On Monday night ML and I were supposed to meet friends at Ozone. Neither of us had ever been to this bar, and we did not know how to get there. The friends texted us saying that it was in Kowloon, they were taking a cab, “walking is impossible.”
Kowloon is huge. That’s like saying a bar is in downtown New York, and you can’t walk there.
Ozone, as it happens, is located on the top floor of the Ritz Carlton in the ICC building. The tallest building in Hong Kong, and it is the highest bar in the world. This, I assume, does not count airplanes. I have a history of not being able to find the tallest building. I once tried to find the tallest building on Hong Kong Island (the IFC, it’s in Batman, don’t worry about it) from the closest MTR, and because the other, shorter, buildings were blocking my view, I could not see it and had to call for directions.
I was hoping that this time I would have more luck. ML and I decided to MTR across the harbor and then take a cab from somewhere Kowloon side.
We got on the MTR in Causeway and switched in Admiralty, because that’s how you get across the harbor. I should clarify, it is one of at least 8 ways of getting across the harbor to Kowloon, but it is my most frequent way of getting to Kowloon. We selected the default option.
We chose to get off at Jordan station, and upon exiting, we saw a line of cabs on the street. “Ha, and we thought it might be hard to find a cab.” ML exclaimed. We go went to the first one in line, he is ready to go. “Ritz Carlton?”
He looked confused.
“Ritz Carlton Hotel? Kowloon?”
He continued to shrug and then waved us away.
“That’s annoying. How does he not know the Ritz? Shouldn’t everyone know the Ritz?”
We tried another cab. He was more enthusiastic. “Ritz Carlton?” Same routine.
After a few times saying all the variations of Ritz he said, “What district?”
We didn’t know. I suggest “ICC?”
He didn’t get it, and the light changed. Feeling ineffective now. ML suggested asking a pedestrian: “The ICC?? That’s really far. I think it’s Kowloon station.”
“Oh.. thanks!” We decided to try another cab. The first cab in line drove up, and we tried to say something to him but he shut his window on us. How rude. We saw the first cab we asked, since we now knew the ICC and Kowloon station we figured he might help. He too waved us away and additionally reversed 20 meters down the road to the parked cars.
A cab driver 2 lanes away skeevily asked if we wanted the IFC. He probably just wanted the extra fair for taking people through the tunnel to the island, but his smile just seemed creepy.
Helpful. We gave up at that point. We retreated and we descend back into the station. “I don’t know what line Kowloon station is on…” There were no maps in the station. Why does that happen?
“Maybe we should just take the train to another MTR stop and cab from there?”
“I don’t want to go back out here.”
We got on the next train, it was going the wrong way, North. But we discovered once we were on the train and found a displayed map (finally) if we wanted the correct direction, we would have to go all the way back across the harbor to central, then change to the Tung Chung line to get to Kowloon. Too much effort. We got off at the next stop and left at the first exit.
There were fewer cabs: there were no cabs, then there was one cab that had a passenger. We walked to the main street and put out our hands. The next light changed and a minute later we were in a cab saying “ICC?” and he said “Kowloon Station?”
We had made it.