Welcome to the start of my journey! I'm staying at the Garden Hostel in Hong Kong. I've just gotten over the jet lag. And I continue to learn that travel is all about the mindset. My thoughts are running, running continuously like the 24 hour chaos of Hong Kong. This is the gateway to Asia, everything is in Chinese and English which helps a lot. My first story came 2 days ago when I needed to use the toilet. I hadn't gone on the 26 hour trek to get here. And I didn't go for the whole first day in HK. So basically, it was time to go! I was at the hostel and I open the door to the bathroom. I peek inside and there was what looked like a small animal that had jumped in a pile of mud and died in the toilet. I closed that door and tried the restroom next to it. That one had a 4 day old banana and a bunch of poo in it. The 3rd toilet looked perfect, so I tried the handle to make sure it would flush, and it didn't work. I then proceeded to walk downstairs in the main part of the hostel. I went to the women's restroom because I was desparate at this point. 3.5 days of stock went into the toilet. I went to flush......Uh oh.....The sound of silence.....Oh s***. I walked out and continued on my day.
My 1st night in Hong Kong, I met up with a local couchsurfing host, Nikki. She showed me around a lot of the town and invited me to have dinner with her grandparents, aunt and 3 year old cousin. Nikki was the only one who spoke English. The meal was extraordinary. They don't eat Sesame Chicken here. It was the 2nd time I had pork belly that day. And I actually loved it. The grandmother said it was Chairman Mao's favorite dish. They lived in a tiny, old apartment that had the most AMAZING view of the HK skyline. It also happened to be the start of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Victoria Park. I saw the Dragon Dance, ancient Chinese theatre and Chinese lanters everywhere.
So far I have tried Beef Stomach, some sort of beef organs, pork belly, something they told me was fungus(which happened to be a dessert), and a whole range of weird egg and fish delicaces! hey, I said I wanted a local experience. Next up, Chicken feet!
I went to a Buddhist temple and they had a man who told fortunes there. He said this trip was not a vacation, more about suffering....and I didn't even tell him about the toilets in my hostel.
Everytime i go into a restaurant, I swear there are two different menus for locals and foreigners. I had lunch at a restaurant down an alley amid the bustle of Monday rush hour. I found a great old neighborhood in the area called Soho. I manuvered through seafood markets, antique dealers and old men playing Majong. The seafood is very fresh here. The fish are still flopping around as people buy them.
I'm getting my Chinese visa tomorrow and starting my excursion to Tibet. It might take up to 5 days to get the Permit while I'm in Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province of China. More updates soon!