December 11


Dec 4/5

Dec 6

Dec 7

Dec 8

Dec 9

Dec 10

Dec 11

Dec 12

Dec 13

Dec 14

Dec 15

Dec 16

Dec 17

Dec 18

Dec 19

Dec 20

Dec 21

Dec 22

Dec 23

Dec 24

Dec 25

Dec 26

Dec 27

Dec 28

Dec 29

Dec 30

Dec 31

Today was a low-key day that started out with the best of intentions, but didn’t exactly go according to plan.  The plan was that we would wake up “whenever,” then head down into the city on foot, go to Danny’s dad’s memorial (and meet his mom and aunt), and then hop on a bus to go to tea and meet another aunt.  That should have left us with all afternoon to ourselves and we were thinking of walking around Tsim Tsa Shui.

First part of the plan went just fine.  Everybody just woke up when they woke up, so everyone was happy.  Jetlag is now a distant, unpleasant memory, so sleep is good.  We all had our standard “hotel breakfast” of hotdog buns, cereal and noodles, then headed down into the city.  We dropped off our last load of laundry so that we are heading into China tomorrow with all our clothes clean.  The weather is absolutely terrific again, about 23 or 24 and sunny, so we’re in short sleeved shirts.  That is except for Stephy, stubborn Stephy.  She insisted on wearing that particular Marie shirt, in spite of it being so warm and in spite of us having her short sleeved Marie shirt with us too.

We met Danny’s mom and one of his aunt’s at the memorial building and the kids did a pretty good job of helping to pay respects.  One of the traditions is to leave food offerings and tea, and Danny’s aunt had brought tiny little cakes.  Guess whose children ate some of the offerings??  If you’re thinking that my lovely children did that, you’d be correct.  Yup, ate the offerings to the deceased!  Hey, they were cakes, the kids were hungry, and his aunt offered them!!!

After we were done at the memorial, Danny’s aunt was to take us to meet another of his aunts.  She is his “#5 aunt” and while we’ve seen her each time that we’ve visited, we’re told her health is declining rapidly of late.  So the plan was that she was going to meet us at a Tea house close to her home to minimize the travel.  Danny’s “#8 aunt” took us to the bus stop area and it became clear that she wasn’t very sure which bus we needed to take.  In fact, we stopped and asked for help from others to try to figure out which bus number we needed.  Based on her description, we were advised to get on bus #905, so we did.  We sat on the bus as it drove us around, through the cross channel tunnel, and into other neighbourhoods we weren’t familiar with.  For the first part of the ride, we enjoyed it, and Danny’s mom got to see their old neighbourhood, but after a while Danny was asking his aunt where we needed to get off.  She directed us off the bus, and then we realized that she had no clue where we were or where we should be.  We walked a couple of blocks and found a subway station.  Danny talked to his aunt and eventually figured out that in fact we should have just hopped on the subway near the memorial, travelled 2 stops and we’d have been in the right place!!!  Instead of a 45 minute bus ride, 2 subway stops!!  For freaking real??

So, we got on the subway, switched trains once, and traveled almost back to where we started, then walked a few blocks to where his #5 aunt had sat for over an hour waiting.  We were to have met her at 1:00pm and it was nearly 2:30 when we arrived.  The dim sum was alright, but we had limited selections due to the late timing.  The kids did pretty well considering the fiasco involved in getting there, and I sat and fumed throughout the meal, knowing that our last day in Hong Kong (for now) was mostly wasted traveling around.

After lunch (now 3:45) we had little time.  We walked around Tsim Tsa Shui a little bit but the kids had had enough and we can’t buy much of anything anyway, so we headed back to the hotel.   Tonight we have to get packed up, reduce our luggage by leaving some here in Hong Kong, and be ready early for tomorrow.

We have decided to take a side trip tomorrow on our way to Jiujiang.  We are going on a tour bus to see the Chime Long circus, then stay overnight there (there, the town, not there the circus!!!)  Then, Danny’s cousin will meet us there and drive us to Jiujiang.  Sounds great, except that the bus leaves at 7:00am!!  Seriously?  What’s with that??

We weren’t hungry to eat early, which had been the original plan knowing that we have to be in our beds early, so instead we came back, packed everything up, and then ordered in.  So, the girls ate pizza (yes, AGAIN) and I had noodle soup while Danny enjoyed spaghetti with meat sauce.  Expensive, but delicious, by his account.

You’ll have to wait until Monday for our next update, as we rely on the kindness of one of Danny’s employees to post these updates for you.