Today, we finished up our touring of Hong Kong. After taking the train to the station to buy tickets for our trip tomorrow from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, we caught the tour bus and headed for the Aberdeen area. I had read in the Frommer's book that there were lots of fishing boats and floating restaurants here. What I guess I missed was the part about taking a tour in a Sampan with a little old woman who will vie for your business to keep you from riding in another boat. This was part of our tour package so we just got on the first one they hustled us to. More than once, I feared for my safety. The lady was older and had her granddaughter who was maybe 4 and her older granddaughter who was about 12, along with her dog on board with her. Getting on the boat was scary. There really wasn't a dock so she just pulled the boat up to the stairs and we climbed on. She was revving up that engine and kept in gear so that it would stay up against the stairs while we all hastily scurried on. That was my first red flag. The second red flag was the way she was yelling or what seemed like yelling to her friends (?) in other boats. Really loud yelling. I told Vuong he needed to get the video camera out because there was no way we could really retell this adventure without proof. The third red flag was that she was incredibly distracted throughout the part of the ride that she navigated. I was pretty sure we were going to run into something or someone because she was very busy talking to her friend, whom she picked up at some random location. Maybe it was supposed to be on our tour, but I'm not sure. And then, we stopped at another stop so she, her grandchildren, and the dog could get off and her friend finished up the tour. Weird. Anyway, back to the tour.
This place was so interesting. We saw the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Vuong said he ate there the last time he was in HK, so we passed. But it was cool. I'll post a picture in my next post, which will be right after this one. (Are you happy, Donna?) There were also tons of Chinese Junks where people lived on the water. Back in the day, it was not uncommon for someone to be born, live, marry, and die on the boats without ever setting foot on land. But today, most young people leave the boats for an education and career. All of these boats were very old and raggedy looking. They had lots of make shift things about them. And the ironic thing is that they were floating all around these HUGE and I'm sure expensive yachts.
After our adventure in Aberdeen, we got back on the bus for a tour of the Stanley Peninsula. The houses here are the second most expensive real estate in HK, with the exception of the homes on Victoria Peak. We saw some spectacular views of the China Sea, which is beautiful. We also saw some beaches and gigantic homes. We got off the bus at the Stanley Market and kind of poked around there for a while. We also ate an outdoor cafe right across the street from the beach and it was great. I loved every minute of it.
Once we got back onto the bus and back to our original starting point, we headed back to the hotel. Currently, Vuong is in the room repacking us for tomorrow while I scratch out this post for all you guys back home. Tomorrow, we're catching a cab to take us to the train station. From there, we'll go to Guangzhou and then catch a plane to Nanning. I told Vuong I would like tomorrow to be a very down day. I want to relax and rest and get myself collected before Monday, which is our Gotcha Day. When I spoke with Judy, our in China coordinator, she said that Parker is excited about being adopted. Now, I don't know if she says that to everyone, but we did feel good to hear that. Of course, we are still prepared and expecting a show down once we meet him on Monday. Hopefully, the M&M's and matchbox cars will help him warm up a little sooner.
Following this post, I'm going to do a picture dump. I'll do my best to tell you about each one, but we'll see. I'm tired and I've got about 300 pictures so far that I need to decide which ones to post.
Oh, if you were wondering about the second part of my post title, let me explain. In an effort to pack light, we only brought 4 pairs of pants/shorts. Today, I did something that really I've only done once or twice. I wore the same pair of pants again today. Now, I'm sure there are TONS of you guys who do that all the time, but I NEVER do. It just grosses me out too much. But today I did it and I survived. The scarier thing was going to a bathroom and not realizing there was no toilet paper until AFTER I'd gone to the bathroom. (Actually, there was paper but you had to get it by the door before you went to the stall). Now that was scary!
More adventures tomorrow, I promise!
Only 2 more sleeps, you guys! I can't believe it!