HK&C: Day 8: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles to Beijing

New digs.

Disclaimer: Today was not a particularly interesting day.

Today was all about getting to Beijing.
First, we headed back to Shenzhen on the MTR.
You might be wondering why we didn’t just fly from Hong Kong, and if so, the reason is that it was 80% less expensive to book tickets from Shenzhen in yuan. 
In Shenzhen, we said our goodbyes to Yuki, who was returning to Zhongshan, and then took a bus to Shenzhen airport for our 1330 China Southern flight to Beijing. 
This flight, too, failed to take off on time. The ticket said boarding would start at 1300, but we didn’t board until 1340. There were no announcements or status changes.
This flight was completely different from my Yongzhou flight, though. Everyone followed the rules. There were no fights. Everyone quietly stayed in their seats. There was even a movie and a chicken dish which wasn’t half bad. It was almost disappointing, given how my last flight showed how entertaining a flight can be!
Dinner: Chicken and Lotus
The flight to Beijing from Shenzhen takes about three hours, and after arriving, we hopped in a cab to our new digs, the Doubletree Beijing, which should give me Gold Status with Hilton. (I admit it, I have a great love of the free upgrade.
All checked in, we wandered out for dinner at a local spot. We taught our waitress some English, specifically how to say all of the things on our table (spoon, bowl, etc), and then we had a nice long walk around our neighborhood and went home. 
Eleven hours of trekking via 2 cabs, 1 train, 1 bus, and 1 plane left us too tired for even a single game of Bust a Move!

HK&C: Day 1: Hong Kong

The overcast view from my room.

Emerging from the plane after twelve hours in transit, I arrived in Hong Kong on Dragon Boat Day (端 午節英文) I trekked through customs. collected my bags, picked up an Airport Express Pass, and headed to the Airport Express to take the train into Kowloon. After quickly dropping off my stuff at my digs for the night, the Langham Place, I headed out to meet a very old friend for dinner.

Kimiko + Francoise 1991

Kimiko was my roommate and closest friend during my first year of boarding school. She graduated and headed off into the world, while I had a few more years to go.

A few years after she graduated, we lost touch, and we reconnected over Facebook a while back. I was very excited to hear she was living in HK.

Kimiko, Jimmy, + Franc 2010!

As you can imagine, we’ve changed a bit since 1991. For starters, we have better clothes. Kimiko also has a wonderful husband, Jimmy.

It’s really shocking to think that there are 19 years and 11 months between these photos of us. 

We didn’t stray far from the hotel, as conveniently, all I hoped for foodwise was literally right in front of me. Langham’s Japanese restaurant, Takoro, was excellent. I especially enjoyed the sticky potatoes with tuna.

After supper, we wandered to The Backyard, which offered outdoor seating and more World Cup coverage (there are many screens showing the game around the area) for a last round before calling it a of many fun ones to come!

HK & China 2010 (HK&C): The Game Plan

The Where and When

While initially planned for February and rescheduled due to my passport being held up for visa stuffs, Kiely and Francoise’s Super Awesome Hong Kong and China Trip (HKandC), has finally come!

As with everything else I do, I have made a spreadsheet summarizing a plan of action. Mock me all you like, but those who have survived my spreadsheets will generally agree that they’re a good thing.

A few plans are currently lined up, but not many. There are friends to see in Hong Kong, a duck supper with friends of a friend in Beijing, and a definite requirement to see the Great Wall and The Forbidden City, but the rest will be ad-libbed.

Should we lose steam and require inspiration, my brother Kiely and I will be looking to our first real exposure to the PRC, a PBS children’s special, Big Bird in China, rediscovered while looking at old books at our mother’s house.
He’s definitely Big Bird at 6’8″ (the real Big bird is 8’2″), and as Barkley and I share a hairstyle, these roles may be fitting.

Pictures and recaps will follow, as I can post them. For now, it’s packing and airport time! 赠别!