A few weeks ago I was in Guarantee Title, buttoning up some business so I could go to China. I asked the girls helping me if I could get them anything from China. One smiled and said that if she wanted anything from China, she would just go up to Walmart. The other one looked concerned and said that not all lost dogs are found. For Mountain Home, that is Zen. I don't know how many years I have been friends with Mr Lau. I do know that most days when I got off work, I would go into the Golden Crown, through the kitchen door, get comfortable on a five gallon bucket, and eat a dinner of whatever the Chinese were eating. Ricky would always come off the line and smile and shake hands with me. They always made me comfortable there and fed me well. Sometimes in the evenings, if we were drinking wine, we might talk about visiting China, someday after we retired. I got a call, a couple of months ago, that it was time to go to China. When Mr Lau's brother-in-law heard we were going, he wanted to go. Mr Lau's sister-in-law, wanted to go also. Well, then Mrs Lau decided she wanted to go. So the five of us signed on for a complete tour, including transportation, meals, and lodging in five star hotels. The price was less than air fare. It turns out the Chinese government was subsidizing our trip to bring shopping tourists, and good will ambassadors to China. That worked for me. We flew into Hong Kong, then Shanghai. I remember the feeling of dread I felt the first time I saw the Red Chinese Communist flag snapping in the breeze in Shanghai. The Chinese say that if you haven't been to Shanghai, you have not been to China. Been there? Heck, I lost me luggage there. We had a bus driver and a permanent tour guide. Everyday we got a wakeup call at 6:00, we were expected at the dinning hall by 6:30, and loaded on the bus by 7:30. Our daily travels, from town to town, took between one and four hours. We picked up temporary tour guides at every town, who were always fun and rested. Our tour consisted of ten ethnic Chinese and me. We didn't take meals or socialize with the bus driver or the tour guides. All the guides presentations were presented in Chinese, with just a sprinkling of English words. I usually had a pretty good idea what was going on. I rarely asked anyone to interpret for me, as I didn't want to ruin their trip. When we discovered my luggage was lost, Windy tore into the bus driver and the permanent guide. Things got pretty hot there for a minute. I stepped foreword, gave them all a smile, then shrugged my shoulders. Crisis diverted. I bought what I needed as we went along on the trip. I got along very well with the bus driver and the permanent guide after they discovered I wasn't a light weight. The guide was always trying to teach me new words. Well, gentle reader, it seems I have chattered on here long enough. Maybe we will take this trip of discovery up at a later date. Life is good.
Sounds like you had a grand adventurer Grass Hopper. I have not walked the streets of Kowloon or ridden the Star ferry's since 1986. I was stationed with the 660 sqdn of the British Army Air Corp based out of Se Kong (just out of the International Zone at that time) The Britt's still had Hong Kong then and it was a wonderful experience to mingle with the masses. I would really like to cruise through Victoria Harbor again on an old junk and travel to the village islands again.
Great to hear that Helen and Jason got to go home again.