At the last minute, I decided to buy tickets and flew off to Hong Kong. The first half of the year was hectic and I badly wanted a break for some time. Since I had leave to clear, I took a week off from work for a trip. It was the long weekend, with Hari Raya Puasa and National Day falling on Thursday and Friday respectively, the tickets were not cheap. But instead of waiting indefinitely for cheap tickets, I decided to bite the bullet and soared off to Hong Kong before something cropped up.
My flight was in the late afternoon so there was plenty of time for me to get to the airport. I was taking a budget airline so there would be no meals on board. I wasn’t hungry but I decided to eat something before boarding, just in case. Airport food was generally not appealing to me but I went to take a look at what was available.
When I found out that the Bakerzin outlet in the departure lounge served braised pork belly rice, which was a favorite of mine, I was very tempted to order it. But after calmly thinking about it for a while, I concluded that it was too heavy a meal and besides, I could have it easily in Singapore so there was no need to eat it at the airport.
In the end, I went to the food court and ordered a Killiney set ($4.50) consisting of kaya and butter toast, soft-boiled eggs and iced milk tea. The quality wasn’t good and the food was barely warm. Still, the amount of food was just about right. There was no point filling myself up when I was going to the Land of Dim Sum (and many other delicious foods).
Soon it was time to board the plane. I was so excited at flying off that I was one of the first few people to arrive at the boarding gate. I couldn’t sleep on the flight and spent the whole journey reading a mystery novel I borrowed from the library. I only had one chapter left to go when the plane finally landed at Hong Kong International Airport.
Periodically, I could feel the kid behind me putting his feet against the back of my seat. However, I couldn’t really blame him for fidgeting. I was getting a backache from the hard seat and had to shift my position once in a while. Then I had a brilliant idea, I could use the kid’s restlessness to my advantage. When I felt his feet pressing against the back, I leaned back so that it felt as if someone was pressing against my sore back. Too bad the kid only hit the right spot 2-3 times during the whole journey.
The plane was scheduled to land in Hong Kong after nightfall and I saw a beautiful sunset above the clouds. It was dark when the plane neared the city, and I saw islands of lights in between the inky darkness. Sometimes I was able to tell whether the darkness was the sea or the mountain. At that moment, I decided that flying into Hong Kong at night was the most beautiful way to arrive.
Getting from the airport to Hong Kong Island was easy and fast due to the airport express. I met Redhead at Sheung Wan MTR station. I was concentrating on finding the right exit and I almost walked pass Redhead without noticing her. This made Redhead giggled madly and said, “Wah, you looked so serious.” Then she demonstrated how I looked and the expression looked more blur than serious.
Redhead seemed to enjoy seeing how long it took me to discover her presence. The last time I went to Hong Kong alone, she stood quietly beside me while I tried to contact her. It was only when I raised my head and saw her, then she started giggling.
We dropped the luggage off at Redhead’s apartment before heading out for dinner. It was already 10pm and most eateries were closed. We found a nearby cha chaan teng called 德釗記茶餐廳 that was still open for business. Both of us ordered braised beef brisket with rice for dinner.
The portions were generous, especially the rice. It formed a mini mountain on the plate. At first I thought that I would have trouble finishing it but the rice and the savory beefy sauce were such a lovely combo that I ate more than half of it in the end.
The beef was very tender and had the slightly sticky surface of food that was braised for a long time. I also liked the radish which was soft and juicy. The food was simple fare but tasty and filling.
We were the last customers left in the restaurant and an old lady chatted with us in Cantonese as she waited for us to leave so that she could clean up. It was Redhead who replied while I just listened. The old lady assumed that we had finished work late and talked about the hectic pace of life in Hong Kong. She commented that “做鬼比做人好” (it’s better to be a ghost than a human).
After dinner, we went back to the apartment where we bathed and discussed about what to do tomorrow. Redhead gave me a quick tour of her new home. As she had just moved in the week before, many things were still not in place. The TV was not working and there was no fridge or washing machine. But thank goodness there was aircon because the weather was really hot. I offered to accompany Redhead to buy her electrical applicances but she looked at me as if I’m crazy for wanting to go shopping for fridge and washing machine.
After some discussion, we decided to go for a walk tomorrow from 東涌 (Tung Chung) to 大澳 (Tai O). As usual with all my plans for the great outdoors, I would live to regret it. But that’s for tomorrow.
Place we ate today
Address: Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Nearest MTR station: Sheung Wan