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Brian’s Travel Diary

Friday, 19 Jan 2007

Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

MapFlying for over 24 hours in total darkness will do strange things to your internal clock. The good news is I haven’t had to get up for work for over a year now so my body doesnt care what time it is anyhow. By the time we got to Taipei for the layover the sun was just starting to come up. It was Thursday morning around 6am. I had left Atlanta at 5:30pm on a Tuesday and immediately started the futile chase of the sun. We were slightly delayed because of some dense fog in Taiwan, which seemed better than the dense smog we descended through in LA that was clearly visible even at night. Seeing the smog in LA gave me the eerie feeling that LA was going to be an atmospheric paradise compared to some of the cities we were headed to in China. Time will tell.

When we arrived in Tiapei there were some interesting signs for travellers to China. Beau wanted to snap a picture of one of the signs that read “Drug trafficing is punishable by death in the R.O.C.” I had flash backs of Jim getting hounded by airport security in Mexico City for snapping a photo of the “Foot in mouth disease” warnings. Beau took the shot without getting shot. Everyone was happy.

They had temperature scanners exiting immigration looking for sick people when we arrived in Hong Kong. The screen looked like the visual perception Predator had when he was looking for Schwarzenegger when he was all covered in mud to hide his body temperature. Obviously the impact of SARS is still resonating. Even a few people on the streets still have the dust masks. If I do get SARS Ill be sure to eat lots hot chicken soup and sprite.

After my longest stint of plane rides ever (28 hours from ATL to HK including some layover time) we made it to the hostel. We smelled less than appealing. I told Beau it smelled like foot and ass in our room and he replied “I know! I’m going for the trifecta!” I dont know what the third smell is and I didnt ask.

Our first meal was fish and dumpling (dim sum or pot stickers). Its all I could think about after reading the Lonely Planet. If food is even a tenth as good as that meal was Im going to be alright for the next 2 months. The Chinese people love their pork and I am OK with that. The beer isnt bad either. Tsing Tao is Chinese beer but the brewery used to be German (Chinese copies once again), so its very drinkable. Aside from the cloudy overcast weather things are pretty awesome. I can live off dumplings and Tsing Tao for the next two months if I have to. Two more days in Hong Kong then we are off to Macau.