Lost in (Hong Kong) Translation

From the airport, I went straight to the Runner’s Collection Pack area in Victoria Park, Hong Kong island. I was with a friend who is based in Hong Kong. We just took the bus from the airport, so it took us around 1 hour. There is not much traffic jam so the travel is smooth.

Hong Kong reminds me of Singapore because they have resemblance—both are tiny city-states, with the world’s busiest ports. You can really see huge cranes and piles of cargo boxes in the port. And this is what baffles me—even if they have busy ports, still their sea looks green and clean. That is especially true in Singapore.

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Hong Kong buses are double-deckers, reminiscent of those famous red ones in London. It was around noon when we arrived in Victoria Park. It is a sprawling park in the middle of tall buildings. I was expecting that there will be queues due to the massive number of runners joining this marathon. But I was wrong, because when I got there, I feel like I am the last to claim. It feels deserted.

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The weather then is cold, so even if it is noon time, it is good to walk and stroll. Their marathon are being run by volunteers from schools. In the claiming area, these young Hong Kong teenagers are wearing their scout uniforms. Why are majority of Chinese teenagers wearing specks? Are they pre-disposed to have poor eyesight at such a young age? Baffling.

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After I got my paraphernalia for the run the following day, we headed straight to where I will be staying overnight. I rented a room for me within the Nathan Road (Tsim Sha Tsui portion) area. This is the place where my 21K run will start, so it is convenient on my part that after waking up on Sunday, all I have to do is go downstairs and walk to warm up to the starting line.

When I put my backpack in my room, we check for some Chinese lunch. Yes, the trip to Hong Kong will not be complete without eating what the locals are eating. There’s a convenient food chain called Café de Corral near my place of stay, so we check it out to eat lunch. I had what they call a combo of friend pork, sausage, salted egg, and Chinese pechay.

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When we are done with lunch, we check out the exact venue of the starting line along Nathan Road. We walked only because the weather is great. Google maps was very helpful. After one hour and a half of searching, we finally find it. At least I have the idea where I will be starting for the run the following day.

I was ask for several times in Chinese. Must be my eyes, but sorry, I am not a native!

I saw a Superdry store on my way. I was tempted to buy a shirt, but when I realized that my main purpose of going to Hong Kong is to run and not purchase a HK$450 shirt, I decided not to. Besides, their designs there are not that okay versus the ones I saw in their Bonifacio High Street store in Taguig. At least in that particular store along Nathan Road.

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I went back to my rented place afterwards to take a rest for a few hours. I had barely 3 hours of sleep the previous night because I have to wake up early for my flight at 5.30am. Catching up on my sleep even for just a few hours. This has great effect on my running performance the following day.

Avenue of Stars by day.

Avenue of Stars by day.

Around 6pm, when I have rested a bit, we went sightseeing. And when I say sightseeing, I only mean going to the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon side of Hong Kong. This is that famous view of the Hong Kong skyscrapers which we normally see during the New Year celebrations when the tall buildings emit fireworks. It was really cold then. Too bad, I only brought a travelling jacket with me. I have to borrow some anti-cold apparel from a friend in Hong Kong. After a few minutes of photo-op, I can’t stand it anymore. My nose felt painful when I inhale the cold air, and my ears are getting numb. So we headed to the Tsim Tsa Tsui area to eat dinner.

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I specifically want a bowl of soup or ramen, so we decided to drop by Yoshinoya. It is Japanese, but the cold outside is just too much. I need to go indoors where it’s a little warmer. I had a nice Japanese dinner before I headed back to my room.

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Next posts include MTR, Hong Kong by night, and how something from the Philippines benefit runners during the Hong Kong Marathon.

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