Today our fearless travelers experienced everything from small eats to huge heights.
First, they traveled from the booming industrial city Shenjen, China to the former British colony of Hong Kong. Returned to the Chinese government in 1997, Hong Kong has been a big city for a long time, which contrasts greatly the newbie city of Shenjen, only a major city for the last 20 years (since China’s Open Door Policy). Though Hong Kong is “technically” Chinese, our travelers still faced the perils of immigration: forms, long lines, and lots of waiting, and yet they persevered.
Their tour guide, a feisty Hong Konger named Tella (reminiscent of a female Jackie Chan: lots of energy and smiles) showed them to one of the locals favorite spots: the harbor of Kowloon, the island adjacent to Hong Kong Island. There, the adventureres could see the Hong Kong “Walk of Stars.” Celebrities such as Bruce Lee and Chow Yun Fat had their names put into the sidewalk, along with cement impressions of handprints.
Next, Tella lead them to a…yes, you guessed: timeshare! This one—jewelry—went a little bit differently for our crew. Rather than passively submitting to the demands grabby, grubby “hawkers” (code for vendors), the crew took a separate route. David, Brian S., Rick, Michelle, and a few others who will remain nameless for their own safety simply ducked out off the building rather than endure the timeshare. Those hapless souls that remained, Sharon, Debbie, Judy and Bethany perfected their passive defiance skills by looking bored and not listening: something we’ve learned from our students. Brenda, on the other hand, took a more aggressive approach: polite rage.
After their release from the dungeon of jewelry despair, Tella finally lead them to food. Here is where the small eats come in—they had dim sum, this classic dish of Chinese cuisine that is often eaten for breakfast. Small dumplings are steamed in basket containers, which are then stacked on top of each other. Each basket holds a dumpling with different fillings: pork, shrimp, more pork, vegetables, and—surprise—another pork. Dixie, Doug, Katy, and Deb experienced trying this unique and surprising meal.
From lunch, the group headed to a local market where Linda experimented with Chinese medicine and Brian W. was propositioned by a live fish. From there, they “alighted” to a Taoist temple, where BJ was awed by the coiled incense that burned amidst golden sunlight.
From here, one of their last stops for the day, the group headed to Victoria Peak. This is one of the highest peaks in Hong Kong where views encompassing all of the island could be seen. Lynda H and Scott used this opportunity to terrify the group by sitting atop the railing with a sheer drop during a group photo.