving, two other tourists were there looking for another place. A local pointed them to it, and so I decided to follow (what a coincidence that I just happen to be there when they asked the local?). It was basically a path up and around the cemetery I was just in. Good stuff, man. As it turns out, it is another temple, this time with less ancestral remains and more buddhist worship. 10K Buddhist Temple.
I’m likely to release a post with nothing but photos from this place, since it seemed more tourist friendly…no, it almost BEGGED to be photographed. Ha. Anyway, it was pretty cool. I didn’t take any pictures inside the main temple, i.e., the one with thousands upon thousands of the smaller buddhas because they discouraged photography inside the temple. That normally wouldn’t have stopped me, but there was a woman there policing it…I wish you could see it, because there were 30 rows from about chest level all the way to the ceiling, and probably about 100 columns on each wall. There were many golden monk statues on the way up and on the way down, as well as other buddhas and other monks on the upper levels. I’ll have to go back because one of the temples was closed due to construction. Unfortunately, from what I could glimpse, it was the one with all the statues of warlords. I must go back.

After that, I wandered around Sha Tin, trying to get myself lost (and succeeding very well). I discovered some egg tarts, a park, some more restaurants and shops, blah blah. So much stuff. A quality day. And all before the mid-afternoon. Also, during the entire trip out I only spent around 2 USD (including round trip transpo). I didn’t have a meal (although I passed one street vendor that looked legit: dingy and swarming with locals. Too bad I wasn’t hungry =[ ), but it just goes to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be a good tourist. Although, I think in this sense I was being more of a traveler, but regardless of what I was, I feel like most Americans have a pricey outlook on traveling. Maybe it’s just my perceptions of the Americans I see here (who are most likely wealthy businessmen, and thus have no notion of needing to save money). Bah oh well. Such is life la di da. Hmm. Free stuff is usually the way. Here is a photo of a footbridge crossing a river, in case you missed it.

Ah such a morning. I love the smell of HK bakeries. Everything looks delicious, although most of it looks sweet. They sometimes have plain baguettes, but most of the breads look sugary. Additionally, I (somewhat frequently) see locals eating breads for breakfast or lunch or just a snack or whatever, and they look to be from the bakeries. I can’t see exactly what they are. But I like these light meal ideas. I like to spread my food out over 5 or 6 meals in the day, and a second lunch of bakery bread fits in well! Further, you can buy a suitable sized loaf (a little bigger than palm size, or just enough to stave off hunger pains until dinner) for about 1 USD. That’s CRAZY. The only problem is that they aren’t on campus. Food is pretty cheap here. Maybe not so much in restaurants, which typically tend to be comparable to the US (8-10 USD, usually), but the canteens are especially cheap. So cheap, in fact. Yesterday I had a bowl of sticky rice (which, by the way, is too delicious. I cannot stress enough how overly good it is. Even the burp two hours later is delicious) and daily soup for around 3 USD. I was stuffed and wasn’t hungry for the next 6 hours. For 3 USD.

After my morning out I came back and relaxed in the room for a short while before heading downtown to watch the Symphony of Lights. It was legit.

My fav of the day

Most of the photos I took during the night were pretty blurry, due to shaky hands and a slower shutter speed, but it was nice. I also didn’t take any during the light show, since there wasn’t much to photograph. You probably couldn’t tell what was going on anyway. Just some lights on some buildings and some laser beams and whatnot. Zgzgzgzg…After it ended I headed home to sleeeeeeep since I was exhausted. A very relaxing day indeed. But now I shall spend the day compensating for yesterday by studying all day. I don’t know what I’ll do tomorrow. Or Monday. Maybe I should try some laundry~~ Hmm well if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! Originally this was going to be another compilation, but seeing as how this one is lengthy, I’ll just make it its own. Kthxbai.

P.S. I probably won’t be posting these posts on facebook, so if you CAN’T stand not being up-to-date, feel free to subscribe, or just peruse when you check back here.
P.P.S. I don’t know how I can manage to write so much…I’m never this long winded in conversations….right now I’m at 1173 words…


3 thoughts on “Hello, I am a tourist

  1. Caleb, for one who doesn’t speak continually like other members of our family (!) you have a great deal, and interesting I might add, to say, always! I love walking right along with you in Hong Kong, I could almost taste those breads as you were writing about them. The picture of the footbridge reminded me of the Hay Penny bridge in Dublin and the most delicious cheese sandwich I ever had….food has a great way of tying us to a place and time and now when you eat egg tarts in the future or pass by bakeries, regardless of where you are in the world, you will always be reminded of Hong Kong! I’m so happy you are having a great experience and exploring…..I’m very proud of you! Love you!

  2. Over the summer, when I was in Chicago. Sophia and I stayed at Ron and James Pessin’s apartment. On one of the nights Ron made sticky rice. I don’t know if it is exactly the same as what you had, but what Ron made was absolutely amazing. Sophia told me it was a traditional Taiwanese dish. I wish I could come and wander around HK for a few days with you.

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