Typhoon Rolex and Turkish Millionaire
Posted: Aug 26, 2003 8:51:17 AM
On my last day in Hong Kong I decided to go explore a good old-fashioned amusement park and then attend a big laser/fountains/coloured lights show on Hong Kong Island. Well, a class-three typhoon warning put an end to that plan, so instead I wandered the streets and Botanical Gardens mourning the terrible humidity and omnipresent rain. That was fun (I got a great picture of some Tai Chi gardens) but it could have been better. I wanted to go back to the Temple Street Night Market and have my fortune read, too, but that was a wash-out also.
Never mind, there was plenty to do: I went fake Rolex shopping! I promised one as a gift to someone back home (you know who you are), and finally managed to get one off a very dodgy-looking street merchant. I had fun bargaining (something I'd never done before coming to Hong Kong), but I suspect I could have gotten it for much less if I had played a little harder. Oh well, plenty of haggling still to come at the Grand Bazaar in Sultanahmet, Istanbul.
I avoided the touristy Peak Tram, but climb a very long way to see one of the world's longest escalators, which goes from the base of the island up to the mid-levels. In retrospect, it was foolishly optimistic to think that this escalator would go in both directions (as it turns out, it switches at about midday), and so I found myself stuck at the top of a very large line of stairs. Dang.
The flight from Hong Kong to Frankfurt was packed, and not fun, but after the previous day's walking my feet could use the rest. I slept the entire distance from Frankfurt to Istanbul, although I did meet a very friendly and chatty South African named Christopher in the Frankfurt Departure Lounge. Upon getting to my hotel in Istanbul I slept for barely four hours, and have inexplicably woken up feeling incredibly refreshed.
And this is what I'm going to see this afternoon: the magnificent Aya Sofia (usually known as the Haga Sofia). I'll also try to find a Turkish Bath, although I'm going to take things fairly easy for my first couple of days in Turkey. I'm here for three weeks, after all.
I spent most of the morning trying to work out what the exchange rate between here and NZ is - I still feel momentarily guilty about paying 1,750,000 Lira for a bottle of Sprite. But, on the plus side, I'm finally a millionaire! After my months of hard work an' all.
There are indeed plenty of Internet Cafes here, so I should be able to post many more reports, but the Turkish keyboard takes some getting used to: where the 'i' normally is I find 'ý', where the comma normally is I find 'Ö', and there are 'ð', 'ü', 'þ', and 'ç' keys as well.
Anyway, more news later. Have fun, all!
This report has been archived - for new reports go here.