Mostly we took walks. It was good to be away, and not for too long. There seemed to be a parallel cat convention at the university where we were. There was significant wildlife activity in the area in the form a tree screaming with crickets, a lone bird with a three-tone whistle, dandy poodles, and an unfortunate encounter with bed bugs at the hostel.

fat cat, smug

fat cats, asleep

It felt like Manila with its chaos and crowds and minus the necessary paranoia. It felt like nowhere else with its ridiculously green mountains interspersed with shiny skyscrapers and its ominous clouds. I loved the bridges and derricks, the subway system, the reliable maps, the trustworthy signs and arrows. Along D’Aguilar Street we found the spot where Rizal’s clinic once stood, Starbucks in its place. We took the Mid-Levels Escalator and had our fair share of Wong Kar-Wai moments on our way to Shelley Street, which we had to climb all the way up to find the area where Rizal once lived. We located the marker, but only after exhaustion bordering on resignation (on my part, at least). On our way back, we realized it was Rizal’s birthday.

sci-fi city

buildings and greenery

shelley street marker

schizo shadow

Fun with signs in Hong Kong: “I Love You You’re My Angle Don’t Treat Me Like Potato.” “No Smoking I Will Crazy.”

internet cafe & videoke

A different beer for every night of our stay: Guinness, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Warsteiner. Carlsberg (no choice) after each lunch at the conference.


I bought a book on the history of the world at the airport. On the flight home, my after meal fortune cookie gave me this bit of advice: “Be determined to move forward, opportunities will be missed if thinking too much.” Spot on, I thought. Definitely something to think about.