Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is It a Sinus Headache or Culture Shock?

I came into the Holiday Guest House at Chung King Mansions very, very early this morning after a journey that took over ten hours, if you count the time I left the Red Lantern to go to the airport, the time we waited there for the fog to clear, and the time it took to come into town on the Airport Express--and believe me, I counted every second. The woman who sat beside me from Beijing to Hong Kong mentioned more than once the supper and the glass of wine she would have when she reached her hotel. I just prayed that I would have a room since the Holiday considers a reservation void if you aren't there at the hour you said you would arrive. I had added two and a half hours to the time I was supposed to land in Hong Kong and it wasn't generous enough of an estimate to ensure that my room would be waiting for me.

Trying not to snarl at the helpful gentlemen who greeted me the second I approached the entrance of CKM, assuring me that did they ever have a room for me, I finally made it to the dark doorway of the Holiday where a sleepy Nepali desk clerk emerged from a cot behind the reception desk and led me to the spot they had saved for me.

"How long will you stay?," he asked and when I said, "A month," he in tones of utter disbelief asked "HERE?" "Well, maybe in one of your rooms that has a window," I replied, hoping to assure him that yes I did have my standards, low as they might be.

And even though there is no window, this place is bigger than a breadbox, has stunningly good wifi and it's warm--what more could I ask? For my Bayer's to kick in, I suppose--my flightmate may have gotten her glass of wine but I got the headache.

It comes from traveling to another universe in the space of ten hours. Hong Kong is sunny and warm and Nathan Road is full of an entire United Nations of pedestrians and they are wearing colors and speaking a multiplicity of languages and I just had a big bowl of congee while reading today's International Herald Tribune and life is so very, very good even if my cheekbones do hurt.

Monday, March 1, 2010

On The Road Again!

In Beijing there is no blogger and may not be any google at all at this time. I will post on my wordpress blog at and will use my hotmail account for staying in touch--so if anybody gets an email from fresh hell, that would be me.

Journeys fall into place on their own--somehow the tons of cat litter are purchased, the kitten becomes a eunuch, the clothes are packed, the visa is procured, the proper currency obtained--all in a whirl that seems to have nothing to do with my own efforts---I just close my eyes and let go.
And look forward to being chilly and wearing a sweater again!!

Baozhi tomorrow on a Beijing lane--and my kitten will be the only feline in Bangkok with his own private room for three months...