It’s true! You need a holiday to recover from a vacation.
I had a wonderful 7 days in HK and Macau, feasting away on wonton mee and beef tripes, egg tarts from both sides, all cheap stuff except for one meal which cost HK$388 pax, which was well splurged on, but more blog about the food later, when I have the photos to show for.
Two days before our return, I came down with an awful sore throat, and was worried that I may run a fever and be stopped from boarding either the ferry back to HK or the plane, as they were conducting temperature checks everywhere. The weather in Macau had been very sunny at 24 deg C the day before and i knew I would eventually fall sick being in the sun. Despite splashing water on my head, neck and arms, I could not perspire. The Chong family has very bad temperature regulator and i often suffer from sunstroke even if the temperature is cool.
That night, Aaron and I went to bed early at ten. Mike went down to the casino. At 1am, I was awoken by a loud voice. It sounded like someone was quarrelling outside my door. Then the voice would deminish as he moved away and became louder as he returned. This went on for about fifteen minutes. Was the sound coming from next door? No, it was definitely outside. So clear and loud I could hear that it was spoken in a Chinese dialect. I got fed up. There was no one outside my peep hole but I could still hear the voice. I opened the door, and the speaker, a man talking on his mobile phone while walking up and down my corridor, turned to look at me – hair all tousled, in my sleeping gear, face extremely annoyed. I gave him a loud shhh, hoping that he knew that’s the international language for QUIET!, and not to go pee. Apparently he understood and went away.
Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night.
Just a few days before, while waiting for my turn to take photo with President Obama at Madam Tussard, one man rushed forward without even bothering to queue. I gave a loud Tsk! and he asked, oh? your turn next? Instead of moving away, he just stood aside, well within my picture frame. I didn’t even bother to take and now regret that I have no photos with President Obama.
At the ferry back to HK from Macau, we were seated at the sunny side and I pulled the sunshade down. Two girls in the front row turned to look at me, and promptly pulled the sunshade back up. We decided to change seats.
It’s incidents like these that highlight my reasons for never ever stepping into HK theme parks. It’s not that I have anything against the Chinese nationals, as i had a wonderful time in Yunnan in March. It’s when the Chinese are on tours that make them horrible. They have totally no consideration for other people.
I had similar bad experiences in Beijing in Oct 2004. We were at the Great Wall. There were masses of locals tourists and there was a trampede as people were trying to navigate the narrow doorway connecting the walls. People were shoving and pushing us and only stopped when we shouted that we have a young kid. That experience was very traumatic.
At the queue for the slider at Badaling, a man at the back of my ex-neighbour Glen coughed incessantly without covering his mouth. This was just after SARS and Glen became very annoyed. As he couldn’t speak Mandarin, he told Mike to tell off the man to stop. Mike obeyed and both Destine and I were amused he actually dared to do it.
So, here I am at home, throat still sore, reminising on my encounters with Chinese tourists 5 years on, with nothing changed.