HK 1: Dizzying Choice and a Relaxing Roof

Visiting the City of Lights for the summer, I began my Tuesdays in the middle of it all. No matter the time of day, Hong Kong is alive with action. People, ranging from all walks of life, saunter to their destinations with purpose. These rushes of faces make lazy strolls impossible. As such, your eyes flicker between the dizzying skyline, the enticing adverts, and the congested street view. The phenomenon is best experienced in the centre of Causeway Bay. With the shopping malls of Causeway Bay Plaza, Times Square, and Hysan Place clustered together in walking distance, even on a Tuesday the district is a flurry of action.

My first stop for the day was Eslite. A major Taiwanese book chain, Eslite boasts the largest English section in the country. Transported to Hong Kong with its flagship store in Hysan Place, the shop encompasses three entire floors. A brilliant assortment of genres covers the store space. From literature, photography, history, poetry, and developing business acumen, Eslite has something for everyone. In true Hong Kong fashion, there is a neat unit of books simply labeled as ‘Success’; something everyone in this city strives to achieve.

 

Not only a booklover’s paradise, Eslite also caters to the shopaholic in you. Beauty products, Taiwanese snacks, records and players, stationary, and enchanting cafés divide sections of the store, adding further to the entertainment of the experience. A lover of the classic vinyl sound, I poured over the new record players. Thank god for its mainstream revival.

Leaving Eslite with Lang Laev’s ‘Love and Misadventures’ and the Chinese translation of Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Midnight’, we headed off to Times Square to admire its summer display. Always a photo-op for the latest Pixar blockbuster, this year Times Square is peppered with larger-than-life sculptures of the main cast of ‘The Incredibles 2’. Shamelessly photographing and posing with the superhero family, we then headed into the MTR (or subway) station and off to Central.

Ending our little adventure near IFC, we took a break on the rooftop of Pier 3. With the meta name Pier 3 Bar, the outdoor venue is a quiet haven. With the ferry pier running a service to and back from Discovery Bay, the majority of its clientele are Discovery Bay residents. A clear view of Tsim Sha Tsui and IFC are provided, making Pier 3 Bar a photographic gem.

Ordering an iced milk tea and vegetable samosas, my friend parched his thirst with a refreshing Blue Girl – clearly worth waiting for. The same could be said for my orders. A perfect blend of savoury and sweet, the milk tea hit the spot on a humid day. The samosas, well stuffed and containing complementary, complicated flavours, was so delicious that we quickly ordered more.

Heading our separate ways, I read Laev’s heart-wrenching masterpiece as the city vanished behind me.

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