So again, I lied. My ‘meet-the-flat-mates’ post is not finished yet, so I owe you that one. However, I felt it’d been too long since my last post; that’s why I present to you a small (furry) update with many pictures, and little text, because I kinda want to go to sleep soon. 😉 Two weeks ago I went to see the horse racing and a week ago I visited the Zoological and Botanical Gardens here in Hong Kong. Cute animal time!
Horse racing is the only legal form of gambling in Hong Kong. Due to this, many Jockey Club establishments can be found for people to place their bets and they’re always packed with people! There are two race courses owned by the Jockey Club, of which the nicest is Happy Valley, which fits 55,000 people. The biggest races are held every two weeks on Wednesday evening. People can either stand in the public enclosure, where there are small restaurants, or in the stands, where most of the people sit down with their newspaper, beer and cigarette and occasionally vulgarly swear in Cantonese when ‘their’ horses lose the race. I went to Happy Valley with three other girls. They all betted a couple of times, and one of them actually won a substantial sum of money! I didn’t bet anything, because I’m a tiny little bit short of money at the moment (damn you, wonderful restaurants and clubs), but I definitely want to engage in the gambling practice at least once, since it seems to be so dear to the native Hongkongers. There’s a large screen in the middle of the race course, where you can follow the race up close (the race course is too large to follow the race with the naked eye) as well as read statistics about the races. The statistics are quite difficult to understand at first, which lead to many hilarious but stressful moments after the race during which none of us knew which horse had actually won and we’d have to derive the information from the video showing the winning jockey and his horse. (“Did he win? Did he win?” “Is that number the winning horse or is that the money we get?” “Shit, I’m not wearing my glasses.” “Quick, look at his back number! Dammit!”)
The following weekend we – my flat mates and I – went to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Central, a Victorian zoo which was opened as early as 1864. Exotic species of cranes, songbirds and pheasants can be found here, as well as many apes, such as gibbons and orang-utans. It’s quite weird to walk around in a peaceful zoo, while seeing skyscrapers when you look up.
This is it for now! I’m hoping to post again this week. Until then, I’ll give you a quick on-topic sneakpeek of what I’ve been up to this weekend on Cheung Chau Island.