Friday, May 15, 2009

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

Day 430

It was time to actually start seeing things in Hong Kong. After an embarrassing late lunch at Friday's I headed to the art museum.

Most of the galleries seemed to be under construction, but with my fake student ID from Bangkok the price was right and I couldn't complain. Chinese art, or Far Eastern art as the Met in NYC refers to it, has never been a real interest of mine. I just don't get it. I picked this museum because I wanted to try and appreciate it, even if I couldn't always see the beauty in it. Pictures weren't allowed and I had forgotten my pen. I figured I would just buy postcards of the ones I liked best on my way out.

The first exhibit was on paintings and caligraphy. It had been a private collection and wasn't huge. I did try to read all the descriptions to understand. I wish that they had put the pieces in the order that they were created. There are so many different dynasties in China, it would be a lot easier for me to understand them if they weren't jumping around in years so much. Most of the pieces were scrolls with only a bit of them showing. Some were flowers and then a poem, but most were rural scenes. I began to see the beauty in these and kinda wanted to take one home with me. I don't think that would have been allowed.

The next floor was on ceramics and was in time order. This has really never been an interest of mine so I perused it quickly. I just tried to get the dynasties in order in my head. Why did I forget my stupid pen? The most interesting part was to see how the designs changed once westerners started coming to China.

Next up was a modern art gallery. I really quite liked this one, much more than I tend to like modern art anyway. In one of the rooms they asked people to pick a painting and write a short, 80 word, story about it. I was torn between a painting of a man screaming with a book on the ground and a girl walking thru a valley. I went with the later and wrote about discovering new places. I got a small notebook for my trouble as well.

I entered the gift shop ready to buy several postcards. I could have as well, postcards of Monet's and Dali's. They didn't have anything that was actually in the museum. This was highly disappointing and I was annoyed.

After the art museum I had to run to the place where I got my Chinese visa from to the place that I needed to get my Russian visa from. There wasn't much time. Luckily the Chinese visa was ready to go and I didn't get lost on the way. The Russian travel agency was located in a rather posh office building. I felt out of place in my fisherman pants and t-shirt. After filling out the form and paying a lot of money (for Russia you also need to pay for an invitation) I left my passport behind. I had paid extra for faster service, it actually worked out cheaper than staying in Hong Kong and waiting for the slower service. If all goes well I will have a 28-day Russian visa. I hope all goes well.

I took the metro back to my hotel and took a shower. It was only when my stomach growled that I realized that I was hungry. As it was Friday night I decided to go to the nearby Irish pub for dinner and drinks. I also thought that I might end up meeting some other travelers. I ended up chatting with English Edward for most of the night before heading back to my hotel room.

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