September 20th, 2010


"Nothing to lose but your chains"

One thing about our trip that I noticed - in Australia, it appears that the concept of the chain for the sink or basin plug doesn't exist.

It may well be that this is down to small sample size (only three different places), but I don't think I've previously encountered the plug with no chain attached (except for wear and tear cases). The resulting inability to lift the plug from a very hot sink is inconvenient, and the comparative difficulty in finding the plug in the first place (in Melbourne, I couldn't find the kitchen one, and borrowed the bathroom one for a day or two) would seem to outweigh the added simplicity of leaving the chain out.


Well, we're back from our trip.

And our conclusion is, that while we loved Australia, we really, really want to go back to Hong Kong. HK is an assault on the senses, a distillation of a country, the closest to a three dimensional territory I've ever visited. By the end of our three days there, Australia seemed a distant memory.

And goodness, it can be cheap. We did breakfast one morning for $41 the pair of us. That compares to a hotel breakfast in Melbourne running to $56 for two people. Now consider the current rate of 1 AUD = 7.35 HKD. (Yes, I'm comparing a café price with a hotel price. Even so - that's £3.39 for breakfast in a shopping mall.)

And our room?

The 68th floor, with floor to ceiling glass along two sides, a circular glass-walled shower from which that magnificent view could be seen (modulo steam), and 5 star service (to the extent that when we reported an unlockable room-safe to the reception desk, housekeeping beat us to our room)(the door had been left ajar, but with the lock engaged - it took housekeeping twenty seconds to reboot the lock).

The slight downside to the room was the fact that our ears popped every time we went up to it. Two lifts - one from the ground floor up to level 41, the second from level 41 to floors 62-77. The whole thing glittering glass and steel and marble, polished within an inch of its life. And the price per night for a double room? £50.

By the end of our trip, we were sucking our teeth at things costing $30, forgetting that that's the equivalent of £2.50.