Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Hong Kong Part III

Wow, this is not only my first blog for quite a while it is also the first blog of the New Year. I’m sitting in Starbucks at Narita Airport waiting for my train to come. We actually arrived about 15 minutes early but had to wait about 30 minutes to actually get into the disembarking bay which meant we were 15 minutes late in the end. When I got to the station here at the airport the train home had left about 2 minutes before unfortunately – and it only runs once an hour. Not to worry, gives me some time to write down what I’ve been up to. Now, to see if I can remember what I’ve been doing…
New Years in Hong Kong was good fun. Clare, Clara (Clare’s best friend) and I went to karaoke at some really nice place in Causeway Bay (I think that’s where it was…) which gives you your own little room complete with ensuite. The food was pretty so-so but the karaoke was fun.


Clara and Clare



The three of us at karaoke


Afterwards we spent some time in Starbucks just chatting and trying to work out what we needed to get for the night’s activities. The plan was to hang around in the city for countdown before heading back to Clare’s place to drink/muck around. Eventually we thought that perhaps some board games would be fun so we went to try to find some – but didn’t actually end up getting anything. I can’t remember what happened between then and dinner, but I do remember that we met up with Andrew (he’s from Sydney Uni) and Gabby and had dinner together at this place called ‘Spaghetti House’. The prices were a little higher than normal, but nothing unexpected for dining out on New Year’s Eve.

Where we were *intending* to see the New Year in...


Gabby and Andrew at dinner


After dinner, we met up with Amy and another Clara (both of whom are from Melbourne Uni) and went to some café in one of the shopping centres/malls nearby for a drink to kill a bit of time. The place was so full we ended up on a table sort of just outside the restaurant – which turned out to be good because there was a big TV screen which showed us the official time, the festivities going on outside, and bits and pieces of news from the recent tsunami disaster (yeah that kind of spoils the mood a little bit I must say). Because of the screen, more and more people started crowding around where we were sitting which gave it a bit of atmosphere, so we decided to just stay at the café for countdown instead of trying to wade through the millions of people outside. I think that was a bit of a mistake though – because countdown really isn’t half as fun without the huge crowd and that warm-mushy feeling you get when you’re squished between hundreds of happy people. Still, it was my first New Year not in Australia so it will be memorable nonetheless.

Clara and Clare (at the cafe where we DID greet the New Year)


Me and Andrew


The atmosphere around us died about 35 seconds after countdown ended which was a bit depressing, and after another ten minutes or so we headed off too. Half the bunch had to go home because they had a lot of respects to pay on New Year’s Day. We met up with Clare’s friend Emily who’s coming to study at Melbourne Uni next year – and two of her friends came along as well. Unfortunately I think we must have stood around for about an hour and a half trying first to decide what to do, and after trying to find seats in a bar in Causeway Bay for the six of us. We ended up giving up, saying goodbye to Emily and her two friends and just Clare, Clara and I going to Lam Kwai Fong (which is something like the Roppongi of Hong Kong). Had a couple of drinks in a bar there, and ended up getting home a bit before 5am I think. All in all it was a really great New Years.

Next day we got up at around noon, but didn’t actually get up and get ready to go out until quite a bit later. We went to the ‘upside-down circle’ of The Peak (actually that’s right – we were going to go there for New Year’s Eve but decided against it because it would have been so cold) which is about a 30 minute bus ride away. The view up there was beautiful. It’s probably the one place that you can see Hong Kong city properly – and it gets even prettier when night comes and all the lights go on. Unfortunately I managed not to take my camera so I don’t have any photos to show for it. We went for quite a long walk along one of the trails before dinner – but eventually realized that we needed to actually turn around and walk back the way we came if we wanted to get home before 12 midnight. The trail almost went all the way around ‘The Peak’ and didn’t even end up back at the observation deck place. It was a little bit cold out there, but having some time to chat and the view of the city by night definitely made it worth it. Anyway, I think I better go so I don’t miss this train too. Will blog again soon.

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