- Part II
All of this sightseeing had made Spud rather peckish, so he thumbed through his travel guide for recommendations on places to dine. The Chinese people are rarely overweight and they boast the longest life expectancy along with the people of Japan, so the tuber surmised that the local food must be the key to this good health.
His book referenced the Jumbo floating restaurant in the nearby town of Aberdeen, as a popular eatery for local fare. The tato jumped on a bus and made the short journey to the busy harbour town on the North side of the island.
The restaurant was packed with locals and Spud was the only potato in the place - including the kitchen! 'The food must be good' Spud mused to himself as he climbed onto his table. Opening the menu, the tato was at a loss. The entire bill of fare was in Chinese with no English translation. The carbohydrate felt as if he'd just landed at Ellis Island and was given a phonebook in which to pick his name. Having no photos to clue him in to the selection, Spud had to make a random choice. The tuber has been known to be adventurous, so it couldn't be that bad...
Twenty minutes later, the waiter arrived with his selection: Suckling Pig Intestines
Spud had heard that the locals will eat anything that had legs - except for the table, so perhaps there was some truth to the rumour. Needless to say, Spud's hunger quickly diminished when the aroma of the entrail entree entered his nasal cavity. It was time to get away from the wackiness of Hong Kong island - perhaps to somewhere with food and medicine that doesn't resemble body parts. The potato walked down to the Aberdeen harbourfront and sat on the shoreline watching the boats.
Moments later, a woman chugged up to the tato in a flat bottomed skiff called a sampan. The woman offered Spud a tour of the famous harbour which was an important safe haven during tsunami season. Spud responded that he was looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the area and go somplace tranquil and relaxing. The persistent woman said that she knew of the ideal place and the touring tater hopped aboard.
The sampan turned, coughed out a plume of smoke and sputtered toward Lantau Island, the largest of the islands in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. That island was home to the Po Lin Monastery and the Giant Buddha. It was a sacred place of peace & tranquility and an Eden away from the chaotic activity of the City.
Not to be outdone by Japan, the monks of the Po Lin monastery in Hong Kong set out to build a larger, more impressive Buddha than the one Spud saw in Kamakura. In 1981, they began construction of the Tian Tan Buddha at the top of the Muk Yue Peak on Lantau Island. Twelve years later, they had constructed a 34 metre (112 foot) tall bronze statue bending the scales at 205 tonnes (202 tons). The Buddha sits atop a perch that is reached by climbing 268 steps up from the Monastery.
Spud noted that this Buddha sported a corn-row coiffure, no doubt influenced by the 80's break-dancers like Boogaloo Shrimp and Shabba Doo.
Gift shops at the base of the Buddha have been doing a brisk business, since the statue's inaugural celebration in 1993, however the opening of Hong Kong's Disneyland theme park would soon be cutting into their profits. Apparently, people find a giant rodent more appealing than a monument to spiritual enlightenment.
Unlike the Gift Shop in Kamakura, there were no Buddha cookies to be had at the Po Lin Monastery, so edible options once again escaped the potato. Fearing that he may have to resort to eating himself, Spud figured that his best option was to head to the Airport.