Monday, August 17, 2009

Hong Kong Day 1 – Ladies Market (女人街)

The little girl in front of me at the check-in counter with the cutest printed haversack (which I secretly took a photo of ). It turns out she is seated beside me on the plane and her name's also Emily. (I shocked myself when her Mum called out "Emily" quite loudly and for a moment I wondering how she knew my name. I'm silly.)
What's a plane ride without window seat photos?
The interior of an Airport Express train is very spacious and it takes 24 minutes from the airport to the central area (and in my case, "Hong Kong" station).
香港一零一 #1: Most Hongkongers can speak good English
I never knew most of them can speak fluent English until I’m here. (Partly to do with the fact that the only Hongkonger I know speaks lousy English) No worries if you can’t speak Cantonese, Hongkongers are mostly conversant in both English and Mandarin.
香港一零一 #2: Transport in Hong Kong is not cheap at all
When you take the Airport Express, buy a return ticket because it’s cheaper that way.

A one-way ticket (Airport – "Hong Kong" Station) costs HK$100 (SG$20 approx.). A return ticket (Airport – "Hong Kong" Station – Airport) costs HK$180 (SG$36 approx.).
Taken by my LG shine phone

We went to Ladies Market (女人街) for a walk. It is like an open-air Bugis Market.

香港一零一 #3: Sales people very aggressive (and desperate)
If you so much as express a wee bit of interest, they will go all out to get you. And I mean, all out…

Actual event which happened to us (salesgirl reply in red - for aggression):
How much is this?
Oh, ok... (We were commenting between ourselves that it's quite expensive and we weren’t that sure about getting it yet)
Ok, ok I give cheaper, HK$350
Umm, It's OK, thanks, I think we’ll walk around first, we just got here.
No, you buy now, what price you want.
It’s ok, we would really like to walk around first.
No no, you buy now. HK$300
(We repeated what we had said earlier)
Ok, ok, you buy now HK$280
(We started to walk away but she followed us…)
HK$200 *tugs at my cousin's arm*
Ok, ok, HK$180
Ok, you buy now HK$150!
This is absolutely insane if you ask me. Now I find it hard to trust any shop from there, after that crazy salesgirl episode. My cousin was afraid to ask for prices too. HK$399 (SG$80 approx.) lowered to HK$150 (SG$30) without even having to bargain at all. She simply bargained with herself.
香港一零一 #4: Food and shopping is not as cheap as I’ve expected.
In fact, it is even on par with Singapore.

We settled at some shop by the road for dinner; I had 杂酱面 (za2 jiang4 mian4) for HK$13 (SG$2.60 approx.). It was so-so, and strictly speaking not even good. We also had dessert; chocolate-flavoured shaved ice with banana slices and marshmallow. It’s like a banana split ice cream but the ice-kachang version. It's not too sweet, 合我的胃口. :)
香港一零一 #5: Porn is sold openly at any VCD shop.
I spotted a CD cover with a painting of a woman in lingerie, raising her arm and exposing a thick turf of armpit hair. Serioudly, armpit hair is sexy... *bewildered*
香港一零一 #6: Finally, a Mahjong center (麻将馆)
I walked past this place with 3 giant Mahjong tiles as signboard and I was like… No way! So i pushed open the frosted door to take a peek, and there it was, the 麻将馆 exactly the way they show it on TV - lots of tables with people playing mahjong! I didn’t get to go inside as we were kind of rushing back. But I was definitely excited and will try to get another chance to go inside.
Taken by my LG shine phone

Headed back home by ferry (which brought us to "Hong Kong" Station) followed by a cab. Tired. I only had 3 hours of sleep since last night. I didn’t even sleep on the plane because I was up watching “Confessions of a Shopaholic”. A chick-flick and in my oponion not worth paying to watch in theaters. No photos at Ladies Market / 女人街 or of the sexy armpit-hair-lady because my camera's battery was flat even before i got to the Ladies Market.
A list of things I bought today:
- 6 super cute pairs of undies - HK$10 ($2 approx.)
(For Charlotte, Ember, Xiuwei, Lixian & myself)
- 2 cute stickers - HK$10 for 2pcs ($1 approx. each)
(In fact I can get the same kind of stickers in Thailand for half the price, but the designs are different, and the ones I picked are super cute. I love stickers! I got the one with the planes and RAINBOWS! and another one of cute looking food! Yay!)

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