Hot and Sweaty in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 38 of 38 › view all entries
It's a real scorcher - heat radiates all along the steel and glass canyons (thank you Bono) with the temperature at 32'C and a humidity of 85% people smell. So do I. I have taken the rattling tram from my hotel, along "dried seafood road" into the heart of town. Past such places as "The Minute Hotel" (I suspect this is the record for people staying there), Wendy Fashion (who Wendy is and what she knows about fashion is not clear), the &*%$£ ING Tower and many other wonderful sights I am struck by all the conversations that are taking place on the vehicle. Oddly enough though no-one is talking to another on the tram - almost everyone is using a cell phone. Even the 8 or 9 year old next to me has a cell phone that makes mine look like a good steal from the British Museum.
I drop 2HK$ in to the recepticle (you can travel anywhere along the tram system for just 2 HK$ a ride) and get off near the IFC One Tower - this is a massive tower that dwarves everything nearby.
My destination is Nathan Road - home to the worlds best bargain hunters and fake goods purveyors. Great fun to haggle yourself out of a deal and upsetting the local hawkers as they realise you are not - despite appearances - a mug. My favorite today was speaking to an Indian chap who called himself Kadish:
Instantly on my guard - never trust a man in the street who calls you sir
"Er...maybe..you sell Rolexes?"
"Yes sir..just this way"
He leads me into a small mirrored stall where a number of other westerners were being convinced of the quality of a rolex
"Take your pick sir"
He shows me a tray of ugly goldish garish glittering gumpf.
"Er..I am not sure I actually like any of these..they are quite ugly arn't they?"
"No sir - the very latest fashion sir" (I am assured)
"Hmmmm - not sure I like them"
"You would impress all your friends sir"
"Yes - but I can make them laugh by telling jokes..I don't need props"
(He didn't get that one)
I pick one up - the least horrid of them all
"How much is this"
"A thousand dollars sir"
"Hong Kong Dollars?"
"No sir - US"
"For you sir I do special price sir"
"How much will you give me?"
"To take this carbunkle away and bury it for you"
"hahaha sir - very funny - 500 Dollars sir"
"Ah - drop by 50% huh? That is quite a drop."
"For you sir - a special deal"
"That is a special watch alright"
"Alright? You wish to buy?"
"250 Dollars sir?"
"This is not a real Rolex is it?"
"Yes sir - is genuine!"
"It's a genuine something but not a rolex is it?"
"It is a copy sir, but very high quality"
"Kadish - if I would not buy a real one even if I could afford it why on earth would I buy a fake one?"
He got a bit angry at this point and I left despite much protest about good faith and time wasting.
I headed up Nathan Road, dodging other good-willed salesmen desparate to sell me a rolex and a suit (handsome man like you would look good in a tailored suit)
I was heading for "Fortress" - the only store on Nathan Road that you can guarantee that the products are not fake or "off the back of a lorry" and where you can use your creditcard with out letting others also use it. Here I managed to find what I was assured was the very last Green Ipod Nano 8GB in Kowloon for just HK$1500 ( US$193 and GB£94) for the long suffering Rachel who has to put up with my wanderlust - hope she likes it!!
Come to Hong Kong - it really is wonderfully dirty, hot, fast, buzzing and fun!!!