Friday, September 01, 2006

Now where was I?

Hong Kong seems a world away now. I'm home, almost unpacked (a minor miracle considering the amount of stuff I bought back!) and off to London next week for a week. Life seems to be almost back to normal. The memories are still there, and I'm planning my next 'epic' already. The question is now, which to start with, and where to begin! East or west... :-)

On my last weekend in HK, as you can probably see from my last post, it was all a bit of a jumble of finishing off bits and pieces. I spent a day wandering around HK island, starting with the traditional dried fish shops, chinese medicine shops and had lunch from Olivers Deli - a large deli packed with british food - mmmm! (And proper bread, bagels and cakes!!! :-) ) It was then on to Hong Kong Park and the Tea Musuem to the library (enormous) and shops in Causeway Bay (enormous Sogo department store! Finishing off with the Food and Healthcare expo. If truth be told, the Food expo was a little disappointing. Apparently, according to the students at PolyU, in previous expos there had been many different types of food to try. At this one though, they seemed to have run out of a lot. I suppose going on Saturday evening might have had something to do with that... :-S The healthcare expo was mainly plugging the seemingly huge private (almost typed primate - hehehe) healthcare sector which has far superior service (from what they told me) and much better resources. Something to do with the funding to patient ratio probably. Lots of freebies - yeh, my favourite! A strange world to work in though. Could have been quite interesting to visit a private hospital I spose, though they're probably quite like the private hospitals in and around Harley Street, and the BUPA and Nuffield establishments around the country.

Sunday was a scenic trip out to Shek O beach (in my view - the beach to visit in HK) and Shek O village, before a dash back to Wan Chai to the Education briefing for HK students about to leave to study in the UK. We'd been invited to go and be available to answer questions from students and parents, and I was the only one who chose to attend. Very relaxing - nice comfy chairs and free Pret which was fab. Also got to chat to other representatives from UK universities and colleges - some from Portsmouth strangely enough! A quick bus ride back to central to find the HMV we'd seen (I'd received a $100 HMV voucher for my troubles, only it was only valid in HK!) Had a great time listening to CD's - nice to hear western music, then went to a book shop and got a few books about HK. One stunning one by Lorette E. Roberts with many watercolours depicting special things about life in HK.

Back to Kowloon on the Star Ferry and up Nathan Road to Granville Road. Here I stopped off to have some sushi. I've never had sushi before, and I'm quite annoyed with myself now as I can't remember the name of the place. Fabulous atmosphere though, and lovely lovely food and great service. Being able to pick all these weird and wonderful things off the conveyer belt infront of you was just brilliant. Tasted fab - a bit of a mission to eat the larger ones with chopsticks though, as they were too big to fit in your mouth, difficult to break the seaweed with your teeth and very tricky to pick up with chopsticks. Loved it though! Back late, and started to stress oh so slightly about the packing scenario. Ho hum. Off to bed. A lovely weekend soaking up the atmosphere of the city and meeting some more of the locals and getting out to do extra bits and pieces I hadn't expected to manage.

Work again on Monday, and my final week was in A&E x-ray. At Tuen Mun, there was one x-ray room functioning in their casualty as there were major renovation works going on. The final result will be a single room functioning using both CR and DR technology in tandem. Amazing, and great to compare just using CR in one room with the CR/DR combo which was also used at Prince of Wales. This A&E also served approx 1 million people. In one x-ray room. Truely amazing. Very fast method of working and boy did my feet, shoulders and legs ache. Thank god they didn't have a heavier tube. I got stuck in for the week, and thoroughly enjoyed it!! :-D

The evenings were running (not literally, but it felt like it after a day in A&E) around trying to finish bits and pieces off! Monday night was a trip over to HK island to Tai Koo, to Cityplaza there where they had an ice exhibition inside the shopping mall. Decided I needed to see it! It was amazing - a huge fridge with various ice sculptures packed in. They gave us coats to wear and off we went. I took some pictures - haven't looked at them properly yet though. After that, I went to Sogo to get gifts for the staff at the hospitals to say thank you, and then on to Lockhart Road in Wan Chai to try to find a Vietnamese Restaurant that my guidebook recommended. It doesn't exist, so I ended up in a lovely Thai restaurant then headed back home the long way. Oops. Minor mis-navigation on the buses!

Tuesday night, Tara and I went hunting for cheap electrical goods. They're not especially cheap, and with the risk of being ripped off we didn't risk it. A short wander (and small shop in Ladies Market) and we caught the KCR back. Wednesday night was a trip back to Mongkok to see the Bird Market and Flower Market - both beautiful and very worthwhile the trip. Then went to have more sushi (too much this time - I felt a bit ill afterwards!), and head back for some hardcore packing once the others had disappeared off for a final night out in Wan Chai. Thursday night was a final meal out together (Malayan, and very yummy too!), and more packing (yes, 2 suitcases, and 2 bags of hand baggage plus a carrier bag or two!) We made several trips with our suitcases to downstairs in the halls to weigh them. Mine were over 40kg together. Luckily we had a 30kg allowance on our tickets, and even more luckily the lovely lady at check-in didn't charge me!! :-D :-D

Friday was a case of getting my caution money back, then the last bits of packing, checking out and going for dim sum with the lecturers and a tour of their new radiography clinic before catching the airbus to the airport. I felt quite sad to be leaving. It had been a great 7 weeks, the atmosphere in the city (smog included) is just amazing.

Such a wonderful place to visit, and a brilliant opportunity given to us by Portsmouth Uni and HK Polytechnic Uni and all the staff at the hospitals. It's a place I'll never forget and I have learnt many things (both radiographic and cultural) which will hopefully stand me in good sted for the rest of my life. Sorry, it sounds puke-y, but it was a great time, and I truely loved it!!! Cheers...


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