Whenever I travel, I keep an eye out of the crazy, the unusual, the very odd…because what could possibly be better than a story for later?
Hong Kong was not a disappointment – believe you me. I saw all sorts of odd things on the streets, in the restaurants, everywhere. Between the foods and the people, plus my summer in China, I don’t know that there’s anything that would surprise me now. The two most stand-out stories are below, and I apologize for the blocks of text. I don’t have photos for either, because, well, I just had no idea what to do about them when they happened.
Man Eats Leftover Soup, Jenna Lives to Tell About It: The backstory to this is that in Hong Kong, should one need a seat in a casual eatery, one does not necessarily need to find an empty table. Should there be a seat open, one is welcome to sit, and then leave the tray and leftovers to be cleaned up by housekeeping.
I ended up eating lunch at quite possibly the most elaborate food court I will ever be at in my entire life. No joke, the food courts are worth it. It was a bit crowded, so at my table, seated across from me, was another couple, and next to me was a single woman. When the woman was done, she got up and left her half-eaten soup. I was preoccupied with taking advantage of the free WiFi and trying to figure out where to go next, when I realized someone was still sitting next to me – eating. I figured it was someone else taking the woman’s spot, but when I glanced over, I noticed the soup and drink were the exact same fullness – even the napkin was crumpled in the same way. That’s when it hit me: this person was eating the woman’s leftover lunch! It took about thirty seconds to process it, and then I was completely disgusted. Needless to say, I got out of there as soon as I could.
Woman Eats Cup-O-Noodles from Airport Bathroom, Jenna is Both Horrified and Intrigued: This part was still technically Hong Kong, but I was on the plane, heading home. I was lucky enough to get a seat sort of near the bathrooms, which on a 14-hour flight, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Especially because if you DO have to pee, you can easily see when the bathrooms are open.
I had to pee (it was a long flight, with free booze!), and had to wait my turn. A few minutes prior, a woman went into the bathroom just before me. Okay, fine. But when she reemerged, she had a Cup-O-Noodles in her hand, and was carrying it precariously, as if it were hot and/or cooking. Whaaaaaaaaaat? First of all, the water isn’t hot enough to cook the noodles. Second of all, GROSS! There are signs all over the bathrooms that say “This water is not for drinking!” It blew my mind.
Bonus: The Worst Sign Ever: