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I really thought President of China Hu Jintao and I had an understanding. A rapport, if you will. He keeps the entire HK Convention Center to himself (a set of high-rise buildings about 9 square blocks), and I get to keep my hotel room. He doesn't bother me, I don't bother him.

But I was wrong. Tonight I couldn't get back into to my hotel for two hours after having spent an awesome day at Lantau Island observing the giant Buddha statue. I was tired and sweaty and I had my heavy-ass photo bag on my shoulders...Getting off the Wan Chai subway station I was already dreaming of getting into a cool dry room with a bottle or a can of something interesting and just laying down a bit...and then I saw this crap:

As I was traversing my usual path through the overpasses down to Harbour Road, it turned out that everything and everywhere is blocked by police. There were barricades, fences and cops. Harbour Road was cut in half by heavy police vehicles, like they do during riots. Apparently, there was some kind of demonstration or protest. As I was standing near the glass in the building connected to the overpass looking down at folks waving green glowsticks and chanting, I asked one dude what the gathering was about. He said the people were for democracy, and since the President is in the Convention Center, the show is for him. I managed to turn the corner from Fleming onto Harbor Road only to hit a final barricade and a categorical (but polite) "Sorry Sir, you can't pass here". From there, I could clearly see one of the English signs from the protest: "Stop prosecution of Falun Gong".

So for a while I just sat there on a sidewalk, with all my photo crap, a can of tea and a bag of chocolate, observing minor police action:

When I saw that police truck backing up to the entrance where the action was taking place, I thought it was a prisoner transport vehicle, "voronok". In addition, shit starting heating up as I could hear the first "Fuck you"s of the night. So I figured there's about to be some skull-breaking. But no dice, all went nice and quiet -- the truck turned out to be just that, a truck, into which they proceeded to load something from the barricaded area, God knows what. I got bored and left.

Ultimately though, I had to go back to up to Wan Chai station and circle back to the hotel from the other end of Harbour Road. The barricades and police started right at the hotel's door, but fortunately they let people in and out...
cryowizard: (South Park)

The Chinese President is messing with my plans to see the giant Buddha statue on Lantau Island. That guy just won't go away as if he owns this place. Oh, wait a minute...

Phone pic

Jun. 29th, 2012 08:13 pm
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Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor at dusk, as seen from Morning Walk at Victoria Peak.

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Well, that's it for the work part. Checked out at the office, returned the badge, cried.

Now, for the fun of it, Hong Kong has declared Typhoon Warning level 3. That's what normal people call storm warning. Level 8 is when everything closes, cabs dont ride, and people are encouraged to stay indoors. According to everyone, this bullcrap is supposed to blow over by tomorrow morning. We'll see.

HK weather 20120629

And for the extra credit fun, Chinese President Hu Jintao has landed in Hong Kong and is either staying or is set to deliver a speech at the Hong Kong Convention Center, which just so happens to be across the street from my hotel and thus obviously on the route of the presidential cortege. To say that security has been high is to grossly understate the affairs. I have never seen the type of interlinked funky barricades they have been erecting all day, and the triple-Z linked metal fences...People are starting to pool up everywhere with video cameras, despite gathering storm clouds, to see the Dear Leader. Police officers have been stationed at literally every window on the two blocks leading to the entrance to the (huge) convention center.

I am getting out there for food. It's getting late so I doubt I will get any decent shots of the President's arrival but maybe the phone camera will do the trick.
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Read more... )

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Amazingly enough, I had almost no big time jet lag issues, despite Hong Kong being exactly 12 hours ahead of NYC. Perhaps it was  my almost total lack of sleep for two previous days or the melatonin regimen suggested by the my friend [ profile] nafania (thanks for that), but ultimately the major headache I expected (like the one I had in Australia 10 years ago) did not materialize. A bit of a hum I did have subsided in late afternoon, and that was pretty much it -- a major adjustment in just 24 hours. This is not to say I am not jet lagged -- I do crash around 9-10pm and wake up at 6am (and those who know me will attest to this being very unnatural for me). However, I am active during the day with no ill effects and I sleep during the night. What else can one ask for.

The weather, however, does not let up. It rains on and off pretty much the entire day.One can, however, time a quick walk so that you don't get too soaked. I grabbed my camera, stuck a 16-35 VR on it and went out during just such a window. Walked around Wan Chai, Convention Center, Victoria Park, Causeway Bay. Shot a bunch of pix, will post later when I have upload capabilities.
cryowizard: (Default)
Sixteen hours in the air go by pretty fast when you're in a business class seat. Cathay Pacific does it right, I have to say. Great service, food, entertainment. Comfortable flat bed has its uses for my 190cm, although it it designed mostly for people who sleep on their back, one of whom I am not. Regardless of the bed's comfort however, I didn't sleep a wink which, coupled with the fact that I slept about 3 hours the night before I left, had me going on my 50th or so hour without sleep by the time I finally went under in my hotel room in Wan Chai. And of course I am up at 6am today.

Hong Kong greeted me with on-and-off all day torrential downpours, and there seems to be no letting off on that any time soon -- weather forecast has showers and thunderstorms all the way through next Friday when I leave for Tokyo. This puts a royal dent into my photography. I hope this mess will sort itself out next week -- I will still have three days left in Hong Kong after I come back from Tokyo, including a Saturday...

Last night stopped by for a quick bite at what can only be described as a local McDonalds for sushi lovers -- a ubiquitous joint called Genki Sushi. Sushi prices are about the same here as they are in NYC -- about $18 USD gets you a decent variety. Fun part is that Genki has a sushi conveyor that runs around the entire joint. Took a video of that -- will upload when I get a chance.

Off looking for breakfast.


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