Sunday I had to go to Hong Kong to get my visa updated. Big mistake. The stores here are all open on Sunday and the checkpoint was a mad house. Chinese people like to shop in Hong Kong because a lot of things not available on the mainland are available there. Sunday is a big shopping day.
Sea went with me because she wanted to get some baby formula there. The Chinese don’t trust China made formula. Anyway we left the house at 10:00. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the bus stop. We arrived at the Futain checkpoint about 11:00. I’ve never seen it so crowded. The China side wasn’t too bad. We got through there in 30 minutes or less. Then there is a walk of close to a mile in the covered and air conditioned bridge over the Pearl River the Hong Kong side.
The Hong Kong side was a madhouse. They stopped everyone at the end of the bridge and only let 100 or so run to get into the passport line every 10 or 15 minutes. Once we got into the line it took more than an hour to actually get to an officer and get our stamps. Then we went to the train into Hong Kong. I usually just go to the first stop and get on the first train back to the checkpoint. But we hit the street looking for baby formula.
Sea was hungry so we stopped in this wierd little place where she got a bowl of noodle soup. The restaurant was filled with the strangest looking Chinese I’ve ever seen. The place had big screen TVs all over with horse races on them. I think Sea and I were the only ones who didn’t have a newspaper with the horses and odds listed in one hand, and a bunch of bretting slips in the other. For some reason I didn’t bring my camera which was a big mistake. I would have loved to take some pictures of the patrons. Apparently Chinese gamblers are an odd bunch. The food looked great, but I had 9 small peanut butter filled dumplings for breakfast, so all I got was a beer with a cup of ice to cool off. The ice was a great treat as it’s nearly impossible to find on the mainland. By this time I had been on my feet for about 4+ hours, my feet hurt and I was hot and tired. It felt great to sit down and relax a few minutes.
After lunch, we went to a multi-floor shopping mall to look for baby formula. After much walking we gave up and went back to the train station and returned to the checkpoint. Going back wasn’t as bad. We got through both checkpoints and on to the bus home in about an hour. We got home a little before 17:00. I haven’t been on my feet so long since I was poisoned. I had plenty of strength, but my feet were on fire. I’ve been out of pain pills for a couple of weeks, but I took a couple of aspirin when I got home. We found baby formula at several places, but Vivian uses a certain brand that we never found.
I was very tired and went to be early. When I got up Monday morning my legs were stiff for some reason. It was raining off and on, so between showers I went to the park and walked the stiffness out of my legs. This morning, Tuesday, they’re stiff again. I’m sure everything will be back to normals in a few days.
I’m probably 75% wrong, but as I understand it there is something called Haiku that has something to do with your birthplace. Sea’s kids Haiku is in Shenzhen. This makes traveling a lot easier for them because of the special economic status of Shenzhen. For example, the kids can go to Hong Kong 5 times in one day if they want to just using their passports Sea has a visa that allows her 4 visits in a year.
Below are some pics I took on a previous visit to H.K.
Sea was born in Xinjiang Province (state) which is is north eastern most part of China. The capital is called Urumqi which is occasionally in the news because of riots between Muslim Chinese and Han Chinese. Sea was born in a tiny town right on the border with Kazakhstan (home of Borat, I believe). Anyway, she is going there next month to have her Haiku changed to Shenzhen. She has a mother and 2 sisters who still live there. I’m going with her. It’s a 6 hour plane ride to Urumqi, then a two hour plane ride to another town, then a bus ride to her home town. Firm plans have yet to be made, but I suggested a train. The express train takes 4 days to get there. I’d like that. But Sea wants to fly, so that’s probably what we’ll do.
It’s supposed to be rainy through Wednesday. I hope that’s correct. As long as the rain isn’t constant I can get out a while, and it’s a little cooler.