Monday, May 01, 2006

So THIS is where all the Caucasians are...

We returned to the hotel, got cleaned up, and met Ed in the Executive Lounge. After some beverages and snacks, we decided that dinner was a good option, but we didn't want anything significant. The plan was to go to the base of the Mid-Levels and take the escaltor to Staunton Street, where there were a couple of western choices.

Unfortunately, our cabbie misunderstood the street name and took us higher in the Mid-Levels than our destination. The Mid-Levels are a series of streets that are arranged on the hill that goes up to Victoria Peak. The gradiant in some places is as high as 15 percent, so the city planners built a series of escalators, the kind you would find in a department store, to take you up from street to street. There's only one escalator, so most of the day it goes uphill, and from 6-10am it goes downhill. It's a surprisingly efficient method, except when your cabbie deposits you three blocks above your destination. Fortunately, this is Hong Kong, where a short taxi ride costs US$2, so once we figured out what happened we were able to rectify the situation.

Staunton Street was incredibly funny. We could have easily been in some back street in London. Caucasians just everywhere, not one Asian food choice to be found. We settled on an Italian place where we could get the table overlooking the street. The food was ok (better than Olive Garden), the beer was cold, and the people-watching was fantastic. We paid our bill, took about three steps and hailed a taxi, and went back to the hotel. It was only 10pm, but we were all wiped out.

I decided that I needed just a little more exercise (I have a pedometer with me, and my goal is 40,000 steps every 3 days), so I walked through the Pacific Place mall under the hotel to the MRT station, where the ubiquitous 7-11 was still open. I bought myself a Diet Coke and some chocolate mini-cookies for dessert, and stumbled back to bed.

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