It’s hot in Hong Kong. Yes, this is newsworthy hot. And I’m sure Thailand/Cambodia/Laos are going to be much worse. It’s the kind of hot you can’t escape. It leaves sweat rolling down uncomfortable places and clothes that won’t stop sticking. Thank god for air conditioning!
Okay, I suppose that’s enough complaining for one post. Now to introduce the characters of this post…Scene one includes a Vietnam veteran suffering from Alzheimer’s, scene two has an Egyptian on the run from Muslim persecution, and scene three, the hordes of people in Hong Kong.
Fifteen hours is a long time to sit in on a plane. For those of you who have done it more than once, let me just say wow! That should be an illegal form of torture. That fifteen hours gets even longer when you sit next to a very nice gentleman who happens to be suffering of short-term memory loss due to Alzheimer’s. However, this man had many interesting stories. I just happened to hear each of them three times. He was returning to Vietnam for the first time after the war during which he worked as a civilian contractor. So for ten hours of the flight I was regaled with stories about communicating with the Soviets and the cheap cabs between Thailand and Vietnam in the 70’s.
Now here is something I didn’t expect to discuss here, but will. On my way through the airport, I was stopped four times to discuss the shirt I was wearing. This happened to be my Indiana University sweatshirt. Everyone wanted to know if I was a banker coming to work in Hong Kong. So Kelly graduates, be proud! Your reputation precedes you.
Arriving in Hong Kong, I was surprised by how little I noticed. It took me around twelve hours to even realize that they drive on the opposite side of the street. I attribute this to the mix of West and East here in Hong Kong. It’s like a tiny box wrapped in Western wrapping paper but tied with Asian ribbons. My new Egyptian friend/roommate helped me to explore this mix this morning. Joe/Ahmed confided that he left Egypt because of the Muslim persecution of Christians that has recently broken out. A suicide bomber blew up his church and killed many of his friends. So now he travels. We spent the morning getting lost in the northern part of Hong Kong Island. There we got to take a double-decker tram and ride on a couple ferries.
This evening, among hundreds of the tourists and citizens in Hong Kong, I had the pleasure of watching the Symphony of Lights across Victoria Harbor. This was extremely anti-climactic. I just kept wondering when the real show was going to start. But I guess I expected too much. Finally, I sat across a Berkley graduate from Hong Kong for dinner. Our conversation began with my complete inability to use chop sticks. I guess I won’t be eating a whole lot in the next month!
Now today is but a memory. Tomorrow is another adventure.
P.S. Sorry I am really tired writing this, so if you want to know something else or if you don’t understand something, just ask!