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Feb 8, 2015 | The Diary

Background: In 2013 I traveled 30,000 miles across Asia and New Zealand. I kept a web-based and paper-based diary, which was only recently recovered. This post will grow day by day as I add one new entry for each day I traveled.

2/7 Hong Kong

Has it ever occurred to you how it might feel to ride a double decker bus going 50 miles an hour up and down a steep and windy two lane road? Or how one might be able to build scaffolding around a 30 stores building with just bamboo and vinyl? Until today, I hadn’t the faintest idea. But a bus ride to Stanley on the southern side of Hong Kong island gave me some perspective. While the town itself is exceedingly touristic, the proximity to the beach as well as some interesting artifacts like the old police station, the Tim Hua temple and the prison nearby made it an interesting experience for the morning. I ventured towards the Peak in the afternoon, deciding that with the rather unpredictable weather it might be a nice challenge to walk up the mountain, rather than take the tram. It turned out to be a good decision, as even after waiting for 3 hours at the top the dense fog didn’t clear. I only realized how dense it was on the way down, when I found out a temperature inversion meant the entire island was covered in a rather milky fog. Oh well- I might be able to try on Saturday!

Mak’s Noodle for dinner.

2/8 Hong Kong

I spent the morning looking for breakfast places (one of which was predictably closed because of New Year’s — just my luck) and then moved back to Kowloon to walk around the markets in search of souvenirs. The Ladies’ Market was a bit bland- the same sort of products being peddled, so I wandered off towards Mei Foo, where I was slated for early evening Dialogue in the Dark tour. Dialogue in the Dark is an “experiential exhibit” where the entire space is dark, and the tour guide is blind. It was awkward to sign up knowing that it was a social experiment designed to show how privileged we are to have sight and how not having sight can nonetheless can be a powerful sensory experience. We were a group of 7, led by a guide called Henry, who sheparded us through a “forest”, a Star Ferry Ride, a market, a coffee shop where we ordered actual drinks and food. It was undoubtedly a completely novel experience, one that I’m in the end glad I went through, but I can’t help shake off the awkward feeling of “okay, now, the tour has ended, you can return your white canes and go on with your daily lives while we remain blind”. I guess that’s why it’s called Dialogue in the Dark – it’s meant to start a dialogue about the many challenges as well as nuances of being blind.

Dinner was near Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei, where I found a neat “Eat Together” establishment that had a “make your own noodle soup” deal that I could concoct using the menu. Bubble milk tea, as usual, for the evening night cap.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 8th, 2015 at 4:46 am, EST under the category of Articles. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.