After a shower we are refreshed and the group assembles in the hotel lobby at 7.00pm.
The hotel is fantastic-not at all like a YMCA in the UK. The rooms are spacious and air conditioned. The staff can’t do enough to help-as is the nature of the culture and it’s situated right in the centre of Kowloon about a two minute walk via an underpass to the harbour. Everyone is happy with their room, although one or two would prefer a different room mate.
With an odd number of girls (25), Molly Kabia is in a single room and feels a little lonely. The single room supplement for the tour was nearly £1,000, but our youngsters feel more comfortable and secure if they are together. Miss Jeffreys and Miss Rushworth tell her that they will try to sort it out. In the end, Molly goes into Jayde Anderson and Elaine Tucker’s room. They push the beds together and all are happy.
We take the 5 minute walk via the underpass to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade where we can watch the ‘Symphony of Lights’ from the ‘Avenue of Stars’. We gather at 7.15pm and have the first ‘Donkey of the Day’ vote. As previously mentioned, Mr Walters is nominated for his green shirt, Rob James for his purchase of Coke and Katy Baran for thinking she was ‘First Class’.
Added to that Jayde Andersonwas nominated for forgetting her school blouse. She wanted to draw the school badge on a plain white blouse that she had brought. “That’ll work won’t it Miss?”
Morgan Curtis was nominated because when we were on the M4, the alarm went off for the rear emergency exit door. The driver pulled over onto the hard shoulder and went to the back of the bus to check. Before he could get there, public spirited Morgan opened the door the door to slam it shut, but forgot to check whether anything was coming. The driver of the juggernaut hurtling along the inside lane must have had his ‘heart in his mouth’ as he saw the door opening.
Alex Freeman was also nominated. On the plane he had been playing eye spy with Richard Keefe. “It’s something beginning with ‘C’” said Richard, “Shoe” says Alex. “No, beginning with ‘C’” says Richard again “Shoelace” says Alex. No wonder the Welsh Assembly Government have said that there needs to be a drive to improve literacy.
When the votes are counted, it’s a two horse race and Morgan with 24 pips Alex on 13 votes. Morgan says that he thinks the T-shirt suits him. We pass no comment!!!
We wait patiently for the lazer show which takes place nightly, starting at 8.00pm and lasts for just under 20 minutes. When it happens, it’s impressive for the scale on which the buildings are lit around the harbour although most of the party don’t think it’s spectacular. Nevertheless, we are glad to say we have seen it and even happier that it didn’t rain. It is the wet season and heavy showers can come from apparently nowhere and last for 10-15 minutes. One such shower had greeted us as we drove from the airport to the hotel and the forecast is for more of the same over the next few days.
While we watch the lazer show a sign comes up with the temperature (30°C) and humidity (94%)-it feels like it and makes us realise that the games tomorrow will be difficult in such conditions.
After the show we give the group some time to wander around and to find something to eat, with a meet time of 10pm. The staff find a restaurant and have a really nice Thai meal. We have a starter which is a mix of chicken wings, seafood spring rolls and chicken Satay. My main course is a steak with a hot sauce, sticky rice and salad. It is fantastic and the subtle differences of tastes from those that I’m used to, of all parts of the meal are clear and make it really enjoyable.
The staff in the restaurant can’t do enough to help and the atmosphere is calm and relaxed which reflects our mood. Things have started really well with the students behaviour being exemplary and the facilities great.
At 10pm all are on time, but we have a problem. Ailsa Howells and her friends went to Macdonalds. After she had paid for her meal, she left an envelope with her remaining Hong Kongdollars on her tray (about £50). When she finished her meal, she threw her tray away with her money still on it. She left the restaurant, but 5 minutes later realised what she’d done and rushes back. The staff are very unhelpful and refuse to let her search the bin for her money. They tell her that she needs to file a report with the police.
When Ailsa tells us, she is understandably a little upset, as it was all her Hong Kong money. We tell her not to worry and we can replace it from the tour ‘contingency’ fund and she is reassured.
We walk back to the hotel and en route Miss Jeffreys spots some adverts on a building. “That looks like a good place to go tomorrow” she said, at which point everyone walked through the door because the adverts were on our hotel describing its facilities.
We have a meeting, everyone must be in their rooms by 11.00pm when staff will come around to check. All are in their rooms on time and the staff check is completed by 11.30pm. We book an early morning call for 7.00am and a very tired party settles down to a good night’s sleep. A big day tomorrow for the rugby and netball teams-their first games.