Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To China and back, day 1

Hong Kong

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.


Anonymous said...

Don't know how you crammed all that adventure into a little more than 24 hours! Yes, Los Altos really does seem like the farm once you set foot in China and see all the highrise buildings. Makes our city scapes look pretty boring in comparison. Glad to know you made it safely. Hope you sleep better tonight.

Anonymous said...

Bob and Grannie--Do you not remember going into Canada??All it takes is your Cosco or Safeway Card!!If it does not work ,give me a call--p.s. I do not accept collect calls--Have fun bill rose

Stacey T. said...

Call Concierge for an adapter... we didnt' even bring one with us.

Anonymous said...

Really great to hear about your day. What the hell do you do if your debit card doesn't work? May in a bank they will work. Tell M and Rod to bring lots of money! Marlayna

M3 said...

Alright! The intrepid world travelers have made it. And of course you made it in style with pictures and a blog post. Awesome. We're leaving today, so we're right on your heels.

Bob & Mary B said...

Hi Bob & Patti-
Sounds adventurous! Let us know if the "Hot & Sour Soup" is as good as here. Good luck!
-Bob and Mary B.

Anonymous said...

Bob & Pat,
East coast to the Far East!!
But the far east has a better return...looking forward to those two little ones.

Anonymous said...

What a great adventure.Sounds like you are having a good time.WOW you even get a BONUS 2 beautiful granddaughters. You hit the jackpot. Have a great day.

Everyone Has a Story... said...

So exciting!
Thanks for the post and the pictures! You are officially hired to take over for MaryMia and Rod if they are too busy with the wee ones!
Can't wait to read about more adventures...
Hoping all are "E" tickets!

Anonymous said...

Pat and Bob,
Sounds like you are having a great time! Missed you at the auction last night. Was not the same without Pat biding on stuff she did not really want.

Take care of the little ones and we will see yu back home soon.

Stan Paddock