Comfort food, multiple bowel movements and Indonesian girls on tour.
Not much to say really other than the Hong Kong Kowloon area where we were staying is not a true reflection of the city as a whole. However it was cheap and therefore a popular destination for backpackers in an expensive city. Unfortunately we couldn't venture too far from our old friend the toilet for fear of an unexpected bowel movement. It was at this point we appreciated the logic of a wet room when the sink was too far away from the toilet!!!
(The subconscious has an uncanny ability to identify the exact source of past food poisoning. This enlightenment occurred when looking for bland comfort food within TGI Friday's menu. Upon reaching the noodle options we both went white and memories of that final meal of thin egg noodles in the Philippines came flooding back. Egg and stir fried noodles were off the menu for the foreseeable future. A bit of a bummer really in SE Asia!)
From the bit that we did see it became apparent that it was a city like any other with different districts, some separated by water. The key thing that struck us were the thousands of Indonesian woman sitting on the streets, roads and underpasses, in groups, surrounded by a fortress of flattened cardboard boxes, eating, playing cards, giving each other massages, painting their nails and generally having a good ol' chit-chat. This was mainly in the financial district (Exchange Square). We at first assumed a protest of some kind but when we questioned a shop assistant in the Chemist, who was scanning through our items of Imodium, painkillers and fluid replacement, we discovered that it was a national holiday and it is not uncommon for the working Indonesian women to gather on the street. That's right, downtown Hong Kong is a popular Indonesian holiday destination.
What about the parks - well we didn't find any real green space in fact even the botanical gardens was a concrete jungle with a zoo thrown in for good measure!
Ok, so that aside we were staying on the 5th floor of a 16 floor (condemned?) building where every floor is either an Indian restaurant or another pokey backpacker hostel. The ground floor was a market selling cheap electrical goods and suitcases. The outside drag was littered with very pushy Indian men selling suits, counterfeit watches and drugs. We had to use the fire escape stairwell to enter and exit as the lift was incredibly busy (therefore great bit of forced exercise) except for the fact the stairs were riddled with huge cockroaches! The building itself was held together by scaffolding which after my food poisoning recovery I realised was made of bamboo!
We enjoyed some good Cantonese food on our last night at which point Steve was on the mend too.
Goodbye loose bowel movements and onwards to Hanoi, Vietnam!!