06 October 2016

Hong Kong traffic and storm

Today easy walking around and shopping in Central. My old Samsung wants to retire so I am obliged to go find a younger replacement. Hong Kong, contrary to popular belief, is not a shopping heaven for electronics. It is easy to be cheated and prices are not necessarily better than at a duty-free shop elsewhere. But sometimes it is possible to find a good promotion or two. 

Which I did, by chance after an amazing melt-in-your-mouth sushi lunch in a shopping mall I can't even remember. So, mission accomplished, I too to explore some more, without any particular destination in mind.

As I waited under the scorching sun for the green light to cross a street by some zebra stripes together with a lot of other quiet and well-behaved people, I saw tall blond man with a clear American accent walk across the street while the light was still red. Traffic was not too bad but still, cars were zipping by as they had a green light. A policeman stopped him and started charging him, pointing to the red light, which was still red! He mumbled something and tried to walk away from the officer but the stodgy uniformed agent followed him and alerted two colleagues at the other end of the zebra lines. They quickly converged on the tall man and asked for his ID, while calmly writing their report. I can only hear the American saying "are you kidding me?" before I walked away. They were not kidding.

A glass of Italian white at a wine bar marks the end of today's stroll, just in time before the sky opens up and a tropical storm inundates central Hong Kong. A bit later I took advantage of a break in the precipitations to make a quick run to a nearby cigar lounge I read about, called the Blind Pig. I was mostly curious about the name but found myself welcomed to a luxurious wood-paneled and perfectly air-conditioned room by a polite and well-informed cigar expert who showed me his impressive humidor. I was awed to see a sign that read "strictly no cigarettes" on the main table.

Dinner at the "Fish and Meat" restaurant nearby, on the balcony. It is still raining cats and dogs as an old British colonial officer might have put it, but it is pleasantly warm and I can eat on the balcony, protected by a large canopy. The chef today matches different foods by colors, I am enthusiastic about his red creation: raw tuna and watermelon core, I'll try and do it at home.

When it's time to go back to my hotel it was still raining beyond belief, I was not sure what to do. My polite waitress offered me an umbrella. I told her I could not take it as I was staying in Mong Kok, I would not be coming back to Central. She told me not to worry, I could take it with me tonight because I needed it. Very kind. Despite the umbrella, I still got drenched before I could make it to the subway, but I guess that is part of the Hong Kong experience.

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