Last day in the Orient – Day 7

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Talks at the conference started earlier today, which meant an earlier start for me. Thankfully, my internal clock had become more skewed towards morning since I’d been in Hong Kong. I seemed to be waking up at 7 am like clockwork, and today was no different. I was out the door before 8 am, stopping in at McDonald’s for a quick bite of breakfast before heading off. It wasn’t long before I was trundling up the mountain in the shuttle bus and at the conference site. The talks were interesting, though I was definitely fading in terms of my attention span. After another dim sum lunch and another round of talks, including one that because she was unable to be there involved listening to pre-recorded audio files with someone clicking along on the PowerPoint, I needed a break. Jen and I hopped over 2 stops to Sha Tin, whose MTR station opened into a mall. Some well-needed gelato, a bizarre Snoopy-themed wedding gown display, and a retail fix and I was good to go. We headed back up to the conference for the closing remarks and to mingle a bit with some of the folks afterwards over coffee.

The weather had cooled down nicely, relatively speaking, so Jen and I, along with another conference goer, headed over to the Mong Kok markets. The streets were awash with people and filled with artificial daylight from an impressive amount of signage. After a brief stop in a badminton shop for some badminton supplies for our friend, we dove into the thick of it. The market stalls felt much taller and put-together compared to Temple Street, though much of the same fare prevailed. I picked up a requisite magnet, amusing my companions at my rather mild-mannered bargaining style. No, I don’t drive a particularly hard bargain–not necessarily because I’m incapable of doing so, but mostly because I don’t have much patience for it nor do I derive much enjoyment out of haggling down a few dollars. My enjoyment comes from the shopping, and I’d much rather get to it! I spotted a (copy) black Gucci duffel that crucially had wheels and a handle. As much as I love my current cheerful, flower-covered carry-on, it becomes a bit of a burden lugging my camera/laptop/random electronics on my shoulder. I ended up paying about $25 CAD for what I think looks like quite a handsome bag. I stuffed my purse in it and used it right away. I was eminently pleased with myself. A small headband and a bit of honey/kumquat juice for me, and some odds and ends for Jen and we were on our way with our loot. We spent the remainder of the evening packing, finishing off the bottle of wine that had been leftover from the conference dinner.

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