It's just past midnight, the morning of Thursday April 2. My flight arrived about 8pm, I got to the hotel at 10pm, unpacked and took a stroll, and made sure my communications worked. All good; it's amazing how things work out sometimes.
I'm staying at the Novotel Hotel in Jordan, just on the east (hilly) side of Nathan Road. I had been hoping to stay further north, at the mainland-oriented Langham Place, but it was out of my price range. This Novotel used to be called The Majestic until only recently, and was a favorite of many visitors. I got an internet special on an "executive" room, a little larger than a typical Hong Kong room (which isn't saying much), connectivity and breakfast buffet.
The room number is 1313, which is strange for someone in North America to see, but at least it's not 444, and I'm pretty sure 888 is already booked. It's on an offstreet to Nathan Road, and is much quieter than any place I've stayed in the bustle of Tsim Tsa Shui. A quick walk to the Jordan MTR station, taking me to all points north.
Flight was uneventful -- just packed, and I was in a center seat on the four-seat middle aisle, but with young ladies from Phillippines and Hong Kong on either side, and we were all respectful with the elbow space. With a slight delay it turned out to be a fifteen-hour ride, but those get easier with practice. There were a couple of loud motormouths nearby, but it's easier to take when they're speaking a language I'm studying. ;-)
After unpacking I strolled the neighborhood, got my compass bearings, picked up ssome beer, juice, and yogurt for the morning. It's fun to be back in a place where the 7-11s are interesting.
One of the big surprises was how much the streetscape came back... the banyan trees at Public Square Park near the Tien Ho temple... the fortunetellers on Temple St... the ad-hoc outdoor karaoke groups competing in cacophony. I saw some fishballs and stinky tofu, but I've only had a few short naps during the past 24 hours, and didn't want to eat much yet.
Tomorrow is a recuperation day, get some cash, maybe a sauna and massage, just relax and get oriented. Should be drizzle throughout the week, with heavier rain expected Saturday. I've dogeared a lot of historical walks, but haven't yet scheduled them out.
The goal of this, my third trip to Hong Kong: to get a clearer idea of how people actually live here, away from the bustle of the dense touristy areas, and to find as much history and nature as I can.
And the sooner I get to sleep, the sooner I can start doing that. ;-)