In case you're wondering, I do title my blog posts somewhat arbitrarily...
Saturday, of course, did not end after flying. Sudip and I, having been deprived of the car, took a cab over to the very efficient Mass Transit Railway (henceforth known as 'MTR') which got us back to his apartment from Shek Kong in about an hour (with a little help from Dilip and his car).
We had a light lunch of fried rice and poppadoms (very tasty, and not as spicy as breakfast) and a bit of a freshen-up (since flying in 30 degrees heat and moderate humidity is a smelly business). Then, surprise surprise, we got changed into our Sherwanis and Saris and some other family friends and fellow members of the Hong Kong Indian expat community came over to get changed:
Why, you might ask?! Well, it was an honour to have been invited to a traditional Indian wedding reception in Hong Kong, celebrating the recent marriage of Vineetha and Ajay. We took the car over to the Mariner's Club and were greeted very warmly by the bride's father, a long time friend of the Nair family, who seemed just as happy that I had clearly come along having never met the bride and groom before!
The wedding had been a Christian one in Kerala, South India, but Vineetha's family live in Hong Kong and hence this reception was hosted here for all her friends and family at home. The attendees were therefore a very diverse mix of Indians, Chinese, Hong Kong residents, British and American Christians and all sorts of others! The event commenced with a few speeches and prayers, including some from two Bishops and an Archbishop, and then food was served in a great big buffet next to the swimming pool:
The food was so tasty and represented the best Indian cuisine from all over the country. One thing I have learnt here is just how good Indian deserts are - so much better than anything I found in China! While we ate, a string quartet played, but I spent a lot of my time chatting to various people that Sudip introduced to me, including family friends, school friends and friends-of-friends, none of whom seemed to mind my presence nor my traditional Indian clothing!
After the eating, we were treated to an Acapella performance from the Tharangini Choir, featuring both Sudip and Sudha Nair! Such upbeat music, fantastically sung and definitely keeping Indian spirit alive in Hong Kong. Most of all I had no idea that Sudip was a singer! Good job that man.
After being introduced to Vineetha (the bride) and having the opportunity to thank her for her hospitality, Sudip and I made a quick change of clothes and headed out into Hong Kong:
Our objective was the ICC building, the tallest in Hong Kong at 1700' tall and which we flew alongside in the Cessna earlier that day! Since I seem to be collecting high bars nowadays, we hopped in the express elevator (after first admiring the view of Hong Kong island...):
...and went up to the Ozone club on the 117th floor. We were required to purchase an expensive drink to gain entry but it wasn't much more than the one I'd had at Cloud 9 in Shanghai.
We were then free to admire the STUNNING view all around the tower, especially in the direction of Hong Kong island (since we were on the Kowloon side) and all the towers lit up beautifully, though they were slowly shutting down as the time got later and later:
So we finished off our drinks and had a good chat for half an hour or so while admiring the view. I really like these tall buildings now - and I can certainly see the advantage of working in one in terms of the inspiring view!