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Cheap accomodation Mr John???

From Hong Kong Airport I took the train to Kowloon, which is where I was staying. The Airport express shuttle had me there in no time and a shuttle bus awaited, taking those to their respective accomodation. Saying respective, I was staying in a place called Chungking Mansions. Although it sounds nice, it not. The place is a like a concrete jungle, a world within itself. It is as wide as it is high and looks as if it needs knocked down. The bottom 2 floors are full of stalls and booths filled with counterfit watches/bags and other random goods. It is mainly occupied by indian/african people though the odd Chinese is knocking about. The next 15 floors above are made up of guest houses offering cheap accomodation, hence the reason for my choice of lodging. At first it is a bit nerve wrecking when you come and go from your digs as there seems to be a lot of people hanging around watching you, gathering on each corner. You pass the stalls and it's always, "phone card sir", "Cheap watch sir". Though its the same even on the street when I'm walking about, "You want fake watch". I've learnt to keep walking, saying "NO THANK YOU", waving my hand as if using the force of the Jedi, "This westerner does not require a watch" and away they go. "Foot Massage?", "NO THANKS", few seconds later, "Nice suit for you sir", "NO THANKS", again, keep walking, waving the hand. "Nice lady for you sir, show you good time," "Em, no thanks".......

After dropping the other passangers off at their Hotels, I was left on the bus snaking throw the back streets, missing out all the traffic. We eventually stop at a Holiday Inn Hotel, which is way above my budget. "Your Stop!!!!" I knew this wasn't where I was staying so I hurried off before the porter got to me to take my bag off me, only for me to say I wasn't staying. I had no idea where he had dropped me and nor did I have a clue where I was...... I was standing out like a sore thumb so hurried towards the lights of the busy street, trying to merge with the crowds. I turned the corner, not even having time to think on what I was going to do or where to stop to get my bearings when I was fastly approached by a small indian guy. I had done enough reading to know that they approach you trying for you to stay at their hostel. "Accomodation sir", "No thanks, I'm already sorted", "You stay at my place sir, we're waiting for you", "Sorry though I have already booked with a place and have already paid", which I hadn't paid, I was just trying to shake this guy off. "I know sir, where are you staying, Paris Guesthouse", "No", "How about Singhs Guesthouse", "No", at this point, I was totally unaware of my surroundings as I scurried down the very busy street with Mr Singh in quick succession. "Where you staying?", "Em, City Guesthoue" "Oh, that is my place.... I have been waiting for you... You come, come, I take you", He pulled his business card out which had the name of the 3 hostels on which he obviously owned and away we went, bypassing the other touts as they watched on in envy at Mr Singh and his catch. "Yes, Mr John, we have been wating for you. You will enjoy" And off I went, ushered into Chungking Mansions, through the bronx and into the lift. 7 floors later I had arrived. "You see Mr John, City Guesthouse. Its mine, City Guesthouse"

It seems a bit sureal with Mr Singh pulling me out of the crowd saying that he had been waiting for me when I have never met him before in my life. I realise he must approach all westerners, especially with backpacks on, though I was just glad it was him, the guy from the hostel where I was already booked at, unless I could still be there now, walking the streets of Kowloon, fending off touts and counterfit watch salesmen in search of the "City Guesthouse".....

Posted by John999181 22:36 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged backpacking

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