I began the day on a quest for congee. I picked 3-4 restaurants at random, but none had it. In the last one, I pointed to some noodle soup a girl next to me was eating, and said I wanted that. It turned out to be cow stomach noodle soup, and it was wonderful! The beef broth was rich, the stomach tender. The bowl was so big that I couldn’t finish it.
After breakfast, it was time to do some wandering. I picked up a sim card for US$7 with more minutes than I usually use in two months. The alleys are really fun to walk through, vendors have stalls out all along the walls, and cars aren’t allowed through. I noticed after a while that there were shop doors behind the vendors, two layers of shopping! I found a place that sells designer underwear, and a place that sells toddler sized wetsuits. I found a tiny shop that sold durian chips. I followed some drums to a lion dance in front of the Rolex store!
I returned from my walk to find that Kathy had returned, and wanted to take me on a mini-tour of the area. She showed me where to get congee and where the immigration building was. We picked up some sandwiches to eat on the waterfront.
As pretty as the waterfront was during the day, I returned to see what it looked like after dark. It was a place transformed! The usual city haze combined with the large amount of light in the city means it’s never really dark here. My camera couldn’t deal with the weird light levels, the place was absolutely beautiful. Colored light designs dart around on many of the buildings, tracing out patterns, flowers, words, and celebrations of the year of the tiger. Many of the designs moved, changed, shifted around. The flower pattern building that I was unable to capture seemed to have flowers growing, changing in color, and having their petals blown away.
I stopped by the red light district on my way back to the apartment, which Kathy had assured me was perfectly safe. She was right. Young women in sparse clothing and big black boots hang out in front of strip clubs – they ignored me. In between strip clubs were regular clubs and bars, I looked up to locate some Gwen Stefani music to see an English pub. There were nice bars with well-dressed westerners sipping martinis. I found a pizza place, a tapas place, and a very busy place selling kebabs. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was underdressed for this area in my slacks and t-shirt. It was getting late, so I decided to return another night in more appropriate attire.