Although we were tired that day, we preferred to step out rather than staying in that congested room. I was excited to meet my friend but at the same time a bit nervous about how it would go, with both our families in tow. She was to leave for India the next day too, so we decided we would meet somewhere outside. Mongkok market was chosen as we could roam around the shopping area till she could reach. One good thing about the accommodation we had chosen was that as soon as we stepped out of the building, we could step in to the railway station. We were hungry too and hence decided to have something light before taking the train to Mongkok. Nilu informed me that she would reach around 6:30. We had ample time on hand, so we leisurely walked around the streets of Jordan. We click pictures of the colourful buses, the crowded streets, the shops that sold umpteen varieties of dry fish, jewellery shop which had huge necklaces with dragons and pigs as the subjects. We went to McDonalds as we badly wanted to have something familiar after the series of strange looking and tasting food that we had on our flights.
Then we got into the station and struggled with the ticket vending machine as it accepted only cash but it needed specific currency. Someone form the train crew lent us a hand in getting the tickets sorted. We were overwhelmed by the crowd everywhere and the pace at which people were moving. The life seemed to be on a fast forward mode and we felt completely out of place 😀 All of us badly missed Sydney at that point and craved for the easy going life. Even escalators were running superfast, you put your foot on them and before you know it you have alighted. The station was designed in such a way that it was very safe to commute. The platforms were covered by walls and doors of the walls opened into the trains’ doors so that there was no chance for one fall on the track ever. Mongkok was just one station away from Jordan.
After reaching, we wandered around the market, saw the creative goodies up for sale. I bought a Chinese tea set and a large Chinese fan for our home. Mantam bought smaller handfans for themselves. We still had a lot of time to kill before Nilu came. We decided to go for massage. There were these ladies who were handing out massage pamphlets and pleading us “Come la, get massage la, very good la. Come come la” Abbas and I agreed and she took us inside a hideous looking building. We were wary of the intentions of the lady as we climbed the shady staircase. We opted for neck and shoulder massage and they took us both is separate rooms. Mantam were in a common room and within our earshots. The massage lasted about 20 mins but wasn’t good at all. We could not give them feedback due to language barrier 😀 We came out of the place after paying the fees.
We started waiting for Nilu after coming out, Mantam were so tired. I spoke to her on the phone and we were both around the same place but couldn’t locate each other as there was no discrete landmark that we could tell her. With whatever details I told her, she guessed where we must be and she sent pictures of some buildings and asked if we could see them. We couldn’t see any of those L After a lot of confused telephone conversation, I finally heard an ecstatically lunatic voice calling out “Seema” that reverberated inspite of packed crowd and traffic. I knew it was her, she was shouting from the other end of the road. I knew it was my darling friend who is still the same nutcase that she used to be during college days. If it were not for her husband, she might have run across the busy street but he dragged her backwards to take the subway and walk towards our part of the street 😀
We hugged each other tight when we met. It had been a decade since we had last spent time together…