Not often do we travel without plans or expectations. I won’t complain that most of our trips are filled with places to see and deadlines to meet. But what a joy, to land in Honk Kong with nothing more than 16 hours to fill in any way we pleased!
We did nothing extraordinaryâ€”which, in itself, was. We dropped our bags at the hotel and walked and walked and walked (I in new shoesâ€”mistake). We ate early because we could, because our stomachs grumbled after hours of airports and planes without much food.
We chose a bright cafe filled with eaters and talkers slurping soups and noodles. We chose this spot over dozens of others because the menu was long and cheap, and barely an empty table remained. Packed with locals, always a good sign. I don’t even recall the name of the placeâ€”didn’t write a thing in my notebook.
But I can tell you we ate salt-and-pepper tofu, cooked perfectly crispy on the outside with a quality salt that indulged the tongue.
And we ate a hotpot pork and eggplant that reminded me how much I would miss Chinese food as it is prepared in Asia.
We filled our bellies, paid the bill…
…then wandered the waterfront as the lights began to shine against a dimming sky. I’m not sure why, but something about the whole circus scene and neon signage reminds me of Candy Land. Like a big, colorful maze of fun.
We rode the Mid-Levels Escalator all the way to the top, peering into tiny windows of life along the way. One by one, every little apartment and bar and library and corner store seemed to scroll past us, as though we stood stationary while the world moved.
I like that about Hong Kong: so much life in so many tiny spaces. Look closely at the level of lights in the photo above, and you’ll see a whole row of joggers running in place.
By the time we finished our walk, I had a new set of blisters. And much gained, for nothing expected.