Oh dear – 4 hours ago I was weak and floppy with exhaustion and went to sleep. Now, at midnight, I am wide awake again… and a little bit hungry.
I am in Hong Kong. I tried hard to sleep on the plane over in order to trick my body into thinking it was on China time. It worked fine last time I came here but my old body isn’t falling for the same ploy twice. Oh no.
I’m staying at the Cosmic Guesthouse in Kowloon. By the time I got here, at about 10 am, I was already feeling rough. I had no choice but to sleep for a few hours but on waking I still felt sick and feeble.
I hauled myself up and out around lunchtime so I wouldn’t miss the weekly martial arts demonstrations at Kung Fu Corner. It was excellent. Many of the people performing were ‘masters’ so they were a joy to watch, especially the women. Oddly, all of the men demonstrated ‘dragon style’ which, as well as being quite angry looking and ugly to watch, gets pretty boring after the third time. The female masters, on the other hand, demonstrated a number of styles – sometimes alone and sometimes with their students. They used fans and swords (not at the same time) and moved with grace and control.
My favourite was Master Lee. During the demos she was entirely focused, her movements fluid and elegant. However, as soon as she’d finished the sweetest, broadest smile would appear on her face. I wish she was my teacher. Master Lee also showcased some of her pupils, most memorably some little boys. The oldest of these is obviously well on the way to becoming a master himself. He looked about 10 but his strength, focus and control were wondrous to see.
There were also some teenaged boys doing a dragon dance. Once I got the idea that I should watch the dragon and not the boys I became engrossed. The dragon swept it’s sinuous way around the arena, curling and twisting around itself (at one point stopping for a bit of a scratch). It was beautiful.
Afterwards, still feeling ropey, I felt in need of some food therapy. I was pretty sure what would make me feel better but didn’t know how to get it from chinese food. I therefore sought out the only place sure to have what I required: an italian restaurant.
What I needed was cheese and pasta. Oddly this was not as forthcoming as I had hoped. Although billed as a ‘spaghetti house’ the place was still very, very chinese. However, they did a most passable carbonara and I had two glasses of the tastiest and most refreshing beverage (iced honey in lemonade – yum). Post-repast I felt like a new woman. Still sleepy but much better. I had a wander round, scoping out the area (Tsim Sha Tsui) and tracking down some cultural activities for later in the week.
However, as I said earlier, by 8pm I was ready for bed and expecting a solid night’s sleep. Now, at 1.30, I’m still sleepless. I’ve been out in search of cheezy-poofs (and came back with prawn cracker sticks and kiwifruit juice) so i’m no longer hungry. Now I think I’ll just trying reading myself to sleep.