Happy Valentine’s Day, MTR.

My valentine this year was the mass transit railway. Coming from a place where public transportation is notoriously unreliable and underused, I had a blast on the MTR today! In fact, I found excuses just to ride it. In Hong Kong, people use an Octopus card, which is similar to London’s Oyster card. You can use it at the MTR stations, 7 Eleven, minibus… It’s really convenient and definitely makes life easier.

I visited the Times Square building today, the home of my future workplace, a.k.a just another mall from the future.

My co-worker treated me to lunch at a fancy Japanese restaurant. When I say fancy I mean fansay. We had to walk on some sort of catwalk to get to our table. It confused and intimidated me.

I ordered their bento lunch special. Everything was so good. Being in a new country makes me a lot more adventurous when it comes to food. For instance, I would never order soft-shelled crab in the States, but I decided to try it here. I wasn’t a fan, but seafood lovers would probably have enjoyed it because it tasted like the sea. I also bit into this REALLY STRANGE thing hidden inside my steamed egg. I have no idea what it was, but it oozed with bitterness and was also probably from the ocean, like sea urchin poo or something. Besides those two things, my meal was delicious!

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the mall. Page One is an amazing bookstore. And when I say amazing, I mean uh-mazing. They have tons of best sellers, design books, and even cute cameras. Most of the books are in English, with one ample corner dedicated to Chinese books.

Side story: I purchased a juicebox camera awhile back. I was going to bring it with me to HK but decided at the last minute that I didn’t really need it since I was already bringing several other film cameras with me. WELL. Page One sells that juicebox camera, and in lots of different flavors! They only had “apple” available on the internet!

I also finally bought a hair dryer which I’m excited to try out tomorrow because the humidity makes my hair behave in undesirable ways.

+++

I decided now would be a good time to start apartment hunting! After heading home first to drop my things off, I headed back out early evening, experiencing the infamous HK foot-traffic in the MTR stations. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. I didn’t get pushed or shoved, and I managed to find a railing to hold onto even on an extremely packed train. After exiting at Central, I headed off to Caine Rd. where most of the agencies are located. I could have taken the minibus but I decided to go on foot since it was only 15 minutes away. I was greeted with several steep hills, but it made for a very interesting journey. I love walking around in pedestrian-friendly cities because I got to see amazing gems that I would have otherwise missed had I taken the bus.

I thought I was being clever by taking cellphone snapshots of Google Map directions since my phone only works if there is wireless internet around. It’s hard to locate HK street signs, so while I managed to find Caine Rd. okay, heading back was a different story. My directions became useless almost instantly, but I didn’t get lost! I managed to guide my way back to the MTR using only my ~feelings~ and it was awesome.

It had been a fruitless effort at the agency because my budget was ridiculously low. I told them I was looking for a place around the area for around $5,000 HKD, which is about $644 USD. I was told to look on the other side of the island, pretty much. When I got home, I did some calculations and decided I could afford a little bit more than that, which will probably make my search a bit easier. I plan on visiting every major neighborhood around HK island starting tomorrow.

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