On Sunday, May 7th, Chu Sum and I went to a park in West Kowloon with his family for a picnic. it was a special day out in celebration of Chu Sum's mum's birthday. We played Frisbee, taught a girl how to ride a street surfboard and ate some classic Cantonese food.
That night we went out again to continue celebrating Chu Sum's mum's birthday at a traditional Cantonese restaurant.
The next day I wandered around with my friend Ayden who, later that month, had invited me to be a guest at his wedding in Vietnam. We visited Ayden's old high school where he used to teach English; an experience which, quite surprisingly, had turned out to be one of several that we had in common. In fact, up till about two years before, we had been living parallel lives. We both had traveled Australia and New Zealand over the same 2.5 years and then made the transition to teaching in Hong Kong. It was there that we met through mutual friends and found out that we both had, not only the same job, but the same history. After our nostalgic visit to his old school, we had lunch and went on an exciting hunt for wedding tablecloth fabric.
Over the next couple days I continued wandering around primarily on foot until I made some new friends on Hong Kong (HK) island. After they told me about their time living in HK as students at HKU we walked around the island a bit. We eventually ended up at Happy Valley where we watched the horses a bit and watched some new age musical performance by a band of local hipsters. Finally, we took the street car across the island. It was getting late by this point but I lucked out with a minibus that happened to be going directly back to Chu Sum's place.
The next day I met up with another teaching friend, Debbie. We went to Ning Po Secondary School where she teaches and I joined a couple classes as a guest teacher. After I finished reliving my days of teaching English in Hong Kong, we went out for Yum Cha then returned for the students' talent show. As with most student events in Hong Kong, it was quite long but this one was reasonably entertaining. They did lots of singing, dancing, plays with the typical "work hard or fail" moral, etc. You could tell that most of them had spent several months preparing, if not years. After the show we navigated the trusty HK public transportation system on our way to a home meeting for dinner.
Getting around Hong Kong really does make you appreciate how well a well-designed public transport system can work. Still, Hong Kong being the exception, I could never really see myself depending on public transport in the long term. Most of these systems just don't even come close to providing the sense of mobility that one gets from having their own vehicle - this includes bicycles.