Originally, I was thinking today would be a good day for Disneyland. However, the weather forecast suggested there might be rain so Jaeger convinced me we’d have better luck trying tomorrow. Unfortunately, most of the other things on our list were also outside activities. Eventually we decided to make it a lazy day and visit Victoria Park and then the library.
Naturally, Victoria Park has several playgrounds. Calvin and I settled down at one while Jaeger explored the rest of the park. Then he came back to watch Calvin for a bit. We had talked about Jaeger taking a day trip to mainland China (I have no particular desire to go there) so Jaeger hunted around and found a place that claimed to be able to get him a visa for China by tomorrow so he headed off there while Calvin and I stayed in the park.
After a while, Calvin got tired of the playground. We wandered a couple of meters away and came across a man-made pond specifically designed for model boats. There was an orange speed boat that whizzed around and caused splashing to Calvin’s great delight. We stayed there more than a half-hour, possibly even a full hour. Fortunately, I had a book with me to read while Calvin watched.
Eventually Calvin was done watching so we wandered off in the general direction of the library. It was almost lunch time though so I kept a lookout for food options. I didn’t have internet so I couldn’t find the closest vegetarian restaurant so I settled for a lunch stand-in from my youth when we couldn’t find anything vegetarian to eat: ice cream.
I saw a Haagen Daz in the mall and figured that would provide enough calories until we met up with Jaeger again. What I didn’t realize is that Haagen Daz in a bit city, at least Hong Kong, is a sit-down dessert restaurant. However, I had already promised Calvin ice cream and didn’t want to reneg on our deal. So we sat down and I had a look at the menu. I let Calvin pick and he chose a dessert that featured a snow man made out of ice cream, crem brûlée topped with strawberry ice cream and a strawberry and some sort of frozen berries (maybe currents?). They also offered ice cream fondue, which we didn’t order, which is little balls of ice cream that you dip into chocolate fondue. It looked interesting but was 3-4 times the price of the dessert we got.
After dessert lunch we headed to the library. I knew that you had to make a reservation to play in the “toy library” within the library. However, I didn’t realize there would be nothing at all to play with inside the library other than that. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the libraries in Colorado since all of them have some sort of activities for kids to play with while the parents look for books. We left fairly quickly because there wasn’t enough things to keep Calvin’s attention.
Jaeger had returned from his visa expedition at this point but we decided that he’d go look at the infrastructure gallery while Calvin and I would go explore one of the other playgrounds in Victoria Park. Calvin had a lot of fun at the park and we spent an hour or two there. Then Calvin said he needed to go potty, right away. I should have scouted potty sites out ahead of time but hadn’t. I raced wildly around and eventually found one which turned out to only contain squat toilets. I tried to convince Calvin this was a perfectly respectable way to go potty but I think he was dubious. As an aside, squat toilets appear to be the old-school preferred toilet option. However, newer facilities are grudgingly putting in place sit-down toilets (though often with at least one squat toilet stall also). Also, sometimes there isn’t any toilet paper in the stalls, you have to grab some near the sink before you actually go into the stall. This probably works better when you’re grabbing toilet paper for yourself instead of a preschooler.
I called Jaeger and we agreed to meet up at central station. I put Calvin on my back to hike to the nearest MTR station. On the down escalator a man with a cane and a bag in each hand slipped and fell while we were about half-way down. He couldn’t get up by himself so a person in front of him tried to help. However, he fell again when we reached the bottom, having not completely gotten on his feet. I was one person behind the man and was quickly running out of room. The lady in front of me tried to dodge to one side which left no room for me to maneuver. I grabbed the man under his arms while the person in front pulled and somehow he got off. However, several people behind me stumbled and fell do to the blockage. I think I was quite lucky and was happy Calvin had been on my back instead of on the ground in front or behind which could have been bad. Fortunately, the man appeared to be ok, at least he was standing, though I couldn’t tell for sure because he didn’t speak any English. I was quite relieved when we met Jaeger several stops later with no further incidences.
Jaeger proposed going souvenir shopping which I was a little dubious about since neither of us shop well (I’m ok in a thrift store but don’t have a huge amount of patience shopping other than that). We wandered around and Jaeger found a pretty nice place suggested by his guidebook. However, by that time Calvin had fallen asleep so by the next shop I decided it was time for Calvin and I to head back to the hotel. Naturally, Calvin woke as soon as I started heading back.
I successfully found an MTR station and headed home. Once back, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up some things for supper. I also picked up some more Dragon Fruit. We had seen dragon fruit sold in most produce stores but couldn’t figure out what they were until we looked them up. We ended up buying a cheap kitchen knife just so we could try it out. You cut the weird purple fruit in half and then can scoop out the insides. It tastes kind of like a very mild and slightly bland kiwi. It’s very interesting and, assuming you have a knife and spoon, relatively easy to eat. I suspect it’d taste great slightly frozen, kind of like a sorbet.
Calvin was awake when we got back, probably because of the nap. He ate well for supper and managed to demolish almost an entire carton of hummus by himself. While Calvin finished eating, I started doing laundry in the sink. Apparently there aren’t laundromats in Hong Kong because everyone has their own maid (or something like that). There are places to take laundry but it’s inconvenient so I was stuck with the choice of washing in the sink or paying exorbitant hotel rates. At the moment, we’re hand washing the lighter stuff that’ll dry easily and having the hotel wash heavier stuff that would take too long to dry on it’s own. The difference in humidity is pretty significant. Things that would have dried overnight in Colorado are taking closer to a day and a half here (and we have an air conditioned room!).
Jaeger got back while I was doing laundry. He read Calvin some stories and then convinced him it was time to go to bed.
Our Hong Kong/Taiwan Trip: