When Barry greeted me on my arrival at Ascension House with "I think you are where you are not meant to be," he was so very right. I am now, in a small compact hotel room with an urban view and its very own bathroom. (I can't tell you how much I wanted to put those last three words in all caps.) And as Gerard Depardieu said in City of Ghosts, "There are no monkeys in my hotel."
I'm in the textile area, on Pleather Street, otherwise known as Tai Nan in Sham Shui Po. It's an area I always wanted to stay in and now here I am. Tomorrow I'll explore. This afternoon I'm wiped out from hauling my big suitcase up a series of staircases (Therese the co-manager, bless her, carried the other one), and then on a series of MTR escalators and trains. I have every respect now for the mainlanders with their rolling suitcases--they are working damned hard when they get their luggage/shopping carts on and off trains and down crowded streets and through the malls.
I did stop at a sweet little cafe on this street where I had a cold chocolate with lavender--heaven, I tell you. I took a photo of Bad Boy Recycling, complete with bad boy sitting at the entrance. I didn't get a photo of the two elderly gentlemen sitting near the curb, each with a very large beer at 1 in the afternoon, living large. I met a local laundryman, who will wash my clothes for a tiny fraction of the 80 dollars (US mind you) that my hotel would have charged. I am a happy old broad indeed.
Tomorrow I'll go out into the world and wander and enjoy the noise and clutter and delightfulness of this part of Kowloon. The flower market is waiting, along with things that I have no idea are there. But tonight I'm going to wallow in solitude--after weeks of communal living, damn, it does feel good.