Hong Kong (3)

Sunday 15/10

Kids sleep late. I go and buy croissant and cookies. Breakfast in bed for the kids this morning!

Isabelle and I go for a tour in Central. Many shops are closed (it’s Sunday) but it’s nice to discover this area; there are many Chinese medicine shops, selling stuff such as dried animal substance (seahorses, starfish, octopus…). On Gage Street, it’s surprising to find market stalls (fish and meat) just a stone’s throw from Central’s sophisticated boutiques.

There’s a typhoon alert (signal 8) on Hong Kong today. We can see that they are used to this kind of alerts: signs are posted in all public places, our hotel lobby, MTR stations, etc.; there is really no way to “miss” it. A warning scale corresponds to the typhoon strength and closeness. Signal 8 means that gale winds or stronger winds are imminent. Everything closes at this point: schools, offices, tours, public transport, taxis, shops, restaurants, ferries, trains, flights. During a Number 8 Signal, we should be indoors. They recommend to stay in our hotel (as one cashier in one of the few open supermarkets even tells me).

We nevertheless go to our appointment in the South of the island. We take the metro to Aberdeen to meet Philippe and Florence Grelon / de Changy, who have lived in HK for more than 10 years (and abroad for more than 25 years). How do we “know” them? It’s a bit complicated: when I sent an email (in July) with our plans for this world tour to my friends, Marc, a colleague of mine, nicely forwarded it to his cousin whose wife, Eléonore, put me in contact with her cousin Florence (do you still follow?).

We go and have lunch on their boat, where they live. Philippe worked for many years as an executive for Veolia and has now his own company while Florence is the Hong Kong Correspondent for Le Monde, RFI and France Info. We drink champagne for the first time of the world tour! Nice lunch: pasta and great dessert for the kids: red fruit salad + ice cream. There’s also a dog on the boat, so the kids are really thrilled. We spend a great and interesting time with Philippe and Florence. Many thanks for the invitation. And thank you, Marc and Eléonore, for this nice (too brief) encounter.

The rain is pretty strong when we leave; we are drenched (the only access to their boat is via a small boat).

We go back to the hotel (by metro) where we do homeschooling in the ‘refreshment’ lounge. I write a post and then have another call regarding Peas&Love.

We go and have dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant near the hotel.

I continue writing our adventures for the blog, in the room.

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