Hong Kong — New Year’s Eve

Anatomy of a day:

  • another sumptuous breakfast
  • hotel shuttle to central district
  • walk to waterfront, only to find the art museum under renovation
  • so plenty of time on the waterfront, with photos!
  • slow walk through side streets, regal old hotels, local commerce, and lunch of rice noodles with beef at a traditional HK hole-in-the-wall
  • fitting for my new suits
  • much of the afternoon at the Hong Kong History Museum, a well-planned and engaging place to spend part of a day
  • bus and then ferry across to Hong Kong Island (of the iconic skyline)
  • a carousel ride
  • a long walk through crowded streets and uphill to Lan Kwai Fong, the entertainment district on the island
  • dinner of very good Tex-Mex at a hole-in-the-wall on a tiny side street
  • loads of photos and marvel at the police presence and the crowd-control barricades
  • subway and taxi back to hotel, after a quick trip through Marks & Spencer
  • fall sound asleep well before midnight
  • but wake to see in the new year

The fireworks reveling crowds really throng the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon, and after seeing how many people were already present by 4 p.m., J and I decided to watch the fireworks on the telly.  This was the right call (although I could see them over the tops of the high-rises to the southwest), as I was again utterly worn out from the kilometers and kilometers of walking yesterday.

Say one thing for certain: I shan’t be gaining weight on this trip, if the dining and walking so far is any indication!

What impressed me the most last evening was the visible police presence all over the wealthy Hong Kong Island. Barricades were ready.  Pedestrian control was well-planned.  Revelers could not become rioters.  They were everywhere, and from the looks of it they raided the police academy to make it happen, so young were these mostly-male officers.  They had the traffic flow and crowd control down to a science in Lan Kwai Fong.

My fitting went well. I’m sorry I didn’t have any photos taken. And later in the evening I saw a local television tourist spot for Sam’s Tailor, and realized that I’d been helped by Sam himself on my first visit.  (I go back Tuesday for a second fitting.)

So today is the first day of 2017.  As I write, my friends in the UK have just turned into the new year, and folks back home are now in the dark of night awaiting the new dawn.  May 2017 be better than many of us dare hope, and filled with compassion, truth, justice, and the good works that many people can do together.

To see the local fireworks celebration, take a look here.

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