I must warn you that this post is very long and goes nowhere in particular.
Sometimes you have a really average day, in which nothing much happens. But then sometimes you get a really really bad day in which nothing goes your way and then you realize how blessed having a normal day is.
It was a Friday, and my sister’s one day off for quite a while. My boyfriend, my sister and I decided to go to Mongkok for the day.
It started basically right as we arrived in Mongkok. In Hong Kong, when you exit the subway, you must diligently look out for your appropriate exit. Each station has about 10 different exits, leading to different streets in that area. If you get out at the wrong one, it’d mean a painful walk along the burning, crowded streets of Hong Kong.
We were so sure we had the right exit, but when we left the MTR station, we couldn’t see a trace of the mall we were looking for. We decided to trek on forward, and hopefully recognize a street that would lead us back to the mall. After about half an hour of searching, and we were all thorougly sweaty, we went back to the MTR station so that we could retrace our steps and find the right exit. Turns out instead of taking exit D2, we had taken D1. Wonderful. Later on in the day, we realize that although we had taken the wrong exit, if we had turned around, the mall would’ve been right behind us. Sadly, we had went forward instead of back to begin with.
So it was a bad start to our day, but my sister and I decided to forget all that and go grab bagged noodles. I love Hong Kong’s bagged noodles, in which you choose toppings and they’d mix it together with noodles in a bag for you. My sister and I specifically liked this one store that made their sauces super spicy so we were really happy when we finally found it. I was trying to jot down which toppings I’d like, as well as my boyfriend’s order (since he didn’t speak Chinese) on my phone when the shopkeeper shouted at me.
“Oi! No taking photos here!” he shouted, his hand feverently mixing a bag of noodles for someone in line.
“No no, I’m just trying to write down my order…,” I said, taken aback by his hostility.
“No no, I’m just trying to remind you not to take photos,” he said sarcastically, pointing at a “No photos” sign.
Well, I never thought I’d be attacked while ordering noodles. But anyway, whatever. The noodles turned out to be underwhelming, since they weren’t spicy enough. So we left and I decided to get some street food.
I never usually bother to ask the price of street food, since it’s always affordable. So I ordered a bowl of curry fishballs, stinky tofu, and bacon-wrapped sausage. I took out a $50 bill, thinking they’d have to give me a little bit of change. Out of habit I asked “How much?” when they passed me my bag of food.
“$95,” the lady behind the counter replied.
What? That was more than our lunch of fishball noodles combined. I was so shocked and confused that I dug into my wallet for a $100 note and handed it over. I took my $5 change, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I later learned from my family that since we had spoken English, they had ripped us off.
We couldn’t even finish the fishballs, so when we met up with my mom later, we gave her the rest of it. She was at the China Visa office, trying to get us visas so we could travel into China. At first, it seemed like she had all the documents and could help us apply for our visas on our behalf, but then I got a call in which she told us we had to come personally because she was missing our Hong Kong IDs. We got lost trying to find the tourism office, but when we finally got there and handed over our IDs (again, dying from the heat), the woman behind the counter rejected them. My sister and I held temporary IDs, since we had just applied for new ones, both of us having passed the age of 18 and therefore outgrowing our old IDs. Apparently, you couldn’t apply for a visa with them. All that effort for nothing.
My mom didn’t want to walk around Mongkok with us, but she said she’d chill at a McDonald’s while we shopped and she’d join us for dinner. When she got to McDonald’s, she put down the fishballs and her sweater to save a seat, and then went off to buy a coffee. When she came back, she realized someone had stolen the bowl of fishballs, but left her sweater there. So I suppose in the end I paid for overpriced fishballs for some random person.
Being fed up, we went to an arcade to have some fun. The arcade we went to didn’t actually have any machines we wanted to play at, so after spending $20 at a Disney Tsum Tsum game for no particular reason (since I had basically the exact game on my phone), we left in search of another arcade.
We ventured out into the hot Mongkok streets again, following Google Maps towards this other arcade. When we finally go there, it turns out it wasn’t an arcade at all, but it was just this basement filled with sticker photo booths. None of us looked remotely photogenic that day, so we had no choice but to leave, in search of another arcade.
Suddenly, I realize I recognized where we were, and I remembered that there was another arcade nearby. It was in this weird, narrow mall, so we took the escalators up— this took quite a while. When we got to where the arcade was supposed to be, the floor was broken up and signs were erected reading “DANGER”. The arcade was shut down I suppose. Just our luck.
We left and stumbled across another mall I was familiar with. I stopped at a store that had those claw games where you’d try to grab a plush doll by feeding money into the machine. Each claw was $10, and I spent about $80 just trying to get this Pokemon plush. I suppose I would’ve stopped earlier if not for every attempt giving me a little bit of hope that I might actually get the doll. I grabbed it all 8 times, but the claw always weakened before it got to the prize chute, dropping the doll back into the pile of potential prizes. I stopped at $80 because I could get the exact doll from a store across from this one for $90.
We were done with testing our luck, so we met up with my mom for dinner. We were all very cautious by now, knowing how crap our luck was that day. We did everything carefully, avoiding situations that might put us in a bad spot as much as possible. We got through dinner fine, but as my sister waited for me to finish my dinner, she stood next to me chatting. That’s when she got a tap from the woman from the next table asking her if she could stop swirling her hair around in her curry. My sister’s long hair had been violating her food the entire time she was talking to me. We were mortified and embarassed and left right away.
We were literally holding hands on the MTR ride back home, scared for anything that might happen. When we got home, my boyfriend fell sick and puked all night until he went to sleep. We were all exhausted.
When we recounted our terrible luck to my mom that night, she said our unlucky day actually started earlier for her. She had went out for breakfast before any of us had gotten up to have milk tea and fried noodles that she had been craving. As she walked back to her seat, she dropper her entire plate of noodles, so she sat glumly, just drinking her milk tea.
What are you even supposed to do on a day when your luck is complete crap? Should we have turned back and stayed home? Or would we encounter some equally terrible events there?
So I suppose it’s days like this that makes me grateful for uneventful days, because sometimes, when nothing happens, you should already be counting your lucky stars.