Arriving in My Country of Birth for the 2nd time

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Friday, April 1, 2011

09:23 It's another bright sunny day outside today. I've just woken up properly and see that we're trundling through a city, no idea where though. All the apartments have burglar bars on their windows, although I did notice that in most of the cities come to think of it.
I still don't feel too fantastic today, still a bit sick, and a bit low again, I guess because this is the end of this trip. People have suggested that mixing eating local food and western food isn't a good idea. But Jenny also had the spaghetti the other night and didn't feel amazing either.
Wherever we are, the land Is very flat, and there is miles of fields growing food. There are also great big square areas of water, I can't see if they are for anything in-particular. It must be warmer here as there are palm trees as well, so now I can really tell I'm going somewhere warm, and having picked up a bit of colour yesterday in the sun, I think it's time to don the suncream.
11:23 In in the queue! About to enter hong kong! I'm v excited!
11:32 I'm in hong kong!!!
12:32 On the train into hong kong we passed hills and high rise apartments near the university, and a great mass of water- Tolo harbour according to the map.
We will get off at Mong Kok East and are going to stay at the Stanford Hotel for one night, and then I have to find my own place to stay, which ideally will be on causeway bay near the yacht club.
13:39 Just had a shower and really do feel a bit teary now. I think because I feel a connection to this place and my folks being here, but they're not, I just feel a bit homesick, but at the same time don't want to be at home. I definitely feel lost in the world without a place to call home anymore, because I don't know that I will be able to think of Manchester as my home after this trip. Who knows. It's my only worry.
17:23 Had lunch and feeling a bit more back on form, but still a bit sick. I've been down ladies Market street, parallel with Nathan drive, near soy street where the hotel is. It's a street full of Market stalls selling chinese clothes like dresses and dressing gowns, t shirts saying 'I love hong kong', phone covers, passport covers and so on. I bought a little luggage tag for Jade with a panda on it, so I hope she likes it.
17:24 Interestingly on building sites they use bamboo scaffolding! I think it must be far easier to put up than metal scaffolds.
19:20 We all met in the hotel lobby and went down to the southernmost part of kowloon to see the laser lights show put on by some of the bigger buildings on HK island.
20:29 It is an absolutely gobsmacking view across to HK island! The huge range of tall buildings all covered in lights is quite the skyline to be looking at. The light show was quite cool, some of the buildings have those piercingly precise green laser lights on top of them, others have coloured lights all over them which flash and change in time with the music.

We also said goodbye to Jade Dragon, our guide for the last 3 weeks, giving her some presents and a book we all wrote in with some money. She cried bless her.

I will miss Jade, I think we all will. She is sweet, funny, has some lovely stories, looked after us and made sure we had what we needed and saw what we wanted. She went out of her way at times. She suffered the cold with us in the monastery, and enjoyed the new views we all saw in Emeishan. We all hope we'll see Jade again one day in England, and in Katrinas case, Denmark.
20:40 Walking back up Nathan Road beside the endless electronics shops and tailors who keep asking if you want a suit, it's apparent that in this area (as it's the only area I've seen) there are lots of Indian people here.

It was quite a long walk back to the hotel up Nathan Road from Tsui Sha Tsim subway. And the roads were very busy. People seem to dawdle pretty slowly here so we're always overtaking people. Maybe we need to slow down so we won't be so hot!

I was grateful to get into bed and put the tv on to find some familiar American films to just relax to.

Best thing: arriving in Hong Kong feeling so excited.

Worst thing: feeling a bit depressed

Most beautiful: the HK Island skyline from Kowloon.
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Zoe's Dad on

Welcome home, babe!
It was (Chinese) New Year's Eve when you arrived - at 20 minutes to the start of the New Year!

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