Temple Cruising, Camera Bruising

I must begin this post by stating the internet is driving me crazy! It goes on and off at will, and mind you I am still trying to upload my Face book pictures while I can. Gosh, fate just doesn’t want me to finish. Anyways, back to my life as a tourist.

I went to sleep pretty late last night, but woke up at 8am anyways to get ready for our big day of touring. Nastya was tired so I used the bathroom first, but after I finished she didn’t get up for a while still. This is typical so I didn’t think much about it other than not wanting to be late for our meeting with Sun Tong, but I tried not to be a bitch about waking her up. Good thing I wasn’t too, because she told me later that she felt too sick to go out for the day. No need to worry, it’s just a common cold, coughing and stuffy nose, but it definitely is easier to get tired when sick, and resting is better than pushing one’s self and getting sicker. I offered to run down to the drug store and get her more medicine but she said she just needed sleep. So off I went on my own!

I stopped by the ever-famous 7-Eleven on my way to the subway, and picked up chips & a sandwich. I first intended to eat them there, but a creepy African man affirmatively helped me change that plan, I practically bolted for the subway and just ate them later, haha. I made it to Sham Tin station to meet with Sun Tong by 10am, thank goodness because I hate being late…strange for a Haitian right? We walked around and found our way to the Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery, it was a climb! It was a surprisingly hot day, it felt like summer time…but I’m assuming it’s a very mild version of their summer so I am grateful. It was sunny and a great day to hike around temples, because all of the trees and plants looked beautiful without bugs to ruin it, haha. Starting at the very base of the mountain were two lanes of gold statues of monks, each looked different from the other, some holding dog/lion puppies, some shy, some aggressive, bored, indifferent. I took pictures of the funniest ones in my opinion, so when I get back to my room (I left the plug for my camera and computer in Tianjin) I will upload them~

Next, we took the subway to another famous temple, I only remember the Mandarin name…Cantonese names are hard; it was called Che Gong Temple. It was nice, but comparatively small, the most interesting part about it was the wall of red papers hanging down. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was the “examination list”, History lesson! *puts on glasses* : Back in ancient China, there was a very difficult, long annual examination one would take to become an official, which would mean all of the money, whores, and power you could dream of. The only problem was passing it, there are many stories of famous authors who took this test every year but never passed, for example Pu Songling. If you passed, then your name would be posted on a board in red paper. So the Chinese people here make donations to the temple and write down their son/daughters name, it’s a good luck on your test kind of thing. I made my friend Sun Tong do one for her boyfriend, coincidentally he was taking Grad School tests today, haha.

We took a lunch break and continued onto NanLian Garden, it’s a free park in the middle of a busy area, and surprisingly so peaceful and pretty. It almost made me become a nature lover and want to go camping on my spare time…almost. I was finally able to buy a few souvenirs, I am in such a dilemma. I am trying to buy souvenirs for six Chinese friends. Chinese people are the worst people to buy souvenirs for in China. When I give gifts to my American friends, they will love anything in a red color with characters on it, but these people know Chinese, haha. Also, Hong Kong doesn’t have any particular special thing that can be a souvenir, like a type of food, or something like the Eiffel tower that I can buy key chains of….Gosh, life is hard. Then we went to another one, it was nice but, um, I forget the name…they begin to blur after a bit. Also, funny story, at this last one, I broke my camera….yeah, I broke it. It happened in slow motion for me, we were sitting on the second floor balcony, and I felt something slide from my lap, between the railing posts, I look over and it is my precious camera. I didn’t scream or anything, haha. I looked over and felt happy that at least it didn’t fall into the lake, it actually landed on the bridge, so it was a close call. I am a glass half full kind of gal. At least this way I can still get all of the pretty photos, even if my camera’s a goner, haha.

Afterwards, I treated Sun Tong to some milk shake, and my other friend Justin called and met up with us. It was really funny, because his English is amazing, but Mandarin so-so, while Tong’s English is okay, but not perfect either. We were switching between the two languages so much, that even I had trouble keeping up, haha. Luckily, they both really liked each other, while walking around, Justin decided to take us to his favorite KTV in Hong Kong’s Time Square (yes, they have one too…copy cats~). The way they do it is different from Mainland China, you pay a fixed rate by person, rather than by hour…and it was expensive! It came out to 235 HKD per person, PLUS a required 10% tip (I had to pay this tip charge on the milkshakes too, a reason why I like China more than America, no tips!). A perk though, was that on the bottom floor we had access to an amazing buffet, there were cakes, fruit, hotpot, seafood, chicken, rice, flan, chocolate drip machine, sushi…I mean there was everything. The KTV room had its own bathroom too, but that was where the good ended, because they didn’t have that many American songs. My friend explained that American songs are expensive and because Hong Kong does things legally they are behind Mainland. I wouldn’t mind, because I sing Chinese songs too, but there was no option to write in the Chinese characters or search songs by name, actually you couldn’t even search the singer by name either. You could only select Male, Female, or Group, and from there, the country…the artists weren’t even put in ABC order, oh gosh! Regardless, we had fun and sang until my voice sounded like a man. I was so glad to spend that time with them and I will miss them a lot. But they could always come to Mainland to see me right?

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