10/31/09: Hong Kong
“When in Rome, the best laid plans of mice and men something something…” Well, we’re not quite in Rome, but today we had quite a different adventure than what we were planning.
The plan was simple:
- Mail Zhou’s transcripts for grad school at the post office
- Dim sum for lunch
- Cable car ride on Lantau Island to the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha
- Stop at Tsing Yi mall
- Stop at Elements mall
- See world’s only lifesize model of Noah’s Ark
- Head to top of Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram
- Take Star Ferry back to our side of the bay
- Eat dinner at a cheap noodle place
- Visit clock tower and watch the light show
- Walk Avenue of the Stars
- Return home to Google Voice dates with both families
Ok, so maybe we tried to squeeze in a little too much.
Without boring you with the gory details, we did make it to a few of the stops:
I’ll pick up the story from here. We were finishing dinner, ready to watch the light show from the clock tower and then head back home to talk to our families for the first time since leaving the States. Quick quiz: What do you do after eating at a restaurant? Pay the bill. What does it take to pay the bill? Money.
Money! We kept our money in Zhou’s wristlet, but Zhou’s wristlet was conspicuously absent. By transitivity, that meant Zhou’s iTouch, Zhou’s credit card, our ATM cards and our student cards were all missing as well. (Before you ask why we keep all these important things in one place, let me just say that we had a reason for it, but agreed, we also had been getting a little complacent with security.) We carefully retraced our steps from the day, which actually wasn’t that difficult since we didn’t get in nearly as much as we had planned. We came to the conclusion that either the wristlet was still at the concierge desk at Elements mall (where we had gotten some travelers coupons) or it was gone forever. We just prayed for the former.
Since I kept our US dollars on me, Zhou quickly ran outside to exchange a $20 to pay for our $8 meal, then we were off. Thank goodness Hong Kong is the easiest city I’ve ever had to get around in – yes, easier than Charlotte, easier than New York, easier than any city with English writing everywhere. We hopped on the nearest MTR and made a beeline for Elements before Zhou had a heart attack.
Of course I probably wouldn’t be writing this story if we had ended up losing everything, so luckily the wristlet was at the mall, kept tightly by security. We were able to identify everything that was in it, then we filled out a form and were on our way. Kids, this brings me to the moral of the story:
When traveling the world (a) divide up your valuables into different locations and (b) when possible, keep them on your person. These are actually two things that we are going to do going forward to decrease our chances of losing things. First, since Zhou doesn’t have much in the way of pants pockets, I will carry the money in zippered pockets in my pants. Second, we will keep Zhou’s wristlet in my backpack. That way there are two people checking every time we use it: she will put the stuff back in it and then give it to me to put in the pack. Hopefully this system will work. We’ll be back to let you know if it doesn’t.
Picture of the Day: A store entirely dedicated to chopsticks! I only learned later that pictures weren’t allowed.