DFW to Hong Kong

Trip Start Dec 06, 2006
Trip End Jan 06, 2007

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Saturday, December 9, 2006

(We are having some difficulty with regular internet access, so I'm writing this as I can - not editing to the extent I would like)
We got through security at DFW okay (if confused) and found the gate and settled in for a long wait. I walked back to the bank of monitors to check our flight and a thrill shot through my body. We are on the way!

American from DFW to LAX, full plane. Leslie brought a "tripnic" - chicken salad, potatoe (here's to you to DQ) salad, slaw, sandwich, nuts - all very nice. Sat next to a large, intrusive guy sitting with his legs splayed , way into my space. After about five minutes I asked him to move and he did, but still, very much there. Leslie and I had aisle seats across from each other - excellent.

Song of the day: Eurotrash Girl.

Smooth move from domestic to international terminal at LAX. Wait an hour and onto that big Cathay Pacific 747. When Leslie made reservations for the flights we used a website that has seating charts of the planes flown by all the major airlines.  Our seats were great on  this 95% full flight. All the rows have 3 or four seats except for 6 rows of 2 seats each and we got the best of these - it was like having an extra 3/4 seats-worth of space. The trip got better and better. I was walking around and so was Leslie, except she spent a lot of time hanging out in the back talking with people.

I was standing in the back of the plane and saw a mother loving on her ~3 year old child - really dedicated - so sweet and beautiful. It was like when I was at the monitors in the airport - the trip intensifying.

We ended up sleeping almost none. It's just too exciting. Leslie is a great travel buddy. Down the dusty road again.

Story in the South China Morning Post about AIDS activists in India helping Burmese people get treatment and a place to stay in India - showing, once again the possibility of being ... beautiful, beyond your dreams ...

Got into Hong  Kong about 5am. Caught the bus to Mong Kok, found the Sincere House and up the elevator to the Ah Shan Hostel. Nice place except the shared bath is shared with a turtle (see photo of turtle. Our room, on the other hand is not shared and is nice - about 85 square feet, including our private bath. Very clean, quiet, refrigerator to keep food, etc. in and make ice(!) and hot water for coffee or tea down the hall in a common area. As happens on every trip, something went wrong to remind us to PAY ATTENTION - the room key disappeared for about 30 minutes and then resurfaced under a piece of paper.
Long ago we were in HK and found an unusual hotel called The Ritz - not ritzy, but still, nicest place we've ever stayed in HK. A few doors down was a restaurant where they served macaroni in a kind of soup with ham on top. Today (it's Saturday) for breakfast we went to a small place around the corner from our GH where we ordered omelette and toast and got macaroni in a kind of soup with ham on top and two fried eggs on the side - hmmm. Not bad - not especially good, but not bad. The thing is, when traveling on a budget, you don't always get what you expect, but usually it's okay.
Next stop, Ferry to Lamma Island. It's about a 30 minute ride to a small pier, then walk into a small town that arcs around the small bay. Lamma is very quiet as there are no cars - just small lanes though small hills. Lots of dogs wandering around, which is another change from HK. Many expats living the quiet life. Had bun with pork and shrimp dumplings - none of those anemic American shrimp here.
Missed ferry we'd planned on taking, then back to Tsim Sha Tsui and Chungking Mansions for a late lunch at Taj Mahal: chicken chilli, chiken tika masala, raita, nan, rice. Great food. Chungking is one of the most interesting places in the world - we interacted at one time or another with people from Bagladesh, India, Pakistan, Somalia, Phillipines, China, Australia, and who knows where from sub-Sahara Africa. Took the famous CKM stairs - in Leslie's word, "gritty."
One huge difference between traveling now and in the past is that now we are in touch with people in the U.S., Cambodia, and Thailand. In the former times, traveling put us out of touch and out of time.. The up side of this is that we are in touch and the down side is that we are in touch and somehow a little more in time.
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