• Hong Kong is Not China

    by  • 10/13/2011 • travel • 0 Comments

    I’m not sure I really get it, but Hong Kong is still not REALLY China in at least a couple ways. Perhaps most notable to someone like me, Facebook and Twitter were accessible in Hong Kong via airport wi-fi. In Beijing, those are back to being non-existant web sites.

    Somehow we left the apartment Tuesday evening and now it’s Friday morning. Time travel is amazing, but the headaches are spectacular; both the metaphorical one as well as the actual one.

    Beijing rush-hour is apparently where all 5 million cars in the city try to get to the other side of the city NOW NOW NOW NOW. We landed in Beijing around 5PM, on the road with our driver at about 6PM for the roughly 1/2 hour drive that became about an hour and a 1/2. Bikes wandering in and out of traffic, cars on the inner-most lane of a traffic circle taking a hard, sharp right turn in front of a bus to cross three lanes of traffic to exit the circle.

    Motor bike goes screaming up the shoulder on a bridge that’s inching forward at about 10 minutes per kilometer. He’s laying on his horn with one solid blast of his horn the whole way. Our local guide and driver even looked over at this in disbelief… apparently no bikes; motor or otherwise are allowed on this bridge. Funny how there do appear to be some traffic laws people expect to be followed…

    I think we’re off to the Summer Palace and Tiananmenan Square today. Still can’t quite fathom that we’re in China.

    Our guide seems to be super excited about everything, and I think she normally escorts around boring white people who’ve never seen anything more Chinese than the Manchu Wok stall in a mall food court.

    I’m a bit disappointed in Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven pushing the Shark’s Fin Soup so much. I’m not sure how the franchise works, but I think I’ll send a letter about that when I get home.

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