Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From Hong Kong to Beijing

This was another travel day, and since our flight wasn't until 4:00, we shuffled around Hong Kong for a bit. It's nice that many of the buildings, especially in the shopping district are connected, many of which by air conditioned walk-ways. When we ventured away from the air conditioning, we found places like this.

One of the places we checked out was C!ty Super, the grocery store in the high-end mall. This here is a pig's leg.
Other than some of the usual Asian fare, it was really crazy to see a grocery store in the mall just a short walk from Armani.

It was neat that we were able to check in for our flight at the train station and leave our bags there so we wouldn't have to hall them around with us. The station was really cool-looking.

DragonAir was a nice flight, and Jenn and I were looking forward to it as it was our first non-US flight. The food was good, and aside from the flight being delayed by an hour and a half, it was a pleasant ride.
The trip to our hotel in Beijing was a little sketchy. Our cabbie didn't speak a word of English, and we didn't expect him, or anyone else we ran into along the way to know what we were saying. He dropped us off at the end of the road where our hotel is, and we got out with our luggage and began walking down a dimly lit street lined with bars, hole-the-wall restaurants, and what can probably best be described as workshops. There was one "landmark" on the map, Mr. Shi's Dumplings, that we found, but we couldn't see The Orchid from where we were standing. We kept walking and not seeing it, we showed our paper to some old people sitting on the side of the street and they pointed us in what proved to be the wrong direction, we kept walking (towing or luggage, mind you) until the street ceased to be lit... and then a man rode up behind us on a bicycle and began speaking Mandarin to us and pointing in the opposite direction. We'd heard that there is virtually no crime or muggings in Beijing, but when you don't know the language and can't find where you're going in the dark, your mind starts wandering. I looked like an idiot staring back at him, and because I didn't have anything better to do, we followed him back to Mr. Shi's. The nice waitress there pointed us to an alley off the alley and we saw The Orchid.

So we're here now, the place is nice, the guy who owns the place runs his network through Japan so he can get unblocked internet access, we just Skyped with Grandma Laura and the kids, and we're winding down to bed time. If we never have another Beijing Alley experience again, I'll be okay with it.

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