I think I was last here in 1998 or 1999, for work.
I’ve never been here for a vacation.

made it to my flight just in time – I was one of the last passengers to board,
as I insisted on having a smoke and a Coke Light before going to the boarding
area, even if I had arrived at the airport only an hour before the flight. I
took the train from the airport to Kowloon, then a cab (HK$115! I almost choked)
to the hotel I thought I was staying in, which turned out not to be the hotel I
had been booked in, which meant another cab (and a whopping HK$140) across the
Lion Tunnel and into Hongkong. I dislike these snags, as they distract me from
what I am meant to be doing.

Then I
walked to Times Square. My hotel is in Causeway Bay, my favorite area in
Hongkong. It’s crammed with tiny shops, a Sasa (cosmetics and perfumes) at every
corner, and it has the Sogo department store, which used to be my holy grail of
department stores. I overshot Times Square by one street, which I blamed on my
very cursory examination of the map that came with the welcome letter from our
regional office, but I made it somewhat dry, and in one piece, unmugged.

Dinner was neo-Japanese, exotically and
fussily presented, in a restaurant called Wasabisabi. It’s all shiny black
surfaces, which makes you feel like you’re inside a lacquered bento box, the
illusion completed by clear red film lining the doors. Long rectangular Japanese
lanterns hang in straight rows from the ceiling. The vertical lines are
reinforced by fine steel chains hanging from inset halogen lights. It was all
quite impressive, and very much the kind of place where you’d expect advertising
types to hang out.

So, tomorrow (later,
actually) is work. On my right wrist, I can still smell the memory of Cabaret by
Gres, spices burning through roses. I’m going back for that beauty. I cannot say
the same for Adrienne Vittadini Capri, a sweet fruity confection with a powdery
drydown that leaves me utterly disenchanted.