Greetings from Hong Kong where the sun is shinning and it is about 80 degrees today. We flew from San Francisco on Tuesday about noon and arrived at our hotel here Wednesday night about 7:30. The lost time was due to a 15 hour long non stop flight and a time change. As I write this is Thursday about 2:45, but it is still Wednesday in Seattle about 11:45 pm at night. So, there is a substantial time difference. The flight is a killer. I was able to re-read David Ball’s updated book on damages and outline it plus watch movies and sleep – but not very well. Next time we have a flight this long we’ll break it up with a stop somewhere on the way. Hawaii would have been a nice overnight stay on this trip.
We flew into the new airport built on a island and it was a 40 minute drive to town from the airport. Our bags, both stuffed beyond capacity and tagged as "heavy" were off the plane almost immediately. Very efficient system. We decided to get a light meal before going to bed and went to the lounge on the top floor of our hotel. The lights in Hong Kong are amazing. Every building is lit up and most have some form of advertising, many of them animated. It was actually attractive especially with the boat traffic. Since it was Hong Kong, we had some Chinese food, but it turned out to be worse then what we eat in Gig Harbor. A bar is not a place for gourmet food at least at this hotel. We went to bed jet lagged.
This morning we were awake at 4:00 am thanks to the time change and our internal clocks. We opened the suitcases for a few things, but since we leave Friday again we have not unloaded them. We had breakfast in the room and then walked to the Star Ferry terminal. The Star Ferry have been operating between Kowloon and Hong Kong since1888. These ferry’s were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s and still operate even though there are rail and road tunnels beneath the harbor. The cost is $2.20 per person Hong Kong dollars or about $.30 cents per person. It’s a 20 minute trip which gives one a great view of the harbor and the skyscrapers on both sides. Unfortunately, today there was considerable smog and a Grey sky.
We took the ferry back and got a taxi to the Bird Market. Getting there was an adventure. The traffic is worse then I-5 on a bad day with cars merging into each other’s lane like some kind of slow dance where one car yields to another. Off the main highway the city streets are filled with cars and double parked cars and people everywhere, but strangely I heard no horns blow at any time. We drove down a narrow street and arrived at the Market. Taxi’s are inexpensive here so I don’t mind the relatively long time it takes to get around. The Market is a narrow alley like area. It is full of birds of all kinds being sold. They are in cage after cage. From all sizes – Parrots to sparrows. Birds of every description and color and sound.
Right at the corner of the market entrance there is a very long street which has flower shop after flower shop. The delivery trucks are double parked unloading. The cars weave along the narrow remaining street where people are working to unload flowers. Some are in a kneeling position fixing the flowers and arranging them. Some are carrying the flowers into the small shops located side by side. Almost all the flowers are either wrapped in white paper or have a protective white gauze around them. However, the colors are amazing. Two or three shops have nothing but orchids. We walked the entire street looking at all the activity and colors. I think I have some good photos.
We caught a cab at the corner and took a long ride to the Four Seasons Hotel for lunch. This trip was a nightmare of slow moving traffic. One major reason for the backup were toll booths located across the road where the money is collected by hand and the process is very slow with not enough booths so there is a long slow back up to this location. But no horn honking to be heard. We finally made it to the hotel where we had Japanese food cooked in front of us. I had seafood which was very good. Lita had a similar meal but with beef.
The people here speak quickly and the language is very musical. They move quickly and wait people tend to hover snatching plates and dishes just as they are ready to be taken. The bill arrives, but the person doesn’t leave it for you to pay. They stand patrol until you have signed or paid. Efficiency everywhere – I’ll take Mexico or Italy any day for their relaxed and casual attitudes over precision and efficiency.
We’ve been to Hong Kong before so we know we have not seen the best attractions nor shopped at the the many places to shop, but it’s only for a full day as we leave in the morning. Thailand is our next stop. I have brought work with me – preparing for a CEO deposition in California, preparing for a trial with my partner Joel Cunningham in early December and two focus group studies when we get back, but I hope to relax as well on the beach at our next stop.