Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time in Hong Kong

Once through the Hong Kong Train Station, we took a taxi to the Island Pacific hotel in Hong Kong. Taxi driver was nice and spoke good English. The hotel is beautiful! We are on the 28th floor overlooking the Victoria Harbor. The view is fabulous! We ate at McDonalds last night. It was good. Abbey had her first American meal. She ate some of it okay. Then we cooked her some instant noodles in a cup back at the room. She is a noodle or rice eating Asian girl. Gotta get her used to something else. In McDonalds we had a conversation with a family from England. When they first walked in the father asked if the food was any good. We told him that it tasted like McDonalds back in the USA. I added that the chicken sandwich that I had had was dark meat instead of white. He didn’t understand my southern American accent and looked at me in concern. Then he said “dog” meat? I had to speak slower and clarify “dark meat”. It was their first time visiting Hong Kong and they didn’t know what to expect any more than we did. McDonalds did have a few things on their menu that isn’t available in the USA, like instead of Apple Pies they offered purple yam pies. We did not eat any of those.

Here in Hong Kong there are many more American brands we recognize. It feels better to recognize and buy stuff that we know. China has much more variety of junk food this trip and we tried some stuff, it was good. They also had some American brands that we tried like Green Tea Oreos and roast Chicken flavored Lay’s potato chips. Pretty good stuff.

May 30 is cloudy again here in Hong Kong. Looks like a dreary day. We ate cereal in our hotel room in the morning and ate at the hotel restaurant for lunch. Excellent lunch buffet with a good mix of western and Asian foods (some strange choices but all very good). We played with our shrimp. Meigan was fascinated with the fact they cooked an served the shrimp with the head and antennas still attached. We played with it. Meigan wanted to see where the brains were when I tore the head off of one. I pretended that the shrimp was walking around before I took his head off. I know, sick, huh? May as well make fun out of eating something looking back at me.

Shane Lo (Deputy Fire Chief of the Hong Kong Fire Dept.) picked us up, at the hotel entrance after we finished lunch. He took us to a Hong Kong fire station and his office for a tour and discussion of fire issues in Hong Kong. He took us to his see a huge Fire Boat for a tour - very cool, although all of the boats in Victoria Bay can stir up good size waves. That boat was rocking the whole time we were on it. I was amazed that some of the items on the boat were shipped over from the USA, like the life boat and one of the toe cranks. Don’t they make everything in China? Apparently not. Shane then took us to Stanley Market and served as our personal shopper. He was great at talking with the shopkeepers and getting a good deal. He then took us to a nice Chinese restaurant and bought our dinner for us. He did the ordering for us. The food was served on a huge lazy susan in the middle of the table. The wait staff kept bringing in plate after plate of food. First off was shrimp with heads still attached. Fortunately we were already used to that from lunch. Meigan was asleep in my lap and Shane peeled some shrimp for me. That was very nice of him. We also ate fish soup. Very good! For an appetizer we were served crunchy salty fish. They were tiny little fish dehydrated in salt. Yes, with little eyes looking back at us. I was very hesitant to try them at first but I did. They were really good! Sort of like overcooked potato chip sticks. At that point I had started eating stuff I would have never dreamed of eating so why not keep going. They served fried oysters. I swore I would never eat what I have always referred to as “snot on the half shell”. I ate one, then two. They were really good! I had to try and forget what I was eating. Then they served fish with the head still on. Was steamed, a little mushy, but great tasting. I also ate goose. At least that’s what they said it was. It looked and tasted more like roast beef. Made we wonder if it was really something else, but it was really good. I trusted them that it really was goose. Who was I to argue, never saw the inside of a goose. Would have guessed it to be more like poultry, but it wasn’t. The whole meal was wonderful. Definitely different. It was a meal I won’t forget. It was so nice of Shane to take his time to show us a Hong Kong fire station, be our personal bargain shopper guide and then take us for a wonderful memorable dinner. He also gave the kids a bunch of Hong Kong fire station promotional kid toys. Meigan was fascinated with all the stuff he gave her. It was a fabulous day in Hong Kong.

We left Hong Kong at 12:00 noon on May 31st and plans were to arrive the same day at Dulles Airport at 9:00 pm if all our flights are on time. We flew from Hong Kong to Chicago (14 hours) and arrived in Chicago O’Hare airport around 2:00 pm (in time it was only two hours difference from when we left Hong Kong 14 hours earlier on the same day, still blows my mind). It took forever for us to get through all the checking lines and get to our next flight to Dulles. The flight from Chicago to Dulles was delayed by over 2 hours. There were so many people in the airport we sat on the floor waiting for our flight. Finally we got on the airplane and took off about 8:30 and arrived in Dulles about two hours later. The flight was good and smooth. David and Abbey sat behind Meigan and me. Meigan and I sat next to a nice guy from India. We had a good talk about life in India and his life in D.C. We talked about adoption and China and the differences in laws and rules for families in India versus China. He spoke pretty good English but occasionally would not understand some of my southern slang, ie. Getting Josh to do his homework I would practically have to “hog tie” him to get him to do it. He was entertained and somewhat confused about my use of words. Also when we talked about where we live and I described our 2 acres that we live on. He asked if we had 2 acres for farming. He thought that was interesting that we had 2 acres and didn’t farm it. His father farms the 120 acres they have in India and he sells sweet lemons (an item that is a luxury to buy in India). It was a very nice conversation. I offered him some gum to help keep his ears clear. He told me that if you lift your chin up and stretch your neck until it is tight and then swallow it will clear your ears. I tried it when the plane was landing and it worked. I told him that I would always remember him.
Our plane landed and the airport was pretty empty. It was fairly late on Memorial Day. By the time we got our luggage and got the shuttle to the Hyatt Hotel (where we had left our car at the beginning of our trip) it was almost 11:30 pm. When David and Abbey went to the garage to get our car the battery was dead. The good thing about being at the Hyatt with good customer service is they got us a guy to charge the battery within minutes. The car started and we put Abbey in her car seat. At first we were wondering how she might react to a car seat, assuming she had never been in one (they are not typically used in China). She was fussy as David got the car seat ready. Once she was in the seat she was okay. We think she was worried about what was going on. Whenever we would have a transition during our trip, Abbey would get a worried look on her face and she would start to pout and want David to hold her (remember I was chopped liver to her for most of our trip). I enjoyed telling David how much I was going to enjoy the movies and reading on the way home from China since he was going to have to take care of Abbey. By the time we left she was a bit more comfortable with me. When we took off from Hong Kong I sat between Abbey and Meigan and David sat across the isle. After a bit Abbey went and sat in the empty seat next to David. She stayed there the entire rest of the trip. With Abbey next to David and Meigan next to me, we had plenty of room. Next to Abbey was another empty seat. Both of the girls could stretch out when they slept. It was wonderful (for them) . Our seats were in the economy plus section. It gave us extra leg room. It was worth it! Made the trip much better. On this particular airplane the armrest between the seats raised up too to make for extra room. The first airplane (on the way to Beijing) the armrests didn’t raise up so it wasn’t as comfortable for Meigan to sleep. I think it depends on the size and style of the airplane maybe how old the plane is too. Don’t know.
Anyway we left Dulles for Powhatan at 11:30 pm and got home about 2:00 am. We were both tired but the girls slept the whole way home. We stopped and got cokes and then snacks and then coffee to stay awake to get home. We contemplated finding a place to park and sleep for awhile but never did. We played music and I kept tabs on David’s driving to make sure we made it home. We laughed and had a good time It was the most risk taking either of us had done in years. We were looking forward to getting home and going to sleep. Finally home at 2 am on Tuesday June 1, 2010.

Almost a soon as we pulled into the driveway the girls woke up. They were raring to go. How nice. They had slept on the plane and in the car and according to China time it was 2:00 in the afternoon and they had just woken up from an afternoon nap. How nice (did I say that already?) We tried to get them to go back to sleep and it didn’t work (needless to say). At 3:30 am I was fixing breakfast for Meigan and at about 4:30 am Abbey ate breakfast. We haven’t gotten over jet lag yet. I guess we haven’t tried hard enough. We have worked up to about 5 to 6 hours at night for the girls to sleep and then they are ready to go. We have tried to cut their naps short to fix them but we sleep when they do or take turns napping and we apparently need to work harder at trying to resolve this jet lag thing. It is getting better but it’s not much fun going through it.

1 comment:

  1. congratulations! They are so cute and sweet!
    Good luck with you,
    Joy & Leon