Once upon a time on Hollywood Road …
It’s almost the title of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Well, ours would have been an interesting movie, with slightly less Brad and Leo.
We were exploring on our own in Hong Kong. We had traveled by ferry from mainland-side Kowloon to the island of Hong Kong, looking for interesting areas to walk. Somewhere, I’d read about the Hollywood Road area. I thought I’d read it was good for shopping, especially for vintage treasures, which are my favorite kind of treasures.
Walking tours now suggest starting at Hollywood Park, which we saw, and ending at Pottinger Street, SoHo, which I couldn’t begin to find.
Somewhere along this wonderful area of temples with giant spiraling coils of burning incense, antique shops, flea markets, art galleries, tea and dim sum houses, we got lost. We did manage to find a beautiful vintage etched wedding cabinet that I talked Adam in to shipping home. Every trip includes something for our home to happily remind us of the places we’ve been.
We passed elderly people in quiet parks practicing tai chi. We paused to watch.
And, as we do when we’re lost, we continued to walk and walk as though somehow that will magically eventually get us somewhere.
This time, it led us to a three-story rounded gray concrete building with the English word “Food” on it. We were hungry, so we went in. The inside had a concrete ramp circling the inside like a sports arena’s. Each open floor was filled with food booths almost like food trucks and large round tables full of locals sharing center bowls of unidentifiable food. Everything was in Cantonese and everyone spoke only Cantonese.
The word “Food” outside was more and more curious.
We kept going through as though maybe something might change. But it dawned on us as we attracted puzzled stares from tables surrounded by locals that we were in a food court where locals came for their lunch breaks. It was clear from their reactions to us that tourists were never seen here.
Finally, at the top, we figured we’d just approach a booth and give it a go. We approached the booth, smiling and pointing at some meat and noodles. The servers, cooks and some workmen enjoying their lunches all pitched in to help, appearing tickled to help us figure it out.
They brought us to a communal table, set us up and gestured what we should do. When I couldn’t get a grip on the chopsticks, they scoured the place for a fork. The only word we clearly had in common was “Coca-Cola,” which they served us quite readily.
I don’t know what we ate, but it was good. And dirt cheap. I don’t know what we did wrong, but people at nearby tables found us amusing and never stopped staring, but in a friendly way. I don’t know where the heck we were, but we got a taxi to the next place.
Sometimes getting lost does lead to the most authentic experiences.