The Roach Motel

My dad leaves this morning for Manila, to continue on his business trip. After he left, I went in search of a hostel. I had already looked at a couple that looked fine, in terms of living conditions, but none that looked like the fun and social places like the ones youíd find in Europe. I had looked at 3 around where I stayed with my dad, but figured something closer to the happinin area of the town might be a bit better (more festive) As I got on the subway, I saw a guy wearing a 'Diesel' shirt. It was the coolest looking thing Iíd ever seen. I was going to ask him where he got it, but figured if I found a Diesel store, Iíd be able to find one.

When I got to the hostel in Tsim Sha Tsui, it was just the same as all the rest. $250HK for a room with its own bathroom. It was OK. It had a TV, a fridge, a shower, and a dresser. I only had another 5 days, so it would do, Iím not picky. On top of that, the management seemed to speak good english, which I thought was a plus. I guess its just due to the fact that Hong Kong isnít really a cheap place to travel to, it doesnít attract the backpacker type of traveler.

I found the Diesel shop in the phone book and headed there to get my shirt. When I got there, they said that they had never heard of the one I was describing. I figured it was counterfeit, which meant that the best place to get one was Fay Yuen street. Fay Yeun street is a street lined with vendors that have Nike shirts for about $3 US, and other equally cheap counterfeit items. Anything from shirts, to CDs, to watches, to food, to leather, to anything you can think of. And 'Hello Kitty' stuff is everywhere. This cat is like a national icon. Everywhere you go, you see it.

Oh, and every single place that was selling CDs was playing this song by Emilia called "Big Big Girl". It was like they had it on repeat all day long. It is about as annoying as the Barbie song. It has a similar melody. If you enjoy the Barbie song, I highly recommend it. Personally, if I hear it again, Iím pulling my eardrums out.

After the market, I went to a place called McClarys fashions, to pick up the 2 shirts I had been fitted for earlier. Iíd never had someone take my measurements, and have clothing custom made before. It was pretty neat. I had gone in a couple days earlier with my dad, and picked out some materials. I asked him if he could make a shirt with a butterfly collar. He said, ďOh, you mean a party shirt, yesĒ. It was pretty cool. I picked out some funky 70ís like blue pattern, and had a groovy shirt made with one of the larger collars ever to be seen.

The next morning, I woke up in my meager apartment and began to set out on my way. As I was getting ready to go out, I went to grab my bag, and noticed that there was a 4 inch cockroach running across my bed. Normally, I would freak at this, but for some reason, I didnít. I calmly shut the door and walked out. I was about to tell myself that it was only for a few more days, when the thought of that thing running down the covers in the middle of the night made me change my mind. Hostelling hadnít turned out to be what I thought it would be, so a hotel would do just fine. It wasnít like I minded paying for a cockroach-free environment. I calmly walked to the office and told the lady I would be checking out. The conversation that followed was bizarre to say the least.

It was so weird, it was as if there was some sort of ruling on a cockroaches length as to whether or not it constituted a valid reason for checking out. The person in the office didnít really express any concern over the fact that a guest had a cockroach in their room. They were more confused that it would actually cause someone to check out.


China