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Happy Hong Kong Halloween

You think you know. But you have no idea. This is the true Hollywood Hong Kong story of a Halloween night out on the town dressed as a caveman and a cereal killer.

I kid you not, we must have posed for at least 50 photos before we even got to the turnstile to board the train.

And once we boarded the train…

…we posed for several more photos on the train…

…and yet more after exiting the train at our stop…

For the first time in my life I’ve come to realize what it must be like to be a celebrity. From one camera to the next, flash after flash, photo after photo. At one point there must have been a crowd of 50 or so people all surrounding us waiting for their turn to take a photo with us. It was INSANE I tell you! At one point we just had to cut people off (no pun intended) and walk away. And that’s when people would bring out the big guns and come up to you with their babies in a pumpkin costume and lay on the guilt trip. Now how can you say no to that? You just can’t. So of course we got wrangled into about two dozen more photos before we finally ducked out from the flashes of the paparazzi.

Had we know just how many people there were out in the streets snaking around downtown Hong Kong, we would have evacuated much sooner. It was a massive parade of people. I’d say it was the equivalent — as far a density of humans — to the millennium celebration in Las Vegas. Just a ridiculous amount of people.

Some in costume…

…and some not – just out to have a good time…

…and take photos…

…with all the freaks!

At one point there was even a little Cro-Magnon theme going on… friggin’ traitors! I knew I couldn’t trust them with my fire!

At least I bagged myself a real live injun!

Before I found one of the best costumes of the night.

It was by far one of the most fun Halloween experiences of my life. I HIGHLY suggest everyone tries dressing up in Hong Kong to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve at least once in their life. You won’t be sorry.

The Ascension To Wisdom

Did you know that Hong Kong is made up from over 260 islands? Neither did I.

New wisdom!

Did you know that Lantau Island is the largest of the islands in Hong Kong? Neither did I.

New wisdom!

And did you know that on that island there is a cable car system…

…that runs 5.7km from the bay…

…up to 800 meters above sea level to the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddah?

Neither did we.

New wisdom.

268 steps up, sits the 34 meters tall, 250 ton, world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha.

I bet HE’S got some wisdom.

A 10 minute walk from Buddah is the Wisdom Path.

38 timber columns carved with a 260-word Heart Sutra erected in the shape of the symbol for infinity. As in, infinite wisdom.

And here now is a passage of one version of a translation of the Heart Sutra

Here, Sariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form;
emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from
emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness,
that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and

Here, Sariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness; they are not
produced or stopped, not defiled or immaculate, not deficient or

Therefore, Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form, nor feeling, nor
perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness; No eye, ear, nose, tongue,
body, mind; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of
mind; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to: No
mind-consciousness element; There is no ignorance, no extinction of
ignorance, and so forth, until we come to: there is no decay and death, no
extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no
stopping, no path. There is no cognition, no attainment and

Whoa. That’s deep.

I now leave you to ponder the meaning with this imagery of Tian Tan Buddah overlooking Lantau Island, as seen from the Wisdom Path.

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors

This weeks blog is brought to you by the fine people at some company I have no idea what they do, or what they sell or even what their name is. But at least they have amazing t-shirts!

From what I’m able to gather from their “marketing materials” they produce some yellowish gel that when fried up in a skillet by a yellowish turd, helps to cure dry scalp while simultaneously arousing any women within an odor wafting radius.

Sure sounds refreshing, don’t it?

It’s now available in fine stores near you, including Butt Fast Food Centre — where it comes out, just as fast as it went in! Or your money back! Guaranteed!

The Highs And The Lows

The Chinese really have a way with words. English words in particular.

After a long 15+ hour flight from Los Angeles, to Hong Kong, we checked into our hostel inside the Chungking Mansions. Now that may sound luxurious, but let me tell you from first hand experience that it’s not. I think it may be the worlds record for furthest from the truth.

Chungking Mansions features a labyrinth of curry restaurants, African bistros, clothing shops, sari stores, knock-off electronic retailers and foreign exchange offices on the first two floors. The remaining 15 floors are mostly residential and guest houses. The strange atmosphere of this building is sometimes called “the scent of Kowloon’s Walled City”. If there was a tagline for CKM it would be “We put the shack in ramshakle.” In all fairness, the hostel rooms aren’t THAT bad (except for the fact that the toilet is in the shower) it’s just the rest of the building is a total dump. On the bright side, it’s in a really great location… for hookers and drug dealers (if that’s your sorta thing) despite the posted signage.

Now in defense of the prostitutes and pushers (cuz lord knows they need all the help they can get), I’m not sure if this sign is in references to peddling your products to passer-bys, or if it’s in reference to hawking up a loogie and spitting, since there are signs elsewhere in the city that indicate spitting carries a $1,500.00 fine!

OK, OK. Enough of the negatives. We’re in a new country and on a new continent… let’s try to focus on the positives. Sorry, it’s just that I get a little cranky when I’m jet lagged. For one, the weather here is great! A low of 25°C and a high of 26°. Secondly, Hong Kong has some remarkable architecture, and some mega structures that boggle the mind. It has one of the most impressive city skylines I’ve seen thus far, and the engineering is to be applauded.

This photo doesn’t really do the skyline justice, but it was a bit foggy today, and this was taken from a ferry on choppy water as we crossed from Kowloon island to Hong Kong island. But you’ll see more of the skyline in just a minute.

Below is one of my favorite buildings, the Jardine House.

And another is the very geometrically funky Bank of China Tower.

Here are a few more whose names I am unsure of, but looked kinda cool.

I loved the imagary of this giant crane in front of the AIG Tower. Perhaps they are going to tear it down and sell it for parts to try and recoup their losses?

Along many of the streets it was clear that Halloween was in the air as many vendors were busy setting up decorations for the upcoming street festival.

And others were busy selling costumes.

Which is just what we needed…

… so we could spend some of these really cool Hong Kong dollars on costumes.

The $10 bill is made of a thin plastic like material. Very cool and virtually indestructible (we tried tearing it and couldn’t). I imagine many world currencies will begin switching to this type of bill shortly as it’s much more durable and lasts way longer than paper bills.

So after picking up a few items for our costumes, we grabbed a quick snack at some pastry shop that was making these egg based inverted waffle-like snacks. They smelled great…

…so we grabbed one for the road…

…and munched on it during the windy bus ride up to The Peak.

The Peak Tower is about 396 meters above sea level and from here you can really see that amazing city skyline I was talking about!

Kudos Hong Kong!

A Weekend In Cali

After 3 months of trekking through Europe we unexpectedly found ourselves in Los Angeles (5 months early) last weekend. In true “Mastercard” fashion, I’ve eloquently summed up the outcome of flying from Berlin, to L.A., to Hong Kong, in the span of less than 4 days.

An extra 13,000 miles of air travel = $2,500

Lack of sleep for 96 hours = Sick with the Flu

29 hours of combined flying = Extreme jet lag

Seeing friends after 90 days of travel = PRICELESS

What were we thinking???

Flip Cup at On the Rocks

Jason and Alex instructing Mangum to buck-up.

Jay and Tina

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