Blessed to be a witness

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Monday, February 14


After a late breakfast we finally bought the laptop, on which I am now writing this. It's a second-hand Japanese edition NEC with a pretty good spec, and cost less than HK$4,000 (€400). The previous owner appears to have favoured a pretty lady called Fumina Hara who likes wearing skimpy underwear, judging by the contents of the Wallpaper directory. Got a dinky little travel mouse with a retractable wire, and a wireless card. It's one more thing to lug about and one more thing to worry about, but it is owned with the proviso that it might get nicked or damaged and we're not to get upset if it does. It would be a shame if it gets buggered, but we have to be realistic.

From there we took the Star Ferry to Wanchai to the Chinese Visa office, where we queued up for quite a while to get our 60-day single-entry visas. We pick the passports up on Wednesday. Also visited Central Plaza, the building in which I used to work on the 57th floor, and managed to get up to the 'Sky Lobby' on the 42nd for the view, which is rather vertiginous.

Then we returned to Kowloon side, and I headed off on my own to Mong Kok, which is allegedly the most populous place on earth. It was indeed ridiculously crowded, but it was really nice to get into the crowds and just rhythm of the place. My task was to buy a new rucksack, but I ended up going to the 'Ladies' Market', which is nothing to do with ladies at all. Therein some women at a clothing stall started reading the Chinese characters off my fleece that I bought in Dublin, and falling around laughing. For all I know they could say "I'm a stupid big-nosed monkey". Anyway, I bought some trousers from them and my pidgin Canto banter got me a discount, which was nice.

I totally failed to find a suitable rucksack, so reckon I'll have to make do with this annoying one. Caught a bus back to pick up M, and we walked to Knutsford Terrace to have dinner in 'Bahama Mamas', which was just about edible. Then over the harbour, but this time in a taxi for the novelty. Went to my favourite old haunt in Lan Kwai Fong, Club 64, so named for the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and favoured in the past by dissidents. It's also nice and quiet with tables outside to watch the party district of Lan Kwai Fong go by, which we did.

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