12 Jun 2010 @ 7:05 PM 

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Before entering mainland China, Sunil and I practiced living with millions of Asians on Hong Kong island and Macau, both of which are the muggiest places on earth. This has resulted in Sunil and I seeing the insides of a lot of grocery stores, which we pop into every few blocks just to cool off. The stores here must pay an arm and a leg to use the air conditioning as they all leave their doors open to air condition the streets on purpose. Crazy.

Our first day in Hong Kong was wildly successful, considering the fact that we can’t speak, read, or understand the language and planned on getting around via public transportation. First things first, we had to eat, so we ate at some lunch at a random noodle place. We walked to the Star Ferry terminal and took a ferry out to Hong Kong Island, which was actually my favorite place so far. The downtown area is very well maintained and beautiful with all sorts of free pubic parks that are about ten million times larger and prettier than anything I have been to in the US. We took the world’s largest escalator system (which is outdoors) up to mid-Victoria peak. We then headed back down side streets past the Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Garden (also free) to the Victoria Peak Tram. We loaded into a tram with a hundred Asians and headed up to the top of the peak, where we took pictures and ate at McDonald’s. After we took the tram back down, I saw a walk through aviary park (again, free to enter), so I insisted we climb about a million stairs to go to it. Inside, I got pooped on by a bird. Oh, karma, you are hilarious. By this time, it was getting late, so we decided to take a subway back to Kowloon. As Sunil got onto the subway car, the doors slammed shut, and let me tell you, those things are not stopping for anyone. There I was, alone on a subway platform in a sea of Asians. I was momentarily terrified. Luckily, the trains come every 5 seconds because we are in Asia, so I hopped on the next one and met Sunil at our stop. We hugged like we had been seperated for years. I really like Hong Kong, although honestly, it is probably because of the prevailence of the English language here.

Sunil wants me to mention that early the next morning, he had his Asia meconium. He found it pleasant. I found it gross.

The next day, we woke up and stuffed ourselves to bursting on $5 of baked goods, including a chicken curry doughnut. Then we took a ferry to Macau, which used to be under Portugese rule, so in addition to having a lot of Portugese food, the secondary language is Portugese instead of English. Macau is a strange, strange land that consists of Vegas-like casinos, restored historic buildings, and dilapidated ramshackle neighborhoods. We walked the ‘strip,’ which was entirely empty. We walked into a casino, which was also empty. We then decided China is lying about Macau bringing in more gambling revenue than Vegas, as a day in Vegas where all the casinos were empty would cause the town to implode on itself. We then stumbled upon historic Macau, which was my favorite part. It was also the hardest part to navigate, so we kept ending up lost in ramshackle Macau. This was my least favorite part of Macau. We took a bus to Fernando’s, a famous Portugese restaraunt and again stuffed ourselves to the bursting point. By this point we were exhausted, so we took a brief respite on the beach and then took another village bus back to the ferry and headed back to Hong Kong, where I immediately passed out and Sunil woke up at 230am to watch the US v. England soccer game on my computer. Crazy. This morning, we are checking out of our hostel to head over to mainland China for the rest of our journey. I think we are ready for the onslaught of Asians awaiting us there. Next stop: Guilin!

What is the best finish the US National Team has had in the World Cup?

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Posted By: Robin
Last Edit: 17 Jun 2010 @ 07:33 AM

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