Sunday, September 8, 2013

Exploring the Area

The first two weeks in Hong Kong were quite rainy. On certain streets, there were small rivers running to the drains. There were government workers actually sweeping the water off the sidewalks. It was a bad time to be wearing sneakers.

It's usually a very pretty view, I promise.

Several friends had intended on going to Macau on one of these fine downpouring days but decided that it might be best to put it off until the sun came out. So we decided to go check out the museums around Hong Kong instead. Our first stop was at the Museum of Space, where we had an adventure looking at all the rockets and other spacey wacey things.

I tried walking on the moon. It went very poorly.

The space museum was very fun, but the exhibits seemed somewhat outdated. It was also quite small. We then moved on to the Museum of History, which is actually right next to my school.
This museum, unlike the other one, is HUGE. And I mean it. We spent several hours there even though we were moving quite quickly. The sheer immensity of this place is due to the fact that it covers the history of Hong Kong starting from several million years ago.

Looking down into the depths of a rumbling volcano.

Eventually, we made our way forward in time towards civilization.

I made acquaintance with several old-time fishermen and -women along the way.

Yes. There were boats inside this place.

Next up were several exhibits on the various indigenous peoples of Hong Kong, and each of their traditions and celebrations.

Giant festive people.
A city inside a museum. Of course.

And so on, through the rule of the British and the invasion of the Japanese to its return to China. By the end, all of us were quite tired, and were power-walking our way to the end. In addition to the main exhibit, there was a temporary one with dozens of outfits worn by the Emperors, Empresses, and royal concubines. They were all incredibly large, colorful and beautiful, and I really wish I could have taken pictures. (Photography was strictly forbidden.)

With that my day spent not in the rain drew to a close.

Later that week after class:...I went to a police parade! Why, do you ask? Well, a local student has been extremely helpful for us exchange students by setting up events, taking us to places to eat, etc...and he also works as a police officer. Since the city was having a parade for such officers, he invited the exchange students to come check it out. And so, I decided to tag along.

While watching this parade I got to hear something that I really did not expect to hear on this side of the planet, and guess what that was? Bagpipes! A wailing instrument that I have gotten used to hearing at least once a week while in Pittsburgh made an unlikely appearance in Hong Kong!

After the parade, the local student took us to an amazing dinner at a hotpot restaurant. Since the entire menu was in Chinese, the exchange students unanimously agreed to trust the local student with ordering all the ingredients to put in the hotpot. 

Many many more ingredients not pictured here.
It was the right decision. Yummm....

And here is my obligatory "Awesome food of the week" section!

Hong Kong's great delicacy: Milk Tea!

Some kind of squishy chrysanthemum roll. That is all I know.

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