Monsters and Dragons

My friend and I met, coincidently, where the tram terminated the previous day — at Shau Kei Wan, the east-end of Hong Kong Island. From there, we took a minibus to the beginning of our walk, called the Dragon’s Back.

The minibus we took is renowned for going fast. It was like being in a racing car. There was a display for passengers showing us the bus’s speed! I’m not sure if it was to reassure us that the bus wasn’t going that fast or for those who were speed demons who wanted to share their experience on social media. To make matters worse for non-Cantonese-speaking tourists, you had to shout out when you wanted to get off. There was no bell. My friend did the talking in Cantonese.

The Dragon’s back is a gentle linear hike, but you still ascend sufficiently to get good views across Hong Kong. There were some other hikers, but it wasn’t that busy.

When we finished, we made our way to the building complex known as the “Monster Building”. The complex consists of high-rise buildings where normal people live.

These buildings have become famous for exemplifying the closely built tall buildings in Hong Kong. They have featured in some films. Tourists line up to take selfies of themselves implanted in the centre of the complex. Residents are not amused but are now used to seeing the queues.

After our obligatory selfies, we found on Google Maps a nearby cafe that was on the 37th floor of an office block. This was too good an opportunity to miss. We made our way up. The views were spectacular:

I ate at YEARS vegetarian restaurant. It was a western-style diner filled with locals. I had a tofu burger, which was a bit bland. The chips, however, were excellent!

I got talking to Joe, sitting next to me. He recommended several other vegetarian restaurants. He was an engineer who specialised in slopes. He was in the right place because there are so many mountains in Hong Kong. Slope maintenance has a special division in government. Later, attuned to the idea of this activity, I started seeing signs left by the department.

I had noticed how stressed people looked in Hong Kong and asked Joe about it. He said working hours are crazy and the pressure to succeed is great. He was considering emigrating to North America.

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