Wednesday, October 18, 2006
To China and back, day 1
Oh my gawd, we have done it now. The country mice have sure ventured out of the country and into the big wide world.
So far, we have taken a jet (that seemed like about a week), an express train, a mini shuttle and walked to get to our hotel in downtown Hong Kong.
We are in a really big city, very cosmopolitan, and very vertical, unbelievable number of high rise apartment buildings. Nothing like getting off a plane in a foreign country and being on your own as far as finding your hotel and how to get there. Right off the bat, we discovered that our ATM card does not work in Hong Kong, it needs to have a 6 digit pin number. One little gal said to add 2 zeroes either in front or in back or the regular 4 digit number, but she also said the machine will keep it after two mistakes. Having already tried the four digit number, we decided to forget that, and changed some cash.
The express train from the airport to Hong Kong Island and downtown is really modern and fast. We bought two round trip tickets. Nobody checked them on the train but in order to get out of the station, you have to insert them into a turnstile. A friendly attendant who saw us looking at the turnstile as if it were a space alien finally showed the two farmers the difference between one that does magnetic passes and one that reads round trip cards. This reminded me of the old Kingston Trio song, did he ever return, no he never returned and his fate is still unlearned. Moral, buy the ticket before you get on.
The shuttle from the train station to the hotel was definitely an E ticket, traffic with inches to spare, twisty turny little streets, hordes of taxis, braced with one foot to the side and holding onto the luggage rack bars.
We arrived at our hotel at 5:30am (CA time), October something or other, maybe 18 in CA, anyway, we went to bed at 8:30pm local and woke up the first time at 11:30, the second time at 1:00, the third time at 3:30 and finally got out of bed at 3:40. So far this morning, we have had tea, Ghirardelli chocolates, peanut butter crackers and we are waiting for daylight and breakfast.
Now it is 5:30 am October 19 (we think) in Hong Kong. We have a gorgeous view of the harbour outside our window. Patti thought she was on a cruise ship because of the water view out the window and the size of the bathroom. We will have breakfast and tour with our friend Masako today, (see, we do actually know someone in HK).
We have also discovered that the electric plug adapter that we bought for China does not work in Hong Kong, so we have to hurry and post this before our computer croaks.
A note to M and R from Wela, just wait I’m making my list of wants.
To Jane and Bobby, send money and give Harley a hug.
To all of our wonderful friends stay tuned and hold the search parties we are still alive.