It's Wednesday and we're up around 9 in the morning, get showered etc, today we're going to jump on another ferry and head on over to Cheung Chau Island. We head to the Escalator and walk down through Mid-Levels to Central, we enjoyed this as was like a little walk back in time for us. Eventually we get to the ferry terminal and the fast ferry is about to leave - so we jump on this one and Jayne asks if there's a ferry back with an outdoor deck, yes is the reply, just take the normal ferry service back to Hong Kong. So the fast ferry is the usual snore, you dont get to see anything and believe me Hong Kong has a great skyline to see from a boat. One little story, just before we boarded we saw a lot of people dressed up like the Klu Klux Klan sitting down waiting for the slow ferry. I knew what this was, Cheung Chau is always host to Funerals and this was a funeral party heading over to say their last farewells. They even had the coffin with them and they'd just left this lying outside the terminal building. The white robes are all part of the ceremony. The Chinese dont see death as a bad thing, so they're not too bothered about leaving the coffin outside, while they have a sit down. That's the way it is.
Cheung Chau is a very small dumbell shaped Island, there's not a lot here but it's okay to have a gentle wander. There's no cars allowed on the island, so there's hundreds of push bikes to rent - Not sure why really as there's always loads of people wandering around so you dont really get to experience riding a bike. We take a stroll on the left hand side and head to the Temple to pay our respects, then wander around to the south side to have a look at the beach. Nothing has changed here, the beach is still full of plastic bags and rubbish - the mind boggles as to why they just dont clean it up - but perhaps it's just unmanageable as the incoming plastic bag invasion is unlikely to stop. Should you wish, you can continue up to the Warwick Hotel on the right hand side and many moons ago we all used to go there for a beer when we'd wandered up the small hill there. So back round we go and walk through the little alleys, which are quite interesting as you get to poke your nose into the locals' apartments and have a peak at what they're up to, ironing, washing, playing Mahjong etc. We then opt for some traditional grub - probably not for the faint hearted really as the stuff is really fresh, you can choose the fish or eel of your choice swimming round in the polystyrene tub and it's then pulled out and beaten to death in front of you and lobbed in the pot - The Chinese like fresh food and I agree with them. We use a restaurant frequented by the locals, it's easy going and they're not bothered about us as we've spoken to them in a bit of Cantonese and they know we're old timers from the old days.
The food was great and we slung a few bottles of Tsing Tao down our Gregory's. We then wandered back and got on the slow boat to China, so to speak. The great thing was this one had the outdoor deck so you could sit outside, take in the views and choke on the diesel fumes belching from the funnels. The views though, were good, and enough to make me put up with the fumes. I love seeing Hongkers from a boat.
We get back to Hong Kong and decide to pay our old Pal Charles Peat the old surprise visit, so we head to his office on Des Voeux Road in Central - Charles isnt there, I ring him up and he's in Wanchai, funnily enough looking for me - So we jump on the MTR and meet up in Joe Bananas on Luard Road - Yes Joe Bananas!! I'd worked here as a bouncer and a bar tender in another life time, Joe Bananas was really the only western style nightclub in it's heyday in the mid to late 1980's. It's nothing like it was and it's now a very relaxed open bar - civilised in fact. We catch up with Charlie and spend a while chatting about what's going on. Pretty soon it's time for us all to move on, Charlie has to pick up his car that was in for a service down the road and I've arranged to meet up with old mate Dominic Che outside the Stock Exchange....Jayne heads back to the Hotel and Grant tags along with me. We meet up in a bar called Liberty - it's your typical Money Market Boozer......loads of financial workers in shirts and suits, minus the ties - this is the new uniform these days. Dominic shows up with his mate Dave Slater and we dive into the Stella Artois - we have a laugh and I'm made to tell the old stories from back in the day, which I'm sure must have bored everyone. pretty soon it's time for us to head up to the hotel, have a shower to get rid of the smell of diesel and dead fish - we're all heading out to Sheung Wan for yet another curry and to explore the vicinity.