Other cruise mates had specific things they wanted to do in Hong Kong, visit this temple or that particular shopping street. A surprising number of these, mostly senior citizens, wanted to visit the Hong Kong Disneyland. (All of Hong Kong is Disneyland.) Suzi and I wanted to wander, ride the Star Ferry, take the double decker tram, ride the peak tram, and see what has happened to Hong Kong in the 29 years since we last visited. Since then the Brits have left and the Chinese have established a “Special Administrative Region,” “One Country Two Systems.” Hong Kong is 21 years into this 50 year agreement and we wanted to see the changes. The most startling is the Red Chinese Flag flying over places where we used to see the Union Flag, and a big red star on what used to be, I think, the Prince of Wales Building that was navel headquarters. The old Hong Kong Marine Police Building is now the base for a tony shopping mall. It’s called Heritage 1881 even though the building was built in 1884. The reason, we are told, is because four, in a Chinese dialect sounds like “death” and naming the building Heritage 1884 would be unlucky.
So we wandered. After the 95 degree heat of Manila the high 50s and low 60s temperatures in Hong Kong were a delight. The light rain didn’t bother us. We wandered. We wandered on and off the MTR. On a whim we wandered onto the double decker tram. We wandered on and off and on and off the Star Ferry. We wandered into the YMCA, where we had stayed in the past. We wandered to tea at “The Pen.” We strolled down Nathan Road, into Swindon’s Books, we found a fortune teller’s street, a temple where you can pray for longevity. We trolled the temple street night market and Shanghai Street where practical stuff takes precedence over the designer stuff. We wandered until exhausted.
The next day we did the same thing, this time on a bright but still cool day. We took the Peak Tram for dim sum at the summit overlooking Hong Kong. We remembered how much we enjoyed Hong Kong on our past visits, how much we still love it. We remembered the reaction our boys to different things in Hong Kong, and thought back to our immersion into Chinese culture when we were first married and students in Taiwan. We enjoyed our days and each other.