I’m just back from the cafeteria where we had our first lunch, and what an experience! I ended up with (clockwise on the photo) steamed rice, beef and beans, spicy chicken and green peppers, bean sprouts-corn-red chili peppers (do not bite!), orange juice drink. All were delicious. No forks or spoons to (ch)eat with. I will have to learn to use chopsticks.
I lucked out and got upgraded to FIRST CLASS from San Francisco to Hong Kong (so abandon any sympathy you might have had left for me for the 15-hr flight and think personal pod with entertainment, flat-folding seat and five course meals!).
Saw two movies, had two meals and two naps, got in Tue night at 7 pm at Hong Kong International airport on the island of Chek Lap Kok. Customs and baggage claim at the airport went very smooth.
Once all of the team had arrived at Hong Kong airport, the drivers of two vans helped the 10 of us to load up all our luggage. Next stop was the China mainland customs and checkpoint where some of us got scanned for a high fever.
The drive in from there, to our apartments in Dameisha, to the east of the city of Shenzhen (pop. 12 million), was interesting. This is no longer Hong Kong. This is China. No English. We made our way through Shenzhen’s high-rise buildings and apartments with their gaudy neon signs, and several tunnels. The area is very hilly.
Everything is going smooth so far. I arrived at Seattle airport so early that United put me on the 6 am flight (original schedule was for 7.40 am).
My bags are stuffed with Starbucks coffee and decadent Western snacks such as m&m chocolate candies.
Hopefully they won’t confiscate any of it in Hong Kong at the customs check point!
.. so I should try to get some sleep. The taxi will show up at 4 am !
I want to be at the airport early, so that I miss the Monday morning business crowd. I will post again as soon as I have access in China, but it may not be until Wednesday.
I’m gearing up for my first trip to China for a project there. I believe I have the important stuff all done and ready: my shots for tetanus, typhoid fever & diphtheria, passport with China visa, Visa card, wallet, business-casual clothes, computer, mouse, cord & China outlet adapter, medicines, multivitamins, Starbucks coffee, South African tea, iPod, Blackberry, camera, batteries & chargers, extra business cards.
I leave Seattle on Monday Jan 4 at 7.30 am .. so that is going to make for getting up very early. There will be plenty of time to snooze on the aircraft, though! I am scheduled to arrive at 6 pm on Tuesday Jan 5 at Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport. A driver with a van will collect all of us arriving from the States, and drive us across the border into the Shenzhen area in mainland China.
Seattle to San Francisco is 679 miles as the crow (airplane, that is) flies, and will take 2 hours. San Francisco to Hong Kong is 6,927 miles and will take 15 hours.
En route, the plane will cross the International Date Line on the globe.
Crossing the International Dateline traveling west (the way I will do), results in the additional of a full day (24 hours) to the time on the traveler’s clock.
Crossing it while traveling east, a full day is subtracted from the traveler’s clock! So the traveler starts over with the 24-hour period he/ she had departed from.
The number of hours for one’s final clock adjustment depends on the departure and arrival time zones. China time is 15 hours ahead of Seattle. Amazingly, the entirety of mainland China’s designated time of day squats in one single time zone, even though its territories cover some 60° of longitude. (Standard time zones are 15° of longitude wide).
Welcome to my blog.
Many thanks to Bryan for creating the header for me.
I will use it to keep my family and friends posted about my whereabouts, and other things I find interesting.
I hope you will find it interesting as well !
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