At an internet cafe in the Hong Kong airport. $3 for a delicious 100% juice grapefruit bottle and unlimited tubes. The flight here was brutal, as long flights normally are for me, and not sleeping for the two nights beforehand didn’t help. My flight landed two hours late, at eight, and after breezing through customs, I was greeted by the tremendously humid Hong Kong air.
I took a bus into Kowloon and found my hotel — the Star Guest House on Chatham Rd. The host apologized profusely for the size of the hotel room — about two meters by three meters (that’s about ten by seven, for you folks stateside) with a similarly tiny bathroom and no window, but I was looking for, and found, something cheap. Rather than break my seventy-two hour sleepless record by going to bed at ten, I dropped off my stuff and walked down to the Kowloon waterfront with a south-facing view of the skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island. The view is tremendous — even in my stupor I could pick out at least three famous skyscrapers, including the I.M. Pei building which I have to check out in more detail once I return. And most of the buildings are decorated in various rainbow lights that flicker and blink. It immediately reminded me of the view of the Esplanade from deep playa. I found myself drifting off to sleep just sitting there looking at the view, so I made my way back to the S.G.H. and let the sonorant drone of the air conditioner lull me to sleep.
I already know a few Chinese characters, including “exit,” “good, something I think is “no” or “not:” 木，and two that I think must be the conversational and interrogative sentence particles “la” and “ma.”
This terminal is ridiculous. The keyboard is sticky and every sentence or two it tries to interpret what I’m typing as Pinyin (the Chinese romanization) and starts sticking Chinese characters into the text. And the font size changes every few sentences too, as the terminal goes into HTML entity mode every few sentences. And about every two minutes a hapless tourist interrupts me and asks how they too could be allowed to use the tubes, despite the giant sign with instructions in English and Chinese directly above my head.
Ok, got to go!