Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hong Kong

Weird blogger program, breaking up sentences and even words and there's nothing I can do about it. Sorry. The 14.5 hour flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong was fine, with okay seats – the first and second seats of the middle

section, with, thankfully, a nice person in the third seat. I slept some, but Leslie never was able to s

leep. We got into Hong Kong a few minutes after 6am, changed a few dollars, and caught the A21 bus to

Mongkok. We dropped our bags at the Dragon, had breakfast at the Ho Fun Café, and caught

a bus to the Chungking Mansions to change $200. Rode back up Nathan Road and

checked in to the Dragon, where sure enough, we got a room with shared bath. Photo above: Mong Kok sidewalk

We walked around the neighborhood some, including to the Sino Plaza, a very busy collection of mostly tiny shops selling electronic gewgaws. By now, Leslie was shak

y-tired, so we went back to the Dragon and she stayed in the room while I went on a fruitless

search for Wing Hub Roasties. Unable to find Wing Hub, I went back to a place we’d gotte

n take-away (what they call to-go) pork and duck before. The duck was good, but the pork was just brilliant. The best. This day, Sunday, was kind of a lost day as we’d been quite a few hours with little or no sleep. By the end of the day Leslie had gone 48 hours with zero s

leep – not bad for 65 years!!! Photo above (by Leslie): bird fancier at Cooked Foods Court, Fa Yuen (people's) Market

We slept like logs. In the morning fixed coffee with the filter holder (kind of like a Mellita) that Leslie got for traveling), and walked a few blocks to the Fa Yuen Market. We had planned on getting dim s

um for breakfast at the 3rd floor “Cooked Foods” food court for breakfast, but changed our minds and had a western breakfast (eggs, ham, toast, coffee)

at a place where we’d talked with the owner several years ago – and it was here that the trip seemed to really begin, with a friendly woman at a nearby table, men with so

ng birds in cages, and Leslie and I planning our day in this amazing city. Photo: random lane Cheung Chau

We took a bus down the canyon of Nathan Road to the harbor. What kind of a day would it be without a ride on the Star Ferry across the harbor? We had thought we’d go up the Peak, but it was a hazy day and so decided we’d take a ferry to Cheu

ng Chau Island. It was a nice 45 minute ride on the “fast ferry” (no smoking, no gambling, passengers must stay in the saloon) to the island. I guess if we’d not been to Lamma Island several times in the past Cheung Chau would have been more engaging. Maybe the best way to say it is it was a good trip to a kind of gritty (as Leslie would say) island town. We were tired by the time we got back to our room. We cleaned up and went out to Good Hope Noodles for shrimp wonton soup and a plate of Chinese broccoli. And finally back to our room where we are as I write this. Photo: Star Ferry, the very same ferry that Suzy Wong and her lover rode back and forth across the harbor, falling in love.

Sorry about all the broken-up sentences and words!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Asia 2010-2011

The trip started in Berkeley where we had Thanksgiving with David and Kevin. In a few hours we’ll take off for Hong Kong, where we’ll stay in Mong Kok at the Dragon Hostel. Photo: $4 worth of dim sum from Chinatown in Oakland. Starting the trip with a dim sum binge


My amazing wife is fine with us staying 2 nights in a room with shared bath (hopefully without a turtle – see link above), then 2 nights with attached bath. The thing is we really like the Dragon – it’s well-run, it’s 2 blocks from the MTR and a main bus line, half a block from the Ho Fun café, 2 blocks from the Fa Yuen Market, and it’s in the most crowded area of a very crowded city with the most amazing crowds in the streets.

Then to Hanoi for about a week while we wait for David to join us. Depending on the rains, we’ll go to Sapa up in the mountains or Halong Bay. Then on to Hue (beautiful city of ghosts), Dalat, Saigon, Phnom Penh … deep into the lands of the Mekong ...

Whole generations of westerners who went out there as soldiers, doctors, planters, or journalists lost their hearts to these lands of the Mekong ... there are places that take over a man's soul.” Jon Swain

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More beautiful things

Two excellent short films by Jun, my cycling buddy. Jun did the video on Leslie and me cited elsewhere in the journal.

State Fair of Texas

Greenwood Cemetery