Friday, February 27, 2009

PAYM Singapore – Hong Kong Youth Exchange Programme 2009 Day 4A

15 February 2009 (Part 1)

Breakfast at Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village was bread toasts with boiled eggs. This reminded me of the Kopitiam breakfast set I had with George. George recalled how the half-boiled eggs looked gross and told me that most of the other Hong Kong delegates thought it so too.

After breakfast, Jonathan briefed everyone about the City Hunt! game. It is a popular orientation game for University students. It is also the case in Singapore. The game resembles Amazing Race, but with some activities that need to be done when at the designated checkpoints. Through City Hunt!, I got to experience Hong Kong in a very wholesome manner. Just like what delegation leader Derrick says, as a normal tourist, one would probably not be roaming around New Territories as complete as we did.

My group comprised of Derrick, Wan Chien, Randy, Kailing and led by Bear, Susan and Jonathan.

Leaving the Youth Village, we took a minibus which took us to our first destination. I learnt that there are two types of minibus services in Hong Kong. The Red minibus drives at a higher speed than the green minibus. Minibuses have speed displays at the front, allowing passengers to view.

First, we went to a public park. As it was Sunday, there were many domestic helpers gathering at the park, enjoying their day off. Some of them were learning dancing near the pond.

We went to Hong Kong Museum of Art and... Snoopy World!

It was an enriching trip to the market, where we get to see so many live creatures that we can't see in the market in Singapore.

As we were enjoying ice cream bought from an ice cream van, we saw some rural settlements.

I realised that New Territories is more newly developed than Hong Kong island and Kowloon. Also, the roads are not as narrow.

To travel on the MTR, we bought our single journey tickets.

We visited a Chinese Temple 车公庙. The temple is characterised by the windmills. Locals believe that if one had experienced bad luck and wanted to change one's luck, one would need to turn the windmill in the clockwise direction and vice versa.

Our quest at the temple is rather cheeky. We were to find out the interpretation of No. 27 sortition stick 灵签, which was the one that spelt the fortune of the Hong Kong government in the year 2009. We found out that it was a very inauspicious one.

When Hong Kongers dine at restaurants, they would soak their utensils into a cup of hot water/tea to cleanse it before eating. Anyway for lunch, I ate 鲜茄会鸡臂饭或意, a dish which fulfilled the quest for its name having more than 7 words.

With some time left before returning to the hotel, our group decided to go So Gai 扫街, meaning trying all the food down the streets, at Mong Kok. I smelled and tasted the fermented beancurd for the first time.

We were lucky to witness a political rally along the streets. It was organised by the Civic Party. There, I chanced upon a party member who had been to NUS as an exchange student. He was wearing the Eusoff Hall shirt, while I was wearing the NUSSU shirt. What a small world!

Special thanks to Jonathan and friends for planning this meaningful activity. They must have put in a lot of effort to ensure that the game is detailed and wholesome.

Everyone checked into the hotel and washed up for the Home Visit...

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