I got my hair cut this morning. Basically itÂs not much different from any hair cut I get in Hamilton, but the service is much better. I had three or four different people swarming around me, shampooing, conditioning, blow drying, cutting, shampooing, conditioning, blow drying, and then styling. The end result is essentially the same as I usually get, except more textured. The girl put some blue highlight gel in there, which you canÂt see because my hair is black. Duh. Total cost was $10, including a tip. Anyway, my Italian barber is going to roll his eyes when he sees me next. Last time I did something like this he said, ÂYou let a girl cut your hair, didnÂt you?Â HereÂs a hurried picture I took in the dark hallway near my sleeping compartment. I resist calling it a room.
After the haircut I met up with Cherry, who took some time off to show me around some more. We decided to go to Tung Chung, one of the islands connected to Hong Kong. We took the subway to the end of the line, then hopped on a bus to the island. It was about a one hour trip from where IÂm staying, but is vastly different. The bus wound a rather dizzying route through twisty roads up and around some mountainous terrain. When it emerged into the clear, I could see a remote and unspoiled looking beach that might be fun to explore. I rang the bell and the bus stopped a few hundred metres later. We got out and walked through a field absolutely alive with butterflies. They were gently flitting from flower to flower, tossed by the breeze but always seeming to end up sipping nectar from a blossom. What a life. It wasnÂt easy to photograph them, because the field was essentially a swamp, and I was reluctant to soak my feet in it. Eventually a butterfly landed close enough to the walking path, so I got a shot of it.
The beach did not disappoint. It was littered with shells and oysters and other flotsam.
There were many little holes in the sand, with odd patterns of sand surrounding them. They’re made by crabs as they burrow to stay wet when the tide recedes. We saw that one crab had been discovered by a predator. I took a photo of the crime scene.
There was a small group of villagers collecting clams. A man was dragging a sort of plow through the damp sand, and a woman was picking up the clams that were dug up.
While doing a sort of impromptu photo shoot, I was backing up, looking through the camera, and managed to step onto a rock coated with shards of oyster shell. Ouch. I sliced up the bottom of my feet pretty nicely. I washed out the wounds with salt water, and then applied some napkins to act as bandages. Later on, I put some hand sanitizer stuff on the cuts, which felt a little like dipping my feet into fire. When I got back to my sleeping compartment, I washed the wounds properly with soap and covered them with Band-Aids. I think the damage is pretty minimal, but it makes walking somewhat uncomfortable.
After the foot-cutting incident, we headed back up to the road and caught a bus again. We took it all the way into the little fishing village of Tai O. IÂm not sure what the O. stands for, but the town advertises itself as the ÂVenice of Hong Kong.Â Places with canals always advertise themselves as the ÂVenice ofÂ whatever. Earlier this month I was in the Venice of China, near Huangshan. There are, in fact, numerous villages that refer to themselves as the Venice of China. Oddly enough, most of them pre-date Venice by a few hundred years. Incongruously, in the middle of Tai O., was a small shop with a very odd cutout sculpture attached to the fence. The writing on her boots says “Dancing Whore.” There’s another similar sculpture above the store. I’m not sure what it’s saying, but it’s mildly disturbing.
The sun was going down, and Cherry had an appointment to keep, so we headed back into the city.
Tonight I had my last dinner in Hong Kong. I found a barbecue place and had roast pork and steamed vegetables. I walked around the streets afterwards and found some delicious street dim sum. I got some dumplings and beef balls. IÂm really going to miss Hong KongÂs food!
Tomorrow IÂm heading to Bangkok. IÂm developing what feels like a sinus cold. IÂm going to try to get some good sleep and kick this bug.