The Hong Kong Experience: Day 02
2014/12/24 @10h04 HK time
Merry Christmas Eve Day, people of the interwebs!
Previously on The Hong Kong Experience…
The search for the perfect Mahjong set eluded me but a #selfiestick was purchased and photos from various angles ensued.
On the second day of Christmas–vacay–my father said to me,
“Let’s go and get me a bespoke tailored suit.”
And the adventure continues…
I must say, much like the ambience and overall energy pulsating throughout the city, the tailors in Hong Kong move so fast and can whip up a suit in just a few days. Papa Bear went to the tailor mid-morning with The Mothership, and by tea time, he recruited me to accompany him for his fitting. We took a cab there and the traffic was so atrocious we thought it best to walk the rest of the way in order to make it back to the hotel for dinner.
The tailor’s business card had a micro-sized map on the back. Naturally, it was a joy to decipher considering not all streets–especially, the one we were currently on–were labelled thusly. Before it turned into a comedy of errors, I saw the place and weaved through the stalled vehicles, leading my father through the streets-cum-parking lot. A small victory.
The tiny shop–my dad’s a regular there, I’m told–was smaller than your average movie prison cell, made narrower still by countless bolts of fabric and swatches galore.
The textile-laden tomb smelled of stale cigarettes, but I was amused by the lovely East Indian man speaking Cantonese with the local tailor who worked with such agility, I’m pretty sure he was functioning on a cocktail of coffee and Red Bull. (As an aside, the simple exchange between them made me appreciate my ongoing efforts at language acquisition, thus adding Cantonese to the growing list of languages to learn.)
To keep myself from passing out, I distracted myself by reading the various spines of fabric swatch books. You know you’re a word nerd when you find cutesy connections to books and movies in the most random of ways. “Scottish Tartans” was the first thing I saw but I had to take the photo of “SILKY, DOBBY & PLAIN”.
I was tempted to pull out the book to see what DOBBY actually looked like as a swatch, but I was called to comment on the length of Papa Bear’s inseam. “It’s fine,” I said. “No, you’ll have to have it taken out in the waist, Dad… yes, it IS tight around the waist, Dad.” Apparently, he did not expect nor agree with the fact that I concurred with both tailors how his guttage that runneth over did not go well with a power suit.
Two new suit orders and one impressive haggling session later, we were back on the streets, this time keen on finding an alternate taxi route beyond the congestion still surrounding the shop. Do we take a cab in this concrete jungle or do we go on foot?
I made the executive decision to walk it out and it turned out that the cab driver (due to traffic routes and not ill-will or personal gain) took us around in sluggish circles when all we had to do was make an extended u-turn over a couple blocks and we were already near our hotel. Go fig.
We made it to dinner with some time to spare. I like our lounge upstairs because breakfast and early dinner snackables (which we totes turn into a light dinner) are included in our hotel package. I’m all for enjoying these deconstructed salads and the sublime Portuguese tarts. However, there has been someone who’s made my meals a tense experience.
You know those paintings or statues that have these eyes that seem to follow you everywhere? Weeeellllp, this here chocolate Sinterklaas gives me slight indigestion.
Seriously… can’t a girl just have her cake and eat it, too?
2014/12/24 @22h37 HK time
Meanwhile, in other news… I’m the only one who hasn’t taken cat naps throughout the day. I’m not jetlagged, though exhaustion is beginning to resonate deep in my bones. Could it be because of this chocolate stalker? It’s too soon to tell.
One thing I’ve noticed in the initial days of this adventure is that misdirection can come in many forms and have various and lasting effects on those caught in its web. As I’m currently the only one awake at the moment, I will spend the next hour or so contemplating how the redirect, the distraction, or those times where we just get completely turned around in life, shouldn’t detract from the course we’re on. Eyes on the prize, yes?
All this self-reflection is poignant as carols play ad-nauseum throughout the malls and hotel, party-goers, exuberant vacationers and angst-ridden families seem displaced on this island. I’m going to wake up Papa Bear, the Mothership, and Sestra Menor come midnight and take stock on what’s important.
While not the entire family is able to be together this year, family is still important. Family is not defined by blood either. I’ve met many amazing people this year, some I’ve fallen out of touch with, while others with whom I’ve grown quite close. During these times of year when togetherness is desired but not always possible, it’s always to know that your loved ones are never to far from your heart and mind.
And there, my friends, we’ve come full circle in what was a seemingly mundane chain of events. Powerful stuff when you least expect it. That truly is the art of misdirection.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the day… to others, Happy Hump Day and Advanced Happy Thursday!
Until next time…