Saturday, December 10, 2011

First day continued: The Temple of Mammon

In quest of lunch, or a late breakfast or whatever, I had my first encounter with HK mall culture. The entire place is littered with vast, glitzy, high-end shopping malls that are like palaces crossed with spaceships. Sometimes I would emerge into one from a subway station and have trouble finding my way out. This is the IFC Mall, right below International Finance Centre 2 and right above my Airport Express stop.

Monument to the unknown shopper, with real shopper:

I like the action-packed exit signs:

Not sure I want to know what this place sells:

Absurdly early Christmas decorations: a universal language. Carols over the P.A. systems started in my second week there.

These are indeed severed pigs' legs on display at the meat counter of the fancy-schmancy grocery store in the mall:

Dude, story of my life:

If it's the new style, why do we have to redefine it already?

Let's ask this guy.

Wait, let's not.

I finally got some food and took it up to the lovely roof deck of the mall.

Looking north across Victoria Harbor to the Kowloon district:

The beigey-pinky twin ski slopes right on the waterfront are the Cultural Centre - notorious not only for its homeliness, but for having no windows looking out onto one of the most spectacular harbor views in the world.

I think that off to the northwest this is the Tsing Yi Bridge, which I had just passed under in the Airport Express train. The haze is the ever-present smog, which gets worse every year - much of it is blown over the border from mainland China to the north, with its breakneck-pace industrialization and lax pollution controls. (It doesn't help that the camera is on extreme zoom.)

My first meal in Hong Kong - some pork and preserved vegetable congee (the Chinese rice porridge that's a breakfast and snack staple). I think it also came with a roast pork bun. Oddly enough, this is the first congee I ever had, despite all my chowing in Manhattan's Chinatown. I'm just cautious about goopy food. But it's actually pretty good. The IFC2 tower is reflected in the tabletop.

Looking back south at Central, with The Peak behind (a skyscraper skyline with mountains behind felt really odd to me):

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