The next evening at dusk, Marnie and I set off alone, this time for the Chinese hubbub that is Cheung Chau island. For old time's sake we forego the new high-speed ferry in favor of a battered triple-decker with worn wooden floors, plastic chairs, and the smell of old ropes and oil. We scramble for an open-air seat in back, where I can sit with a can of chilled beer (San Miguel, this time) and savor the view. We are gliding past one of the world's most exciting skylines, a great wall of soaring glass and concrete - the hotels, banks, and business blocks of Hong Kong Island's Central district. I've always loved being out in this harbor, edging through a marine traffic jam of cargo junks and sampans, police and fishing boats, yachts, freighters, and hoverferries hustling gamblers off to Macau, some 40 miles away. When I lived here, the evening commute was my favorite time of day - a cherished transition from frenetic, big-city commerce to the leisurely, laid-back, T-shirt-and-shorts life of an island expat.