Monday, January 7, 2013

The best-laid plans...

Here we are, at the Hong Kong airport. At least they are kind enough to give us free wifi. Unlike our last hotel. I mean, seriously? Who doesn't include that in 2013??

Last night, we took a lot of time to carefully pack our bags so that I can head to WA for a few days before classes start, and my partner in crime can head home to return to work. We get to the airport today, and put our two bags to check onto the little weighing belt, no problem, then she saw the size of my carry-on (full of everything I'll need in WA since my ticket is actually to home, so I am bailing on the last leg of it.) "I'm sorry, this one is too heavy, you'll need to move some things to another bag or carry on a different bag." My only thought: "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!" for some reason, my tired shocked brain did not think to ask how much too heavy it was. We had absolutely zero room in our other bags, we filled every bit to make sure we could take everything. Plus, what would I do in WA with less stuff? I guess I could've stolen clothes from someone there.

Well, you can tell that our solution was not to shuffle items. When you clear customs in the US, you do it at the port of entry - San Francisco this time. Which is where I will change itineraries and continue on to WA. So I should at the very least be able to see my bag and re-pack things there. We'll see how it goes. Otherwise, I will have fun with boys' clothes and no presents for people :)

Our last day was nice. We found a post office, bought stamps, wrote and mailed postcards, bought final presents for people, and the. Went out to an area we hadn't seen at the Western end of the tram line. They don't even have the subway out there yet. The trams are cool, though. I need to make sure I have a ride from the airport... More later, maybe!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Malls and people and food

I was so busy before we left that I didn't think too much about what Hong Kong might be like. It's crazy, but really what I've noticed most so far is SO MUCH SHOPPING. Obviously Jon is not here for that, and who knows if he even notices it. His current area is pretty far north (google it if you haven't yet) so I bet it's different up there.

Today we made it up to Kowloon Tong to drop off the 5 pounds or so of stuff I had accumulated for him. And that's forgetting the postcards (noooo - I just wanted to give people a hope to be answered this century!) It's a super nice area. Their mall has an ice skating rink. That may just be for winter, who knows. I met Sister Kesler, who's been here for 17 months with her husband. I really wonder how often their kids get "whatever you say, Kesler," but I didn't ask. She said that Jon is always cheerful and brightens her day when he comes into the mission home. It's actually in the same building as the ward (or stake?) building, but has a different entrance. She gave me a guide that someone put together about things to do in Hong Kong. There is one mention of shopping - that the whole city is basically a giant mall. It's nice to have another source of other stuff to do, and we've actually already done a lot of their suggestions.

 I hope that Jon enjoys all of the things we left, especially the silly ones. They really do have loads of  Western things in the stores - Miracle whip, coke, Oreos, bread, pasta and pasta sauce, chocolates, cookies, Ferrero rocher and even...... Almond Roca. They are easier to find here than in Texas!! Expensive, but available. So when he says they can get 'everything' here, you still don't need to believe him, but it's enough that I bet he's not dying for any foods from home.

I have been amazed by the consumerism. Tonight we saw a 1 carat diamond. And a 3. And 5. And 8. And 10. Yes, 10, it was ginormous and heart-shaped. There are jewelry stores EVERYWHERE and they are proud of their diamonds. David was tall enough to read the price tag on the 8 carat one, if you guess it right you win.... Something, I don't know.

We also had dinner at a really tasty dim sum place.  We left absolutely stuffed, it was delicious. I think the hardest part about deciding what to eat here is just narrowing it down since we can't have it all. I also left Jon some money to go out to eat because sister Kesler said they can go pretty much wherever on p-day, the only limitation would be budget. And I don't even think Seattle has so many good, easy food options. But I could be wrong.