Chinese New Year in Hong Kong; Monday

Vince and I woke up early. We tried to be as quiet as possible but it is not real easy and I am sure we woke everybody up at least once. Kai was still in bed and started talking really loudly but if you ask her she was whispering. She whispers like small children do which means almost normal speaking volume. She just wanted to tell us to have a good time and that we might see her later. We headed out and waited for Tami and her son to join us. Then we caught a cab and headed to Grappa’s Cellar to watch the Super Bowl. We went early to ensure that we got the best of the seats that were not already reserved for this event. So we watched a mostly empty room fill up as it got closer to kick off. The nice thing about seeing the Super Bowl in the morning is that the food spread was breakfast. I ate bacon, eggs and toast while I watched the game. I also had coffee and orange juice. It was a buffet included in the entry price and it lasted until some time during the 3rd quarter. I ate a lot that morning. I could have had alcoholic drinks there, people around us were but I wanted to be up for a fun day once the game ended. Drinking too much would make me need to go to sleep and well it was just too early for me. My team had been knocked out of the playoffs by the Panthers and that meant I did not have a dog in the fight. So when I was asked before the game who I would root for I said; “If either team wins all of us lose.” At the game I decided, because a lot of friends were rooting for the Broncos, that I wanted to root against the team from Colorado. I was rooting for the Panthers despite knowing that they were the team that stopped my team from being in the Super Bowl. Of course that meant that I watched the Broncos thoroughly beat the Panthers in a mostly defensive game. I got a little crap from a Denver fan but I just repeated “If either team wins we all lose. Which means everybody lost today.”

Tami and her son headed back to the hotel to get some sleep because they knew we had a long night ahead of us with the parade. Kai was heading back to Shenzhen and I have no idea what Heather and Sunia were doing. Vince and I headed to Mong Kok to get our boat ticket for the Tuesday’s firework show. Then we began wandering the streets. They were setting up the Ladies Market. It is always amazing to me to see that they tear everything down each night and rebuild it every afternoon. We kept walking though. In fact that is how you could summarize the entirety of the day… we just kept walking.

We walked through the area that the Temple Street market sets up, it was empty. We wandered Nathan Road and saw that only some restaurants and jewelry stores were open. Most everything else was closed for the holiday. We wandered past a young group of kids doing a dragon dance. We went into a temple. We oggled cartoon character statues. I bought a new lens cap for my camera and then we were back at Tsim Sha Tsui walking along the evening’s parade root. We had hours left to kill so we walked through a fancy mall. Then we tried to wrangle up some people for dinner but nobody answered the calls. I steered us toward a middle eastern place and had a falafel wrap.

After we ate, we decided to find a spot for the parade even though we were still hours away from the start time. Eventually Tami and her son joined us and Sunia and Heather told us they already had a spot. So we waited and the crowd came and we waited some more. What was nice was that they a band set up and play while we waited and some parade entertainers did a few laps through all in an effort to keep us entertained until the real parade began. We chose a spot near the end of the parade and with hind sight as a guide I might decide to move closer to the beginning of the parade because a lot of the people in the parade seemed worn out when they came by us. We did not know that at the time though and we had great spots to view things that came by. We were up next to the barricades with nobody in front of us blocking our view. The band played quite a few Chinese songs but most of the stuff they played were English songs. The female singer was fond of singing Adele.

A kid pushed his way in between me and a family that was on my left shortly before the parade began. He elbowed and shoved and I hated him. He was basically standing between me and the barricade and would elbow me to climb the barricade. I had images of toppling him over the barricade a few times. This was making me feel a little guilty because he was like an 8 year old kid but I did not like him. What made it worse were his parents stood  behind me and they were pressing into me. They were basically glued to me and I felt like a cushion that they wanted to lean against. They did it more then once and I started moving a lot which meant the kid would cram in front of me while I  moved to dislodge the parent who rested his arm on my back. Of course that was when the parade started and this annoying family just kept getting closer and stealing more of my room. I was regretting being at the parade the entire time this kid and his parents from Hell were there and eventually I started refusing to budge and I also planted my feet and pushed back against his parents too. I was done and I was on the verge of telling them off when the girls in the family that had been next to me from the beginning started getting angry and pushing the little annoying kid. Eventually the shoving intrusive family got the hint and decided it was time to leave the foreigners be (the family next to me were European). The space behind me was filled by the throngs of people behind me but the nice family and I managed to keep people out of that area between us. The people behind me this time were not glued to me like his family had been and my tension drained and I was able to enjoy the rest of the parade. I hope you like the pictures.

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