Having been a fan of Kung Fu movies for years, Spud felt it was high time that he visit the land that gave the world most of the genre's greatest stars: Hong Kong.
Boasting the second largest movie production in the world, Hong Kong is a Mecca for martial arts films - having spawned such international stars as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. These butt-kicking thespians have collectively made hundreds of films and are regarded with almost god-like status by the locals. As an honour to these men, the island of Kowloon, in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, created 'The Avenue of Stars'. Not unlike Hollywood's 'Walk of Fame', most stars had imprints of their hands so Spud and other fans could ponder how popular the actors were with the ladies...
As Spud walked down the Avenue, which runs along the Southern tip of Kowloon's peninsula, the tater gazed across the famous Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong island. The Hong Kong skyline is like no other the potato had ever seen. Countless skyscrapers stand shoulder to shoulder; jockeying for position along the crowded coastline.
Eager to see more sites, the tater boarded the Star Ferry and sailed across the busy harbour to Hong Kong island. At the other side, the potato hailed a cab and drove to the Peak Tram station where he could catch a ride up to the top of Victoria Peak; where the best panoramas of the city, Kowloon and the Harbour can be had.
The Peak rises a sharp 552 metres (1811 feet) above the City and a Tram Car, running since the late 1800's, makes the steep journey in about 10 minutes. The potato hopped off the Tram and then ran to an observation point to get a look at one of the world's busiest places.
The view was breathtaking-literally, as huge brown clouds of pollution draped the cityscape. Carbon-belching vehicles clogged the arteries of streets at the base of the soaring buildings, working together to create these plumes of noxious fumes.
Spud could feel his lungs growing heavier and heavier with each breath. He hadn't felt so nauseous since he heard William Shatner sing 'Mr. Tambourine Man'.
Concerned that he was going to pass out, Spud stumbled back onto the Tram and headed into the City to seek medical attention. The potato asked a trolley driver for directions in Hong Kong's Central district. The man knew such a place and whisked him across town to Bonham Strand, where a large number of medical practioners could be found.
The Chinese take a few different approaches when it comes to treating the ill. Some deal in modern medicine where one is able to select from a fine complement of pills and overpriced elixirs. Most however, practice traditional Chinese medicine - which has been performed for many millennia. Spud entered a traditional dispensary to seek a cure for his hacking cough and congestion.
The shop floor was lined with bins of dried lizard, fish and seahorse carcasses. Jars on the shelf contained yellowish oxen gall bladders. It was as if Spud had stumbled onto the set of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and Marlon Perkins had been replaced by Jeffrey Dahmer.
Just then a small figure emerged from a storeroom, his hands clasping a large bottle of snake bile. A bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling at the end of a long cable, revealed the figure as an old Chinese man who welcomed the potato to his shop.
The man told Spud that all of the macabre items were used as ingredients for treating different ailments. Spud had heard that treatments in traditional medicine were unconventional, but were also very effective-mostly without side effects. Quite a difference compared to the pill pushing conglomerates in North America. The man could see the thick soot of the air had discoloured the tato's skin and the tuber's incessant coughing also allowed him to make a quick and accurate diagnosis and equally fast solution.
The man disappeared behind the counter and reappeared seconds later with a caribou antler in one hand and a jar of dried deer fetuses in the other. Spud thought to himself, 'Well I guess I know what became of Bambi'...
The 'doctor' then went to work preparing his miracle cure. He grated some shavings off the antler into a glass filled with a mysterious cloudy liquid. He then dipped a deer fetus into the concoction and let it steep in the glass for 10 minutes. The tuber secretly hoped that guy didn't work at Starbucks part time...
Picking up the glass, the freaky physician swirled the brew around a few times to 'blend' the ingredients and then offered it to Spud. He claimed that this would work wonders to clear the side dish's congestion and provide strength and nourishment to build his immune system. The potato took one look at the milky potion and felt remarkably better. So good in fact, that he turned and high-tailed it down the street and away from the Holistic House of Horrors.
Click here for part 2 of the adventure in Hong Kong!