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It’s been a while.  I was rather hoping Mother would take more reigns on this sleigh ride, but after her sporadic burst of several posts (in a row, no less), she seems to be rather reverting back to her appalling ways of never doing anything to let our friends know what we’re up to in our respective China states.

So here’s an update!  As for now, I’m living in Beijing with Laura.  Molly has returned stateside.  Soon I will receive a new companion freshly imported from The United States and together we will travel back to Hohhot where I will have to be re-accustomed to using buses (perhaps the 53 bus line has improved…?), going to visit one of my many bosses at their abodes (hopefully wearing socks this time), and tiny humans (yes, school will be back in full swing and I’ll be in the land where 2 year olds chase me about demanding stickers at every turn and a charming 4-year-old named Tina regularly breaks into my room to devour my food).

Recently (as in today) I’ve just returned from a refreshing trip to Hong Kong.  This time we did not go to Disney Land, instead taking a step away from Touristy Tourist Hong Kong and staying in Tsim Sha Tsui (which is only Touristy Hong Kong, not Touristy Tourist).  Our hotel was right next to Avenue of the Stars (rather like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, except for native film stars) and the Star Ferry (which tows people between Kowloon Island and Hong Kong Island and dates back to the 1880’s!).

My hands are way bigger than Jackie Chan's, for the recrod.

For those of you who don’t know (my adopted sister, Megan, for example), Hong Kong is an island surrounded mostly by the South China Sea.  It’s east of Macau, close(ish) to Guangzhou (this means it’s quite warm compared to Beijing and Hohhot.  And quite humid).  Although Hong Kong is a part of the People’s Republic of China, it has it’s own currency (which looks like pirate money, in my opinion.  Monopoly money should be more fashioned like Hong Kong money).  It has been occupied by the British and even, for a short time, by the Japanese.

Although all of China has a checkered and culturally diverse background, Hong Kong has undisputedly seen the most Western influence.  This has a lot of historical significance, but mostly it means that I can buy pants that fit my gargantuan frame.  At least, that’s what I’m taking from it.

Aside from the shopping wonders that I was pleased to purchase in Hong Kong, we also visted Victoria’s Peak, a touristy mountain that provides a breath-taking view of Hong Kong Central and surrounding areas.  During our stay, Hong Kong was misty and rainy, so our view didn’t stretch very far, but it still was stunning.  Also located on Victoria’s Peak is Madame Tussauds which, if you’re unaware, is a wax figure museum.  There’s also a Burger King.  Oh, how I missed thee.

View from Victoria's Peak

Looking down into Central Hong Kong

We only spent four days in Hong Kong, but I’m in love with it (even if I only did see the touristy part and do the touristy things).  Out of all the places I’ve been in China, I would be most content to live in Hong Kong.  It’s the Cantonese (sounds like people speaking Mandarin, but with an Australian accent.  I’m obsessed).  Or it’s the remarkable diversity (it’s more like what I’m used to, but far better.  Come on, the subway – they call them trains here – stops are announced in THREE different languages).  Or it’s the weather.  Or it’s the shopping (it isn’t called ‘Asia’s World City’ for nothing…).  Or it’s the history (Opium Wars, piracy, British occupation, it’s like America’s history only longer and better.  And…no slavery.  I’ve been reading ‘The Help’, which is why I mention it.  Good read, if you’re into that kind of thing (reading, that is, not slavery)).

At any rate, I hope you all are doing well!  Has anyone else been to Hong Kong?  Or Madame Tussauds?  I tell you, being in that museum, although fun, made me jumpy.  Everywhere I turned there was someone.  Half the time they were real, half the time they were wax.  I was constantly apologizing in English and Chinese (Mandarin, even though half of the people there probably spoke Cantonese, on second thought…).

Until next time!