August 24

Today was a lot of things—good, bad, long, and interesting.   A lot of adjectives for one day, eh?

Our day started out normal, with Danny leaving us on our own while he went to do something with his cousin again.  So, Emily and Stephanie and I were mostly hotel-bound.  We went out for a short walk, but the skies quickly turned very dark and it was obvious heavy rain was coming, so back we went.  We had some funky steamed buns for breakfast that I picked up at a street vendor.  They were really good, and very cheap, 1.5 yuan each (about 15 cents).   

By the time Danny came back, it was nearly lunch time, and we had invited all the relatives out for one last meal before we were leaving.  We actually went to a restaurant that I chose.  We’ve been going to this particular restaurant for several years now, and while the cleanliness isn’t next to godliness (if you get my drift) the food is consistently good, and inexpensive.  Some of you might recall pictures from years past of cages of live animals and buckets of live sea creatures out front for you to choose your meal.  We had a bit of everything from live shrimp, to a beautiful capon, and some goat/sheep meat.  It wasn’t clear to me which it was since it got called both, but was it ever tasty!!  The only dish they ordered that didn’t suit was some kind of veggie.  Other than that, it was a great meal, and 12 of us ate for about $50 CDN including beer and pop.

After lunch, we said goodbye to everyone except Danny’s one cousin and his wife.  They were driving us to the ferry boat station and offered to take us on a short tour of Heshan before it was time to embark.  Heshan was a great little side-trip, with some good cheap shopping, so it was quickly time for us to go.  We walked through an outdoor food market, and oh the smells!!  Emily kept complaining, Stephanie bought cookies, and I just looked around in wonder at all the foreign meats to eat.  It was funny—frogs and snakes by the pound to eat, but chipmunks for pets.  Seriously.  We got to the port in plenty of time, and waited a while. 

Chinese immigration was a nightmare!!  We got into a line with a trainee.  Now, they are never quick.  They scrutinize every digit of every word (even though I’m convinced they can’t read a word of it) at the best of times, but a TRAINEE!!  We were in line so long, I thought we’d miss the damn boat.

The ferry ride was fairly rough heading back, as the winds were very strong.  It didn’t bother most of us, but poor Emily started to feel sicker and sicker as we got close to Hong Kong.  Just before we reached the port, the poor pumpkin puked up her lunch.  Great end to a short painful trip to China.

By the time we cleared Hong Kong immigration, and grabbed a taxi back up to our hotel, it was almost 8pm, so we were tired and hungry.  We unloaded some of our stuff, and left the rest for tomorrow and headed down into the city for-----you guessed it, pizza.  Couldn’t deny the kids the pleasure after the terrible few days they’ve put in.  Dinner was quick, painless and delicious.  We headed back up the escalator, stopping only for bottled water, and called it a night.

We sure are glad to be back in Hong Kong where we belong.