Books, Beers & Beaches

Returning to the amazing city of Hong Kong to try renewing my visa; I head out into manic streets below from my darkened-cupboard of a room at the hostel. After a marathon 20 hour sleep, I head for the biggest book store Hong Kong has to offer.Eslite Hong Kong

Eslite, a Taiwanese luxury book superstore brand (who originally opened Taiwan's first 24 hour book store), is situated across three lavishly designed floors. I find a plethora of books, stationary and magazines up on the 10th of this shopping centre. A lengthy queue engulfs the coffee station which I suspect offers high grade gear for A-list prices.

Down on the 9th floor, amongst a collection of second hand mint-conditioned vinyl, the area is complemented with an artistic display of 12inch instruments in ways I never imagined possible. Vertically, submerged in mountainous ranges, used as an easel - sparking thoughts of the difficulties, creativeness and the obscure ness of the vinyl world. It was an amazing setup and the first pieces of vinyl I've seen for sale in over a year.

After spotting what looked like a normal full breakfast on the menu I realised the name of the place 'the herbivore' meant this was actually some upper class vege place. Ordering the breaky anyway, I skimmed through Anne Frank's Diary before nabbing the contact details for the marketing department. Guan xi (关系 roughly translated as connections) counts for much in China and it would be nice to see our Panda Guide books in fine establishments such as this.

I catch a cab to a spot once frequented by the Papa, Ernest Hemingway. As I sit in a beachside bar, sipping on a fruity Hoegaarden in the 22C winter sun, I take out my pen and paper to scribble some thoughts. Would I have even come to this very oddly named Repulse Beach if it weren't for him I wonder, I doubt it. Did he ever consider that people might follow him around the world many moons after he passed? I doubt it also. I know why he was here though: these are his kind of people. And now, they are my kind of people too; suave, well-educated, sophisticated and filthy rich - everything I am not.

Repulse Bay Hong Kong

I'm certainly not missing the freezing temperatures and climate of Beijing. As the rosy sun sets beyond a mountain top, the Balearic vibe of Hong Kong shows it's face to me for the very first time. I think I like it. A lot. There aren't many places in the world in which I envy the people who work and live there. Brighton is one, Ibiza another, but Hong Kong is quickly climbing up my list of cities I'd love to live in. Maybe one day I will.

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