SOCIAL MEDIA

30 July 2014

So It Begins.

Angel, eager to try out his Mandarin, asked a security guard at the apartment building where we stayed overnight in Hong Kong, "Can guan zai na li?" ("Where is a restaurant?")

She looked at him in utter confusion. English brought the same result. He began miming eating while I realized I should have warned him that it's more likely he'll find Cantonese speakers here than Mandarin speakers. And I don't know a single word in the Cantonese dialect.

It was 6:22 a.m., and the breakfast restaurant we eventually found wasn't open yet, but I was starving, due to my boycott of any and all airplane foods during our long trip (why can't airplanes just serve rice krispie treats or apples or something guaranteed to not smell nauseating? I definitely have suggestions for improving the fare, although I can't complain about the frequency of meals served by Philippines Airlines, they even served a meal on our two-hour flight between Manila and Hong Kong!)

Because of my intense hunger, we finally found a convenience store where I bought Doritos and Gatorade--an auspicious first meal in Asia, don't you think?

 Gatorade, bright and early this Hong Kong morning.



Already Angel and I are learning bits and pieces of Chinese culture. Angel points out the characters that he can recognize on various signs and I'm somewhat dismayed by how many characters I still don't recognize. Angel noticed that the apartment building where we stayed overnight didn't have a 13th, 14th, or 44th floor--I assume that is in an effort to avoid the most unpopular numbers. I'm sure you all know that 13 is an undesirable number for many, but the number 4 sounds very similar to the word death in Mandarin (I don't know about Cantonese, though?) and because of that it's generally considered unlucky.


Our breakfast receipt.
When the breakfast restaurant opened, we ordered a set breakfast by pointing to the picture that looked most appetizing (being able to read Chinese characters is not much use when you and the cashier pronounce them completely differently), which turned out to be a huge bowl of ramen noodles, topped with a fried egg and two sausages, plus a cup of hot milk tea. It was enough for us both to share, because, of course, it was time for my second breakfast. The grand total cost of this meal? The equivalent of $3 in American money. At this point I felt quite justified in talking Angel out of the $9 bowls of noodles we'd seen for sale in Hawaii a few days previously.

We were only in Hong Kong less than 24 hours before boarding our bus into ShenZhen. I'm sure we'll be back in the future. But for now, on to explore our new home. (Is it just me or is this the never-ending journey?)

20 comments :

  1. Can't wait to hear about your adventures in China. - Joann

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  2. Oh I'm so glad that you made it safe! And as cheesy as it sounds, I'm glad the VPN worked!! :D

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  3. So excited for you! I've been praying for you guys and can't wait to hear more as you get settled in!

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  4. Glad to hear y'all arrived safely and already enjoying adventures!

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  5. Happy arrival! It is crazy how far China is from pretty much every where else right?

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  6. Thank you for sharing this never-ending journey with us! I love reading about these adventures!

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  7. Ah I'm so glad you guys arrived safely!! I seriously can't wait to hear more about your adventures. And don't feel bad about not recognizing a lot of Chinese characters yet...I don't know about that language but they say the average Japanese high school student still can't read a full newspaper because they don't even know all the characters. I bet you'll pick it up fast, being immersed like that!

    $3.00 breakfast...I can't even imagine, haha!

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  8. Number 4 in China is indeed a a bad luck number, to them it means death. Apparently, Nokia cell phones have no series that begin with a 4. Interesting. I LOVE that y'all are sharing your experience with us! I check your blog every day for updates! :) and c'mon you don't like airplane peanuts?? whats tha matta with you? lol

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  9. Sounds like a perfect first meal:) At least you got to try some traditional food for your second breakfast:) I'm sure it seems like you've been traveling forever and you're ready to settle in. Good luck on the remaining leg of your journey:)

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  10. As I was reading about the "missing floors" I was thinking that I should explain the "si" thing to you, but it looks like you already have that down pat! You are more prepared than I was when I moved there, haha! I'm excited to read more of your adventures as they come! :)

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  11. Good luck on your new journey!!

    Kaitlyn

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  12. Yay for your new adventures. I agree with you about planes needing something different. It's worse than hospital food and TV dinners. Rachel http://garaytreasures.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/elephant/

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  13. and so the adventure begins! excited for more updates to come :)

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  14. Excited to follow along! You guys are such fun travelers.

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  15. Oooooooh so exciting! I hope you enjoy your travels :)

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  16. Ah, this brings back memories of how my friend and I ordered our first real meal in China by using his food picture dictionary. Good luck in Shenzhen!

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  17. how exciting! I can't wait to hear more about your adventures in China. :)

    ~Vicki
    decked out in ruffles

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  18. Haha that's awesome. I'm sure you guys will figure it out eventually ;)

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  19. Rice krispie treats would be great airplane food!! Glad you finally got fed- and cheaply!

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  20. Yay! I'm glad you guys made it there safely! And airplane food can be hit or miss, for sure!

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