Well, here I am in lovely Hong Kong! …What a stark contrast to Tokyo… the people here are vastly different…Tokyo was quite regimented and very quiet and conservative in style and dress(yet chic and tailored)…and Hong Kong is just like New York… the people are defiantly similar to New Yorkers…no time to waste and…well, they don’t really like to wait in lines…so it’s a good thing that I figured out the subway system here so fast because, unlike the Japanese, the Chinese have very little tolerance for any kind of waiting…and time here is quite relative…not like in Japan where everything ran on time down to the second…here, when our Disney contacts tell us we are being picked up at 5:30AM…they really means 6:05AM…or sometime thereafter…
We arrived Friday at midnight after a wonderful flight…we were upgraded to 1st class from business(not that Business isn’t GREAT)… we had those fabulous PODS that turn into beds…unfortunately the trip here took only  4 1/2 hours so I only got to enjoy the concept!
Saturday was a free day…and I took it to mean:”see ALL of Hong Kong!”!! I went into “Turbo Tourist Mode”….I first took the train to the Chinese section called Mong Kok…it’s a wonderful area filled with marvelous markets, indoors and out…vendors selling everything from silk, trinkets etc to fresh fruits and veggies to live chickens that you pick and they slaughter in front of you…don’t worry, I did not get near the chickens so no Bird flu for me…although it would seem appropriate for me to pick it up since I seem to catch all the bizarre stuff! (:  … this area is great because there were no western faces…very Chinese and neighborhoody…It was a beautiful day so I decided to walk and walk…and of course walk some more…I finally ended up at the promenade on the docks, only to discover there was yet another Island and another and another…I guess the fact that this job came up so very fast, I never had a chance to research either place…but this actually has turned out to be a good thing…because I have really relied on the locals for advice …and they have steered me well…… Hong Kong Island(the main business district) is across the water from the Kowloon Peninsula(a large tourist district as well as business)…….Lantau Island is the one that Disney is on, along with the airport…and both are actually on filled land…they filled in the sea to build much of both…I keep waiting to sink!
Hong Kong Island sits like San Francisco on sides of Hills. They have a thing called the Escalator and you can get on it and ride up to whatever street you choose. The shopping, bars and restaurants are wonderful…I had a quick sushi snack by conveyor belt…and then went Antiquing….and basically just kicked around.
On Saturday, I took the Star Ferry over to Central Hong Kong(on Hong Kong Island) and explored some more…I found this great Park called, what else: Hong Kong Park. It has this huge Aviary with incredible birds, many of which I had never seen before. I wandered the wonderful walkways and through the Tai Chi Peace Park to find this little but fun Tea Ware Museum…It was great learning all about one of my favorite drinks, as well as the beautiful teapots…sounds boring but it was a lovely place…and, of course, I had a blast buying all sorts of Tea stuff…
..Sunday was our scout and we were finished by 10AM so I headed back into the city to meet an old friend who happens to be here on business…Believe it or not, Merrie Dudley(who many will remember from our old Nickelodeon Days) is here  for a few weeks working with a toy company . …We had a blast going on a great Adventure to Stanley Market…It required us to take a double decker bus about an hour over the mountains to the other side of Hong Kong Island… I am happy to report that Merrie shares my sense of adventure as well as my lack of direction…but we managed to happily find our way. once at the Market, I turned into phycho shopper!!! ….which is very unlike me…unless, of course, I am in another country…Poor Merrie had to witness my craziness…  Merrie and I grew even more adventurous and on our return, we actually rode upstairs in the front row of the doubledecker bus!!! Let’s just say…skydiving was a piece of cake compared to that bravery (:   …As we drove into town we saw the big Pro Democracy rally…seems to be a growing issue here based on what I have been seeing on Chinese TV…and reading in the paper.
After our day together, we said goodbye and I tried to figure out where I was because I needed to meet the crew and clients for dinner…the Pro Democracy March had just broken up so the streets were packed…I did finally find the street with “the Escalator”, …while waiting for my group to show up with my “new ” suitcase(that I bought to bring back my swag) in tow, an American man walked up and asked if I was lost..he and his wife asked me to join them for a drink while I waited…they knew the owner so they set me up with a good table for my large group…it turns out Kevin is a pilot for Cathay and he and Stephanie have been living here for 5 years…and they love it…they also gave me  lots of info on renting a villa in Bali…really cheap…that is now on my list…once my group got there, we had another drink and then headed to dinner…I must say Hong Kong has wonderful food….
Today we(Garry, Warren, George and Fed & I) went to the Buddhist Temple on Lantau Island that has the biggest Buddha in the world…another transportation adventure by bus…an hour over the mountains on Lantau Island…Hong Kong is much bigger than I thought…and very different terrain…once you leave the city, you get these great mountains and farms…wandering Oxen and bulls…and wonderful hiking, I hear(because I never got a chance to go)…
The Buddha and the Temple were well worth the trip…lots of pics…I departed separately because I was taking another bus to the Ferry to head into the city to shop just a bit more and meet Merrie and a friend of hers who owns a toy factory in China. The Ferry ride was very different coming from Lantau…it is foggy and quite cold today so the atmosphere was a bit eerie…and the ferry went around huge cargo ships and barges with large cranes…it was surreal…I was waiting for James Bond to come dashing around in a speed boat…it was the perfect setting for a good action adventure movie!
Well I am off to meet Merrie for dinner…so I will sign off…
By the way, if you want to see what I have been doing while over here…you need to watch ABC’s Disney Christmas Parade on Xmas day…this is the big finale where they throw it to each area to sing in their own language and then they all sing a few verses in English…yep, all this fun for 30 seconds of Video from Tokyo and 30 seconds from Hong Kong!!! That’s TV for you…to be honest, this is the FIRST international job where I have had more time off than on…it’s a fluke and I am so very thankful!!!!

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