The Invisible Woman

Day 5 – Hong Kong/Shenzhen

I was barking at people in office because they couldn’t deliver what I wanted. When I went to confront the person in charge, I was shocked that he was selling “bak kua” like the “bak kua” seller in Macau. The peddlers would hold a piece of BBQ minced meat in one hand and scissors in another, cutting the meat into small pieces for customers to try. I scolded him for not knowing how to set his priorities while he remained oblivious.

Then I woke up. Must be too much scenes from yesterday’s outing. We tried to sleep our weariness away as we didn’t plan to go to Lantau Island but was unsuccessful. We woke up at 7.30 am and took our own sweet time at the bathroom and packing.

Katak looked agitated and dropped strong hints that she wanted to go back to Shenzhen that instant to indulge on a shopping spree.

We walked about the streets of Hong Kong for the last time and to look for breakfast. At almost 9 am, there were not many shops offering food and the street was somewhat deserted. We wanted to go back to Eat Together for some good food but it was not opened. We ended up having breakfast at the most expensive place. I don’t know what the name is, but this place is somehow famous too.

We tried their recommended noodles – the “Che Chai Meen” but it was somewhat bland. I think my usual cintan noodles -and-throw -everything -inside dish whenever my mom is not at home tastes better. The noodles didn’t somewhat absorb the flavor of the meat or vegetable and hence, it was tasteless. The wanton is good though. typical succulent minced pork with whole fresh prawn. Yum! The tab came up to HKD230. Yes, you see it right. That is RM115 for breakfast! I think the most expensive breakfast I had was in Mandarin Oriental for its delicious dim sum and that is a 5 star hotel, mind you.

Anyway, no regrets since we don’t have anywhere else to spend our remaining HKD, we decided to eat a good meal.

I dreaded the thought of taking my 70L backpack to Shenzhen. I hope this time, we don’t get lost again.

It was a smooth ride from Hong Kong’s Kowloon to Lo Wu Interchange. When we got down at the station Lo Wu Interchange, Sure Win helped us to return our Octopus Card to get our deposit back. I was relieved that the place was quiet and peaceful and is not chaotic as described by friends who had been to Shenzhen via train.

My contentment short-lived when I heard a sound of loud stampede running towards us; as if there was a herd of buffalos running for their lives from predators, as what you could see on National Geographics. The sound got louder and louder. My jaw dropped at the sight of a group of people running towards us. Was there a fire?? Was there a robbery? A terrorist threat? I stood there with my mouth agape.

I gestured Katak to step aside to let the group of people pass first. It was a relief that the group of people in a hurry suddenly detoured and headed to other lanes to the immigration counter specific for mainlanders and Hong Kong Residents only. I was glad that we were in the “alien” lane. Phew! To illustrate, here’s the cartoon version.

When we got to Lo Wu, Sure Win went to the money changer and changed all her Hong Kong dollars into Renmenbi. While waiting for her, a Chinese dude approached me.

Him: Na li you de huan ling chien?

Me: Errr… (then pointed to the foreign exchange)

Him: Da mei you ling chien.

Me: Err… (totally lost).

Fortunately, Sure Win came to the rescue.

Ling chien means small change. DUH!! I thought it was supposed to be called “san chien” as spoken by Malaysian Chinese. I added a vocabulary to my limited Mandarin that day.

When we got back to Shi Jie Zhi Chuang, I was already anxious to go back to the hotel to unload my heavy backpack. Our friend, the chronic shopaholic aka Katak, took her own sweet time, doing rounds in all the shops found at the train station while holding onto her trolley bag and small backpack. This woman could really shop.

This time round, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes to show my utter disgust as I find she did not have any consideration for other people to indulge herself for mindless shopping. I told Sure Win I would go back to the hotel myself. Sure Win shook her head in disbelief that Katak is suffering from chronic shopaholic syndrome and tagged along with me back to the hotel. Seeing that we couldn’t be bothered to wait for her, Katak reluctantly followed us back to the hotel.

What a relief to be back in Shenzhen! Despite it’s bad English!

At the hotel, Katak did the unbelievable again. She paid for the three night stay including an extra night deposit as security with her limited cash. When she told us she paid cash and expected us to pay her back, we looked at her and asked; has she ever heard of a thing called the credit card?

She was bewildered and rushed to the counter to take her cash back and used her credit card. DUH? Gawd… memang katak. Sure Win and I were speechless.

Once she got her cash back, she was already itching to go shopping. She was all bouncy and giddy and hurried us to drop our bags to get to Lao Jie immediately; Shenzhen’s version of our Petaling Street.

We took a train to Lao Jie and it cost only 5 yuan per person. Once we gotten out from the train, there were hordes of people walking about. The price tags for the goods in Lao Jie were beguiling. 25 yuan to 30 yuan for a hand bag! 35 yuan for boots! Our eyes were blurred by the numerous price tags as we kept walking. Remember to mind your belongings when you were there.

Katak did her famous disappearing act again and I told Sure Win that we gotta do something about this. I couldn’t stand Katak for walking in and out of EVERY SINGLE shop. I wanted to go shopping on my own. Sure Win chose to go with me. When we finally saw Katak bargaining for some belts, we told her that we will see her at the Metro entrance at 5 pm sharp.

Sure Win and I walked about Lao Jie to check out the buildings surrounding it as well as delicacies offered. There seemed to be food skewered on sticks like fish cakes, squids, octopus tentacles, chicken claws, etc everywhere.

We then headed to less crowded area to shop and were lucky enough to have bumped into 50 yuan (RM25) for 2 blouses deal. It was so dirt cheap that we didn’t even have to bargain. I started to pick some blouses for my sister and cousins while Sure Win picked some for herself. Jeans came as cheap as 50 yuan for two!

We were quite happy with our purchase that we made way to the Metro entrance at 4.53 pm. As expected, Katak was nowhere to be seen. While waiting for her, we sat at a café overlooking the entrance and had some mango dessert. It tasted so much better than the one we had in Hong Kong (costs HKD12) and this cost only 5 yuan and ate some lotus roots and beef balls as well at 3 yuan each. By 5.30 pm, our patience was growing thin and she was nowhere to be seen. I am very positive that she couldn’t and shouldn’t have missed me! There is NO PERSON in Shenzhen as BIG as me! Their biggest waist size for women is 32 inches!!!

I told Sure Win to sit while I went around to look for Katak. I even went upstairs because I had to go to the loo. When I got back, Sure Win said she saw Katak went into a CD shop just a few seconds ago. I quickly rushed to the CD shop in front of us and Katak did her Houdini act again! She escaped into thin air!

By 6.15 pm, after waiting 1 hour and 15 minutes, the ever calm Sure Win lost her patience. We took the train back.

Katak was already at the hotel just a few minutes before we arrived. It’s a miracle that she – yet and again slipped past us at the Metro Entrance without looking at us. She claimed she was there at 4.40 pm waiting for us and we didn’t show up. I told her 5 pm! Now I am convinced that she; other than being partially blind, she is partially deaf as well.

Katak, delighted with her purchases; squealed gleefully like a 3 years old girl, showing us her purchases, totally oblivious that we were very, very upset with her.

View from our dinner place

We were not interested. I suggested dinner and Katak said she had eaten. But we suspected that she wanted to save her money for her shopping. She just ate some 1 yuan bread at Lao Jie while “waiting” for us.

During dinner, Sure Win was still grumbling about Katak’s oblivion and ignorance. We consoled ourselves and patted our own backs for being saintly patient and toasted the night away with a mug of Paul Laner.

9 thoughts on “The Invisible Woman

  1. I HATE PEOPLE LIKE KATAK! People like her should get rolled over by a car and be squashed to paper thin. Seriously. I’ve got colleagues like that too. And I’ve walked off a few times because I don’t fancy having my entire trip spoiled by inconsiderate fools like them.

  2. Lil’ Ms Pinky: I think Katak is just overly excited lah… Sigh. Not that bad lah till want to curse her kena rolled over by a car and squashed to paper thin. Hahhaha! I think the best is still shop by your own or your best friend who understands you.

  3. 神奇青蛙大婶省城8日游,乱跳乱蹿,镬镬新鲜!Magical froggy aunty’s 8 days city tour, jumping here and there haphazardly, ‘wok wok fresh’! Ever wished to have superpower temporily to freeze or remote control her whenever her symptoms showed during the trip? ahahaha… :D

  4. Hahaha..katak oh katak mengapa “blur” sangat.. :P

    I’ve experienced such a situation before although not as extreme. But somehow as agitated and angry as I was at the moment, it all went away after a while. But don’t let it spoil your holiday. You’re there to have fun!! :)

  5. YY: You should just stand there and witness this. It’s like you are in a safari – in the middle of a train station.

    ml: Not really lah. Half of the time – I pretend that she is not there. So it’s good enough.

    inaesb: I can never travel with people who are fickle minded when they shop or people who shop as if money grows on trees and totally ignorant about your disdain. I learned my lessons well this time. But, this time, it wasn’t me who organized the trip. I will never go anywhere near chronic shopaholics! Not even in Malaysia! I had fun yes! And now even more fun, poking fun at Katak! Hahahah!

    SA: With the Beijing Olympics coming, I think they do brush up a lot already. When we arrived in Hong Kong – they stated “foreigners” instead of “aliens”.

  6. Thank God I have no interest in shopping, hence I will never end up in such condition on a trip with shopaholic.

    If I ever will, most probably I will just tell the person to go back by herself and I’ll go at my own pace.

    Fickled mindedness? I will walk away right there and then.

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