I arrived in Wuhan at the Wuchang Train Station around 6:15 AM via slow train. I had breakfast at 真功夫this morning. Today, I essentially took the whole day off after arriving in my hostel. I arrived in my hostel maybe around 10 AM. The main problem was that navigating the city in the rain and with bad directions was very difficult. It was also very difficult that the LED billboards on the buses didn’t say which was the next stop. It would speak it verbally, but the LED billboards were only for ads, not actually for telling people the next stops, which I found quite annoying. Although, I can read some Chinese, having a billboard that just piped ads did me no good. I was very lucky that I had the Baidu Maps app, 百度地图. If I didn’t have access to mobile Internet, it would have been very difficult to find my hostel on my own. I probably would have had to have taken a taxi, and of course I would have risked possibly being ripped off. So after 10 AM, I slept for many hours in my hostel. I was very lucky that in my room after 11 AM or so, there was no one in my room for several hours, so I got many hours of sleep. Part of the reason I took the day was because I had been travelling for almost a full month, and just needed a day off. In addition, my knee injury was hurting me quite a bit, so I decided to rest my knee for the day. Near the end of the day, I met a guy in my hostel with whom I would travel tomorrow.
It was both a happy and a sad day today. It was a sad day because I left Hong Kong. It was a happy day because I would be going back to visit friends in Mainland China. The biggest events of today were crossing the border from Hong Kong to Mainland China, and taking my train from Shenzhen to Wuchang. I went back to a small restaurant by the Hong Kong Central library for breakfast. I posted pictures of my breakfast. I did some grocery shopping in Hong Kong right before going back across the border. I bought some Hong Kong Qoo (something I can’t buy in Mainland China). I posted a picture of Qoo. I had to make sure that I arrived in China before my train for Wuchang left, so I had to make sure that I didn’t leave Hong Kong at the last minute. Crossing the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen was quite easy. I took the subway from Causeway Bay all the way up to the border. Once I arrived in Mainland China, I had my lunch in the McDonald’s right in the area across the border I also saw a small fight that seemed to draw quite a lot of attention.. My train for Wuchang left at 18:15 from Shenzhen Station. It was very leaving from Shenzhen Station which was literally right across the border from Hong Kong, and it was very easy to find. I didn’t have take the Shenzhen Metro to get to the station. I had a top hard sleeper bed for my trip from Shenzhen to Wuchang (a part of Wuhan). Soon upon arriving in the train, I had to exchange my train ticket for a plastic card that allowed me to further stay in my bed. It was supposed to leave at 18:15, and arrive in Wuchang the next day at 06:19 AM. My train left almost exactly on time. The dinner on the train was ok, and I posted a picture of it. I got a little bit of sleep on my trip to Wuchang.
The biggest item for today was buying a phone. I bought a grey market Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III phone today. I bought it in Sin Tat Plaza in Mongkok. I thought it was a good deal, and know now that it is definitely a real Samsung. It was a little risky, but I did a lot of research to know that what I was buying was indeed the real thing. I know now that the Samsung Galaxy S3 that I bought in Hong Kong every day. I really love it. It is so fast and well-designed. I actually got the Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III which is the international version of the S3 with 4G LTE instead of 3G and 2G of RAM instead of 1G of RAM. The phone that I bought was a grey market or parallel imported phone. I bought it knowing this. I got a fantastic deal on the phone partially because it is parallel imported and partially because I bought it at a very big phone market in Hong Kong in the Mongkok area. I paid 2380 HKD. Essentially grey market means it is not illegal but not fully legal. In between white being fully legal and black from black market being fully illegal. It is a real Samsung phone but made for the market in France, not the version for Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, so many vendors openly sell parallel imported electronics and don’t deceive the buyers about the fact. Sometimes vendors openly sell grey and fully legal products side by side with the grey usually being cheaper. In Chinese parallel or grey imported is usually called 水貨. Some dictionaries will say that it means smuggled or unauthorized goods in some contexts. Basically it is mostly legal to buy a product in one country, and resell it in another, but Samsung maybe doesn’t like this. Most of the places selling grey market phones will give a shop warranty of 1 year for the phone, but could not give a Samsung 1 year warranty because they were grey market. I always learn something new whenever I go to Hong Kong. I never imagined grey markets existed before. My Chinese friend in Shenzhen said quite a lot of goods in Mainland China are also parallel imported goods. Here is a good article about parallel imported goods on Wikipedia. Before I bought the phone, I went to various stores including Fortress a local electronics chain store to check out the prices of the Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III for the official version. The prices for the official Hong Kong Samsung phones were a lot more expensive than the grey market ones, but they come with a guarantee that they are real, and would come with an official Samsung 1 year warranty. Today was a little sad for me in that I knew that I would be leaving Hong Kong tomorrow to go back to China. I tried to say my last goodbyes to my friends, and had a good night wandering around Hong Kong a bit.
Right after I left my hostel, I went to an Aeon (formerly known as Jusco) in Hong Kong today. In Aeon, bought some really nice potato chips from a Japanese company. I also found some very delicious chocolate-dipped pretzels from a Japanese company at a 7-11 in the Mongkok area. At night, I had a delicious meal in Chung King Mansions. For my drink at dinner, I drank a Thai Red Bull, my favourite version of Red Bull.
I hung out with Ignacio, a fellow I met in my hostel from Chile last night, in the morning today, and we had a nice breakfast close to the Hong Kong Central Library. In the evening, I went to Sham Shui Po here in Hong Kong, in order to search for computer stuff. I went to the Golden Computer Centre and the Golden Computer Arcade. I think the Golden Computer Center and the Golden Computer Arcade is awesome, and is a heaven for computer geeks. I think the Golden Computer Center and the Golden Computer Arcade is just as good or even better than the Mongkok Computer Centre. I also visited some vendors who had small shops selling electronics or computer stuff. You can read more about Sham Shui Po here. At night, I hung out Ignacio and his friend from Chile. We went to various bars in Hong Kong, which I thought was quite fun. Tonight was the first time I have ever had a jello shot (likely of vodka).