Saturday, March 31, 2007

fine things

Today I rode the famous Star Ferry to Kowloon. This ferry is a mere $1.7 HK--which is an incredible deal. Unfortunately, I didn't get to take advantage of this deal because I thought it said $17. and dropped two $10. coins in the slot before I realized my error. I really kicked myself on that as I am running low on HK cash.

In Kowloon, Amy and I went to the Jade Market, an indoor marketplace with hundreds and hundreds of stalls selling jade, jewelry and other fine things.

I was, ironically, explicited instructed NOT to buy any jade at the Jade Market. Jade has too many variables such color consistency and purity that determine its value--all of them very difficult to judge to an untrained eye. Any attempt to buy "some nice jade" would undoubtably be taken advantage of by the ruthless bargaining vendors.

So instead, I stuck to the lesser value objects, such as the vegetable ivory carvings. These hand-carved figurines are made from a Tagua nut; it has a similiar appearance to ivory and no elephants were de-tusked.

With my wallet empty and my hands full of Tagua nut souvenirs, we went to the Pennisula, the "Grand Old Lady of Kowloon" hotel, for the high tea served in their opulent lobby.

It was very British, complete with delicate cucumber sandwiches and scones. I felt very aristocratic, nibbling on my crust-less triangles of bread and sipping tea poured from real silver teapots. Suddenly, my chagrin of losing $18. from the Star Ferry seemed so bourgeois.