I am the sweatiest man alive.
Not in general. Just right now. Hong Kong is sweltering, even at night. And I pity the fool that has to smell me- even after one very well-deserved shower. It's been the longest travel day of my life. 14 hours across a number of time zones has put me ahead a day and some change. Factoring in the zones I've flown over, I haven't slept since Wednesday. It is now the end of Friday.
Hong Kong is a perfect city. I feel this immediately. The energy, the culture, the whole shebang. I'm staying in the Chungking Mansions- world renowned for being the shady little center of HK. And it's absolutely friggin' wonderful. I totally get what those hipsters are about when they move to the Mission (SF) and rave about living among gang violence and cultural differences. I'm in a 17-story building, surrounded by African and South Asian immigrants, most on temporary visas or asylum seeker status. I've been offered more hash and watches than a Nigerian gangster could shake a stick at. There's a 7-11 on every corner.
I celebrated my first night in HK by wondering aimlessly around Kowloon, the district that will be my home for the next 9 months. It's incredible. Neon and back alleys everywhere, but each storefront extends 20 stories into the air. I treated myself to a pint of Hoegaarden at a bar that served large beers and tiny peanuts. AC/DC was blaring and I was the only white guy in the joint, but it felt good. A pint takes the edge off of Hong Kong. It's an intimidating place. That's not to say that I'm not up to the challenge. Already, I'm walking around Chunging, ordering Indian food and brushing off the shadier elements like they're old friends.
But I have this distinct feeling that I'm going to get the shit kicked out of me.
I can't explain it. I just feel like somehow, somewhere, I'm going to get my ass whupped. Not in a "I'm too weak/frail/unawares" sort of way, but more like "this is my destiny. I must face it." It's a strange feeling to have. It's not even that I'm sketched out or wary when walking around. I haven't seen one person that has sent bad vibes my way. But I think it's going to happen at some point.
Tomorrow, I have to look for a new hostel. Hopefully I'll get one for more than one night. I think the Chungking Mansions will be home until school starts.
Now where the hell do I get bed sheets?
Tomorrow: HK in the daylight