Saturday, July 11, 2009
We flew back to Shanghai today; it feels SO GOOD to be home! We were saying on the plane that we couldn't wait to sleep on our own soft, non-pokey-spring mattress.
Hong Kong was... fun? Different, for sure. It was hard for me to remember I couldn't just automatically speak Mandarin to people and assume they'd understand me. And the whole driving on the left side of the road scenario turned something as simple as crossing the road into an extreme sport. They have more Western products available (like Kiehls, Body Shop, L'Occitane, Mrs. Fields' Cookies, to name a few), and there was definitely more openness to Western things, good and bad. We saw lots of women smoking (which you rarely see in mainland China), and our hotel turned out to be right in the middle of the (ahem) "hostess bar" district. (If you've ever been to Thailand you know exactly what I'm talking about.) Definitely a bit jarring - you would never find anything so blatant here. I did enjoy the shopping, and an old friend of ours took us out for a traditional dim-sum meal, which was a lot of fun.
It's been a full and interesting week, but we're home, work visas in hand, ready to get back to life in Shanghai. Let me tell you, we were really glad this guy let us off the plane -
Two of our fellow passengers weren't so lucky!