An unexpected adventure

My department asked me to accompany one of our university guests from the Czech Republic on a tour of Hong Kong.  First thing I thought was OMG!! you have the wrong person for the job. I had a string of reasons why I was not the right person to be a tour guide for anyone because a) I was extremely overwhelmed with the burdens of my data analysis and dissertation writing, I honestly did not have the time b) I do not know Hong Kong enough to be anyone’s tour guide c) I hate touristy things d) I hate waking up in the am for anything and this particular task needed me to be up at 8 am.

The list could go on, but in the end, I gave in. I decided to just go and see what happens. I remember craving coffee when I woke up and this frustrated me because I decided to quit drinking coffee a few months ago and I was managing just fine, until the past few weeks (blame the stress and sleepless nights). I had a feeling the day was going to be terrible, but I resigned myself to it and muttered a silent prayer that at the very least, I manage to get through the day.

I am still surprised to say that the day was actually really amazing. I had an amazing time with Dr. Zdenka from Czech Republic who I was accompanying. She was the most pleasurable company, the conversation was great and we didn’t have to fill in any silent moments with empty words.  It was just comfortable, easy going and it became a cultural exchange between a Czech and Zimbabwean woman. You do not get opportunities like that every day. I was intrigued to realise that we have more in common than people may think in terms of the economic struggles in our two countries. But one would need a lengthy history lesson to fully understand before passing judgment.

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Now on to the adventure. We scaled up Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) which is named due to the 100 floors, the observation desk being on the 100th floor.  It is one of the tallest commercial buildings in the world.

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We got to see a 360-degree view of Hong Kong at 393 metres above sea level.

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To go up the Sky 100 costs 128 HKD which is about 15 USD. The views are worth it. Below is the commercial image of the building from the outside. I could not do it justice with my own phone, so I borrowed this just to show you how it looks.

 

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Image from arup.com

 

Then we booked a private tour on an old fishing boat around Hong Kong harbor. The weather was not very friendly on the day, but it didn’t stop us from having a great time. We had a lovely guide on the boat who regaled us with tales about Hong Kong fishermen from ages ago as we drank some wine and listened to some really cool music (a bit of reggae and soul mix).

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The current owner of the fishing boat is a British gentleman and he has tried to maintain the old look and feel of the Dukling boat. It is the only original Chinese junk remaining in Hong Kong. The cost for a 45-minute tour is 230 HKD which is about 29 USD. This price includes a complimentary drink.

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Afterward, we settled to a nice leisurely lunch and called it a day. I truly had an unexpected adventure. If you are ever in Hong Kong, this would be a good way to pass the time especially when the weather is not good for outdoor activities.

Life lesson: Do not write off things before you try them. Life has a way of surprising us with its twists and turns. Who would have known that I would get to experience culture, beautiful views and history all in one day? We limit ourselves with our comfort zones and thoughts of remaining just as we are with no disturbance. I am glad I went against my initial instinct that they find someone else to be the tour guide because I felt I was inadequate for the task. I have been in Hong Kong for 3 years now and I learned that there are things I have not yet experienced and places I had yet had the pleasure to visit. The experience opened up a new door for me to see life in another way.  I am just sad it took an unexpected adventure to remind me that I might be leaving Hong Kong soon and I have not enjoyed it fully.

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