Friday, February 27, 2009

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

15 February 2009 (Part 2)

The most exciting part of the whole exchange programme is finally here - Home Visit!

Connie played host to Vivian and me. From the Yau Ma Tei 油麻地 station, we took the MTR to 荔景 and then took a minibus which took us up a hill to Connie's residence.

According to Connie, she is the only Hong Kong delegate residing in public housing. I thought it would provide a more meaningful experience to visit a house where the commoners would be staying in.

Walking along the corridors remind us of the familiar setting of Hong Kong TV drama. I asked if residents could alter their gates into more fanciful ones and the answer is NO, because those are government's property.

As compared to Singapore's unit, the units here are much smaller. Anyway, Connie's Mum prepared some home delicacies for us. Soup was served before dinner. We enjoyed dinner with the occasional chat and the television.

From our discussion, I understand that there are minimal interactions among neighbours. There was a residents' committee but Connie's family had never been approached by the members in their many years of stay. Also, there is a big divide between the rich and the average citizens. They reside in different areas (the rich would usually stay on high grounds or near the sea).

After dinner, Connie brought us up to the top floor of the apartment for us to enjoy the breathtaking view.

Residents' Committee noticeboard:

As we walked down the alleys towards the shopping centre, Connie explained to us about the indigenous Hong Kongers. The Hong Kong Government had given them land in compensation for their relocation. Each clan would usually share the same surname. They can also inherit the land to their descendants.

Vivian and I weren't so into shopping, so we didn't stay in the malls for long. I had my first bargaining experience, trying hard to push down the price for my new bag and which I got it.

It was raining and fogging by the time we reached the ferry terminal. We were afraid that the ferry ride get cancelled due to the bad weather. Luckily it didn't. Along the way, we saw the Hong Kong's version of Big Ben.

Purchasing the ticket for the ferry ride:

We got to see the International Financial Centre (IFC)

Some roads are closed during the weekend...

Connie brought us to see the Legislative Council Building.

And then we embarked on a tram ride. Hong Kongers call it "Ding Ding", the sound of the horn from trams. We enjoyed the breeze and the beautiful night sceneries.

I attempted many shots and finally photographed the tram in front of ours. I found it amusing when the lady in that tram was also trying to photograph our tram.

A New Year greeting banner by a politician.

Stefanie Sun!!

Our tram ride took us from Central to Causeway Bay.

After bidding farewell to Connie, a few of us went to MacDonald's for supper. Vivian and I were so certain that our home visit was the most exciting, thanks to our host Connie!

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