Monday, February 20, 2012

The Spinster Returns

Clearly Pumpkin is thrilled that I'm home. She was really excited the first day but the enthusiasm has waned. Sleeping 18 hours is a full time job and I would hate for her to lose any valuable time just because I'm home.

Alameda, I've missed you! Driving 25 mph is just a delight and to not feel a little boxed in by buildings is a nice homey touch. I think I've adjusted to the time change (stayed up until 9:45 my first night back-wild and crazy I know). I've been to the store and done laundry; I can't let a suitcase sit for too long. I'm feeling productive but am so glad I took an extra day off this week.

I spent my last day in Hong Kong as a proper tourist (and apparently British). I took the Big Bus Tour of two areas: Aberdeen and Kowloon. The Aberdeen route took me all the way to Stanley and to its famous market. The pictures I posted over the last few days are way better than any description I could ever write. I would love to go back and spend more time everywhere; I didn't go up on the Peak Tram or see any of the beautiful temples.

A few favorite things from my trip:
  • I took about 9 taxi rides while I was in Hong Kong. I added up the total fares and converted it to US dollars and it came to about $60. That would get me to San Francisco from my apartment. Not a round trip just to the city. Sigh.
  • China Airlines and EVA Airlines have "action figures" of their flight attendants and crew available for sale in the duty free magazine. They're pretty awesome (China Airlines uniforms are amazingly pretty too). Anyway, I didn't purchase them and now I'm a little annoyed with myself. 
  • Table tennis on tv. When I got in on Sunday I was tired so I decided to watch a little tv and rest a bit before venturing out. Table tennis was on. I watched the Chinese Table Tennis Super League for about a half hour. If only I could have found a t-shirt with that on it...
  • Skinny jeans and leggings as pants are universal fashion items. They're still awful no matter where you live. Note to woman on the flight to Taipei from SFO: tights and leggings are two different things. Please remember to wear pants if you're not going to wear leggings.
  • Navigation was extremely easy. I get lost in Oakland all the time but I never got lost in Hong Kong.
  • Pacific Coffee Company kicks Starbucks's ass every day of the week. If only we had them here. I also appreciate the Neil Diamond song on my first day of training (I take that as a good omen to start the day) and the random quotes on the board.
  • Going to Lucy's in the Stanley Market. The place is probably the size of my living room and is both accessible to tourists and clearly for the "ladies who lunch" crowd of ex-pats living in Stanley. With the exception of the teenager having lunch with his mom and the children at the table next to me, I was the youngest patron by about 10 years.
  • At the airport I was asked to take a survey about my stay in Hong Kong. When asked my marital status, the options included single or unmarried. Thank you Hong Kong tourism board for being modern and sensitive to the awfulness of the word "spinster." I don't care if it is a British term; I read Bridget Jones's Diary so I know it's in no way a positive thing.
And finally my favorite and least favorite quote of my trip:
"At Chevy's they give you free chips." American woman dining at Agave, the Mexican restaurant I tried on day 3. Seriously? This might be one reason people in other countries hate us.

Even at Stanley Market I found owls. Isn't he adorable?

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