After tea, yesterday, I drew myself a bath in our huge bathtub. I hit the mood-lighting button, turned on the flat screen, and sat in the most luxurious bubblebath watching the Olympics and the Drew Carey show. It's interesting what one is forced to watch without the benefit of the ususal 900 Comcast channels. Alex and I have explored MTV Asia, where they actually have Chinese rappers who ramble on in Cantonese and then scream, "Kick it!" every 5 seconds. We've discovered that The Simpsons comes on at 6pm every weeknight, Alex choosing to watch an episode fully clothed in the empty bathtub, just for the experience. We've discovered many random American movies that never quite made it in the States, most of which involve aliens and/or the mafia. There's a Chinese sitcom, but spoken all in English, called Living with LiLi, which is both offensive and divine. Like an auto-accident, as much as I want to, I can't look away. And of course, the ever present Olympics, where Alex and I, feeling homesick and patriotic, scream for the Americans in any event. When all else fails, it's CNN World or BBC. Every hotel has both of those stations, and as is typical on vacations, I'm catching up on the current events. I hate, and really, hate isn't a strong enough word, Richard Quest, that jackass Australlian on CNN, who's a cross between an informercial host and a travelling reporter. Molly Burckhardt, my good friend who's a producer at CNN, is about to get an e-mail insisting upon his immediate removal. This guy makes me want to throw things at the TV, and I think we all know how much I love TV.
Last night, we walked down to Victoria Harbor to see the lights show that happens every night at 8pm. All of the big skyscrapers on the water do a cheesy, 5 minute laser show set to music. I thought to myself that the 9pm laser show at Pier 39 is far more advanced, as Alex leaned over and said, "Color me unimpressed."
Dinner was at a huge Chinese restaurant called The Peking Palacewhich I found loud and packed with a blend of locals and Westerners, all screaming across tables and swinging their lazy susans around. A chef came by, and dramatically displayed his noodle making abilities, which involve slamming the dough on a table and then throwing it around the room. It reminded me of the scene in Big where the chef throws balls of pizza dough at Tom Hanks. Only, there was no Tom Hanks.
After dinner, I dragged Alex to explore the restaurants in the hotel, as I have to select one to dine in alone tonight. My initial plan of dining at Gaddi's, the fancy French place with chandelliers and 8 waiters per table, may be thwarted as they have live music consisting of a sequined clad Phillipino woman singing early 90's easy listening backed by a synthesized band of elderly musicians. Alex pointed out that some sleazy European is going to come up as ask me to dance, and while it would make good blog fodder, I don't know that I'd actually be able to go through with it. My other choices include a Swiss restaurant, which appears quiet and romantic, but I don't know how mysterious I'd look, and The Veranda, which is the kind of restaurant The Golden Girls would hang out in. We shall see.
Today, mom Alex, and I are off to find the markets. The knock-off selection here is greatly lacking, especially compared to the wonderment of Mainland China. I think I screwed up, guys. In my attempt to save room and wait till I got to Hong Kong, I may have passed up the good stuff. I'll do my best, though. I am a shopper, and if there's knock-offs to be found, I shall find them. In fact, if shoping were a sport, I'd be in Athens right now. With 2 days left, I've got my work cut out for me.