Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Hong Kong

After we'd had a look around Hong Kong Island, the intrepid threesome of Suzanne, Bill and E hopped in a cab to travel to the Bird Park.

"Bird Park" I was thinking, would be a wildlife area where one could observe birds. And it was. But the birds are BROUGHT there by their sort of a playdate area for both.

We walked along, and saw older men--only men- sitting around, having tea, chatting, playing chess,

with their pet birds sitting on their shoulders, in bamboo cages nearby hanging from tree limbs,

or hopping around teacups.

We saw a man walk past, one bird in the crook of his arm, another hopping alongside, just as if it were wearing a leash. We were laughing so hard, none of us could get our cameras out.

There were birds for sale in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Even birds sleeping...

Then it was off for a walk through the flower market.

I saw a stash of my favorite stargazer lilies--at the incredible price of US$2.19

Blocks and blocks and blocks of fragrant, colorful blooms --some were new to me.

Almost sensory overload.

Suzanne suggested we check out the fish market. Now, at midday, I'm thinking slabs of unbought tuna and sea bass smelling to high heavens. But, no-- she meant the "pet fish" market.

She said she had heard the displays were interesting.

And they were.

Fish in aquariums,

fish in buckets, and, yes--fish in plastic bags, stapled to walls and doors.

By this point, we were all a bit tired, an went back to the hotel for a rest before supper. On the way back, we passed by Hong Kong's Chinatown (yes, there is a specific place in Hong Kong called Chinatown)

with the ever-present Peking Duck

and block upon block of rather decrepit-looking apartment buildings.

We were assured that, while externally these building look shabby,

internally, they are some of the most desirable locations in town. High rent or low rent, everyone hangs the wash outside, no matter how high up.

Tiny gas stations compete for space

After a wonderful buffet supper in hotel, I watched the lights of Hong Kong come up.

A totally different city seemed to emerge.

Comfortably tucked in under a down comforter,

I left the curtains open so I could see Hong Kong come alive as I drifted off toward sleep.

I was absolutely untroubled by jet lag and was up just after 6am- my normal time- to get ready for another exciting day in ASIA

where even the most ordinary things are interesting...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Moral of a Story.....

From my friend, Flamingo.....

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories. There were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved. But then the teacher realized, much to her dismay, that only Ernie was left.

"Ernie, do you have a story to share?"

''Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Aunt Karen. She was a pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol, and a survival knife.

She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops. She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, until the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands."

''Good Heavens,' said the horrified teacher."What did your daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?"

"Stay the hell away from Aunt Karen when she's been drinking."