Getting Lost In Lan Kwai Fong
We got into a taxi and I pointed to a spot on the map, “Lan Kwai Fong.” The driver started to drive and the rain sprinkled. After experiencing the rain at the peak, I was ready for it to shower. He pulled up on the side of he road and pointed us into a direction to the left and said, “down.”
My cousin and I paid, got out of the taxi, and walked downhill on a stone road. At an intersection we met a sign that said, “Lan Kwai Fong,” and I folded my map to put it away; hoping to never having to pull it out again. We wanted to wander. The rain started coming down harder, I slipped, and fell onto my knees. We laughed, I got up and we continued to walk down the street that was bombarded with bars and tattoo shops. We were in the middle of party central, Hong Kong. Lights and people filled the streets.
Following the roads, we kept getting further and deeper into the city. Walking up and down dark alleys, taking hidden turns, climbing secret stairwells, we were on a mission to get lost. My cousin leading the way and me behind her at a distance, I felt brave. She walked ahead of me and I could have easily lost her in this maze of buildings.
Shortly walking around the blocks of bars, we headed towards a direction that would soon lead us to restaurants. Several of them, many on every corner; everywhere we looked, people enjoyed their night, loosing control. These restaurants caught my attention, roasted duck, chicken, and charcuterie in he windows. I was in another world. Neon signs reflecting off the rain puddles, cars driving by, the sound of music and drunk laughter in the air. The night awoken.
Eventually we turned a corner, which led us to an escalator. We got on and I took us up, we were down by the local street food and it took us to the British District. Groups of people talking in British accents eating fish and chips. The further up we went, we ended up in the higher end cocktail clubs and decided to walk down the flight of stairs to let the sidewalks guide us. At this point, I stopped focusing on where my cousin was and I just let the city take me.
After walking for over an hour in and out of the city’s cracks, we decided to stop somewhere to rest and grab a drink. We ended up at this Mexican bar, which I found interesting being in Hong Kong, but in the area we were at, you could find any type of food; from India, Turkey, Greece, and Eygpt. The waitress sat us at a table and we decided on margaritas.
I ordered a lychee margarita and she ordered a mango margarita. We decided on snacking on some nachos. Where we sat was the perfect spot for people watching. Shortly after we ordered, our drinks arrived. By the time the nachos came, I was already on my second margarita. The nachos were probably the best nachos I’ve had in a long time. They weren’t anything special, but very simple. The difference was that they layered it so perfectly you would get ingredients on each and every chip.
When we finished, we went on our way to let the night take us away. I was hypnotized. I let all things go, I let the city swallow me up, and for some strange reason I felt at peace. I didn’t fear what could have happened, I wasn’t scared. I let the city become a part of me. I drifted into the moment, turned my brain off, and without a care in the world, I felt free.