There's a strange familiarity to Hong Kong. We took the bus – a big London shaped bus – from the airport to Causeway Bay – our latest shoeboxed sized accommodation and home for the week. The general feeling was of being on the bus replacement service from Stanstead to Liverpool street.
I've got a funny feeling of deja vu. The years of British rule mean the street furniture is the same. Signs, road markings, vehicles and other elements of the general infrastructure are all identical to England. It's rather like encountering somebody wearing all your clothes. Someone you don't recognise though. Very curious.
Our new accommodation is what is known as compact. At £23 a night the one thing you sacrifice is space. I think Pat can probably get straight out of bed and into the shower without touching the floor.
We do have a TV though. And a fridge. It's a great hulking monster of a green fridge, that colour that was briefly popular for about one month in the eighties and it takes up half the floor space.
Why exactly we need a family sized fridge in this room is beyond me. Maybe it's to provides additional cooling if it gets hot outside. I'm considering using it as a wardrobe as there's nowhere else to put my clothes. I could keep my smelly trainers in the ice box, they'd be nice and cool by the morning.
Whenever you arrive in budget accommodation there is always a learning process that has to be undertaken. The price – or rather lack of – you pay is that nothing quite works with 100% efficiency.
Here for example there is some strange unfathomable relationship in the plumbing between the toilet and the sink. Draining the sink and flushing the toilet in the wrong order results in water leaking out of various perished seals. I've yet to work out the exact details, if I do you'll be the first to know.
Then there's the hot water. It's heated by one of those electric tank things that optimistically proclaims instant hot water on demand. The reality is you get scalding hot water for about 30 seconds gradually diminishing to luke warm over a short period. Showering therefore necessitates a sophisticated juggling act of the usual shampoo, soap and sponge together with endless minor adjustments of the mixer tap to keep the temperature constant.
But enough of my domestic arrangements, what of the big city itself?
Well, we ventured out with Mr Chris Thorp last night for a tour of some local bars and very glitzy it is too. An air of sophistication pervades the air and you get the feeling that everyone is still partying like it's 1997. In fact that seems to be a whole street dedicated to the 1997 hand back.
After a night of hard partying Chris suggested a foot massage. It seemed like a strange thing to be doing at 3am in the morning, buy hey, when in Rome… And what a splendid idea it turned out to be… I tumbled into bed feeling like I was walking on air ready for the next days adventure.
More later bloggers.