Thursday I had myself a bit more together than I did on Wednesday. After a great breakfast with Jordan, I got myself on the subway and then a bus and headed down to the southern tip of Hong Kong Island, a place called Aberdeen. I can't exactly say that I got myself to the bus, because after getting off the subway, I asked a man where to find the bus station, and my particular bus route. He said he was going that way and I should follow him, and then he more or less pulled a Usain Bolt through the crowds! I managed to catch up to him and waited for my bus, a double decker that gave me some great views as it ambled down to Aberdeen.
Once off the bus, I stepped onto the Aberdeen promenade, which lines a fishing harbor, and was immediately pounced upon by a sampan ... captain? pilot? boater? I don't know what to call him, other than pushy. Still, he offered me a private tour through the harbor on his sampan for 45 minutes at what I decided was a reasonable price (whether or not I paid more than others pay I don't really know). I agreed, and had the most lovely ride around the harbor, seeing fishing boats, floating restaurants, yachts, and some water birds. I sat at the front of the boat while the guide ... GUIDE ... sat under the shelter at the back and as soon as we left the dock, he got on a microphone to talk to me about what we were seeing. I wasn't expecting that, and it was super loud, so I had a little jolt until I understood what was happening! He was very difficult to understand -- I only caught about 20% of what he was saying, but it seemed to center around the cost of the expensive apartments lining the harbor ("one floor! 40,000 HKD! Crazy! Oh my god. One floor! crazy. rich people. $40,000! Oh my god."), the expensive boats ("air conditioning on there! crazy! rich people. oh my God!"), and the occasional shout of "egret!". He did explain that the boats were docked in a typhoon shelter, and I found that part a bit more interesting. I took a ton of photos - I'm always drawn to the tiny, old, weathered seacraft that make you wonder how they are still floating. Those always appear more interesting through my camera lens than huge yachts with air conditioning (and washing machines! crazy! very rich!). At some point he steered toward the promenade, bow first into the wall, so he could jump up front and hand something up to a woman who was waiting there who leaned way down over the wall to get it. They were both talking at once in Cantonese (they both seemed irked) and then we boated off (while they were both still talking). There wasn't really any explanation other than "my sister."
After my private tour through the harbor, I wandered along the many restaurants across the street (to cross the street, which had a barrier down the middle, I had to go down into the subway tunnel and back up on the other side. That took me a minute to figure out). I sat at the sushi bar of a Japanese restaurant and had an incredible salmon rice bowl. Restaurants all add a 10% service charge and no one tips above that, but it feels so wrong to this American heavy tipper.
I got back to the hotel around 3 and just rested for a bit. It was Thursday in Hong Kong but still not Thursday in America, and it felt a little strange to not really celebrate Thanksgiving, knowing that my friends and family would all wake and begin preparing a meal for my very favorite holiday. I'm so happy to be with Jordan, but I missed being with Logan for Thanksgiving, and of course my "family of origin.".
Because America signed into law a bill condemning mainland China for human rights abuses against pro-democracy protestors, Jordan made it back to the hotel much later than expected. His bus was stalled as Hong Kongers gathered in three separate areas around the city, waved their American flags, and sang the American national anthem! It was quite cool, except that they credit Donald Trump, because they don't generally understand how laws get made in America. A few of them retweeted Trump's stupid "Rocky" photo where his big angry orange head was photoshopped on Rocky Balboa's body. I don't get it. Mainland China is threatening to make America pay for this move, somehow.
So Jordan and I had dinner in the mall that's connected to my hotel. The food was fair, but the company was fantastic.