My intention was to go to Mong Kok to pick up some dvds before V picked up his suits from last week, but as soon as we got off the bus serendipitiously we landed right in front of a shop which seemed to have great clothes for extremely cheap prices. Mong Kok and TST are full of these shops – the only catch to the great prices is that you can’t try the clothes on. Which is very painful because I really cannot even buy a t-shirt without trying it on and so many of the tops here, which look so good on the hanger, end up making me look pregnant when I put them on.
Anyway, I bought a dress and a very tiny denim cut-off skirt (which they allowed me to try – the skirt not the dress, weird). Then proceeded to the dvd shop where you get all the latest and old ones (from Casablanca to The Sound of Music) and its all nicely cataloued – alphabetically and also according to the star, so if you’re say a Mel Gibson fan you only have to look under his name for all his movies.
For dinner, I decided that I needed to eat dal and rice – so we headed to Chung King Mansion. Now Chung King is like Little India – with shops selling Indian provisions that include Close Up toothpaste and Kurkure as if people cannot even adapt to Chinese toothpaste, and the dvds of the latest Indian movies – except there are a number of Nigerians and some Chinese shops there too, all of which lends an air of seediness. Its especially apparent if you didn’t plan on going there at all and are wearing a pair of tiny shorts like me.
V assured me that the restaurants on the top floors are supposed to be quite decent and as soon as we got there were accosted by a guy/tout who insisted we follow him to Delhi Club Mess restaurant. I was beginning to get apprehensive as we followed him down the corridor but luckily he just dropped us to the elevator where we were instructed to go to ‘teesri mala’ (yes everyone speaks to you in Hindi here if you look Indian even if you’re wearing unIndian shorts). The difference was in the elevator – everyone crammed in in stark opposition to the general practice in HK which is for the people in front to not move back at any cost even if the person getting in is old or pregnant, and then someone came running and the guy behind me completely jumped over me to press the ‘open door’ button, a bit much and completely different to the rest of HK where people are known to just watch the elevator door closing in your face.
It turned out the elevator didn’t even stop on the third floor and we landed on the fourth which was the Pakistani floor. When we got there all the restaurants looked slightly upward from a dhabha. It’s amazing how hometowns are replicated in another country – replete with plastic table covers, dustly plastic flowers and calenders hung up as decoration. The waiters all spoke Hindi and there was this one guy who seemed to have popped in from another restaurant and was taking orders and convincing customers to eat more – so typical of India, where neighbours feel free to just drop by, but not in HK where it’s something of an achievement that we have a conversation with our neighbours even.
There were these two Chinese girls who seemed to be completely at sea and kept giggling.
When my dal came it was kind of like the dal that one’s mum might make at home – not what one would expect in a restaurant but good for my tummy I guess. The portions were really small by HK standards and given the place and prices, the least they could have done was give us was bigger portions. The funny bit was that the mineral water was actually an Indian brand like they had imported it or something and they actually brought out tap water in the mineral water bottle initially just like India. Unfortunately when we got home, both of us threw up the dinner so clearly that wasn’t the best idea.