Quick ask me to name someone from Kowloon Bay.
Answer: Cassandra from Wayne’s World. Yes she’s fictitious but that’s all I got.
Up until this point my journey in Hong Kong was limited to the islands except for that one trip I made to the Ozone Bar which is on the Kowloon Bay side, so I decided to find more things for me to see and do by venturing across the bay. Getting there is easy, I just hopped on the Tsuen Wan line and in a few short minutes I was across the bay and taking in a very different side of Hong Kong. I didn’t see the Aston Martin’s or Ferrari’s cruising around or see expats in suits talking about finance and other boring business stuff. I saw Hong Kong. And when I say that I mean I saw the version of Hong Kong I had in my mind before I arrived. Let me tell you, coming from a town in South Africa that is wide open and small at the same time this was a bit of a culture shock for me. But that did not stop me from exploring.
My journey began at the Mong Kok station because I was looking for a particular soccer jersey and I read about a few shops that might carry it in that area. I exited the station on the correct side and immediately I knew I was out of my depth as the signs – neon’s and banners alike – were large and covering the sky and the buildings seemed much closer together mainly because there were hundreds – if not thousands – of people on the streets all doing their shopping. My plan went out the window right there. I knew which direction I needed to go but could not find the soccer shops at all. I turned a corner and found myself in the middle of a street market. Watches, handbags, luggage, belts, shirts, dresses, magnets, scarves, and jewelery lined the walls of the 15-foot tall tents that lined the street. And when I say lined the walls, I mean from floor to ceiling a product was hanging to let the buyer know what they had. I saw a
few TON of soccer jerseys but not the one I was searching for which is partially what I had expected but I was overwhelmed at the sheer volume of choices.
I walked up and down the street market, which felt like it took about about a mile of road but in actuality must have only been 1/4 mile, and glanced into each and every tent hoping to find something to buy but I had no idea what I was looking for and I came unprepared for this adventure as the cash in my wallet was low and I doubted any of these places accepted Visa.
As I wandered aimlessly up the street peeking into each and every shop I began to see the same items from earlier shops and I wondered what, if any, were the price differences from each shop. This thought left my mind as quickly as it entered because in typical John fashion I stumbled upon Ladies’ Street. Stumbled is a bit dramatic, I just kept walking in the same direction and happened upon it, but stumbled sounds more inspiring and spontaneous. As you can imagine the Ladies’ Street Market sells items geared toward women – but I checked it out anyway. I found nothing to buy. *Frowny Face*
After walking up and down the streets for what felt like hours searching for things to buy – and having no idea what I was looking for other than a soccer jersey – I decided to call it an afternoon and head back because there is only so much shopping I can do in one day, and I didn’t even shop.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia