Monday, March 4, 2013

2/5—Day 3 Traveling

"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality"

Alfred Painter

Time to head to Hong Kong! After what seemed like the longest night, it was finally time to check in for our flight. It started off as yet another interesting morning, when we had no clue what airline we were on, since it was written in Chinese. After asking a few different people, we finally found our way. As we were waiting to get our boarding passes, I saw my Consumer Behavior professor and his wife, who happened to be on the same flight. It was really nice to see a familiar face!

Once we got onto the plane, I passed out. Two hours later, we landed in Shenzhen, China and were off to figure out how to get to Hong Kong. When I stepped outside, it hit me that we had finally reached warm weather! After freezing my butt off in Japan and Shanghai, it was a beautiful warm and sunny day.

We tried to meet up with the rest of our group, but Shenzhen is a pretty big city. We ended up going to the business area of the city, so there was absolutely nothing to do. As much as I wanted to see a different city than everyone else on SAS, I was ready to get to Hong Kong and find a hotel. In the moment I was definitely really frustrated, since I felt like we wasted half of yesterday and basically all of today traveling. And it wasn't fun traveling like I had imagined it to be… it was just stressful and exhausting. But now looking back on all of it, it was part of the learning experience. And I wanted to have an exciting travel story, which I definitely have now!

We headed to the metro station and it took about an hour to get to Hong Kong immigration. That process took yet another hour and then finding our way to the general area where the ship was going to be docked was probably about another hour. Then we walked around trying to find the cheapest hotel, which was about another hour. By this point it was around 4 pm and it had been yet again a really long day. My body has never ached as much as it did from all of the walking. We finally heard from the rest of our group and were able to meet up with them. I was so glad to see them and be able to travel in a big group again. The three of them had a pretty interesting night and a long day as well, so we were all pretty grumpy.

Our exhaustion was getting in the way of being productive with picking a hotel… Like I said, traveling in a different country is a huge learning experience. After going back and forth on where we should stay, we finally agreed on a hotel. I have never been happier to shower and lay in bed!

I guess one of the "must see" things in the area is the light show. So after resting for a little we decided we would head to that and then dinner. The light show was not what I was expecting… there was very faint music and the lights on the buildings of Hong Kong Island changed colors. A lot less exciting than what I was told. Even though it sounded a lot cooler than it actually was, I wasn't all that disappointed. I was just thrilled to be in Hong Kong.

We yet again started to wonder around with no plan and looking for somewhere to eat. For the first time, not having a plan worked out in our favor. We ran into two SAS girls, Chelsea and Quinn, who were also looking for a place to eat. The seven of us finally found a hole in the wall restaurant, which had pretty good food. Once again, we encountered the feeling that the Chinese hate Americans…the waitress was not a fan of us. I can't figure out if the people dislike Americans or if their harsh personalities stand out much more after being in Japan. Maybe it is a cultural thing? I don't know, but I'm being open minded and not judging, just taking it all in. That is all I can do as a guest in their country.

Anyway, to go along with my quote for the day… Heather came up with the idea of going around the table and saying one thing we are thankful for. I personally think it is a great idea, especially when everything seems to be going wrong. After a stressful day and half, it was really nice to reflect and think of something that I was thankful for. I was thankful we all made it to Hong Kong and don't have to start a new life in China. 

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