OK. Yes I am back home, catching up on jet lag—12 times zones and the mushroom class material. We saw 25 different mushrooms in the Sitka Spruce, Fir forest by Caspar. What an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher Theresa Scholars is. Missing 4 weeks is tough but this is the teachers’ last year so…. What happens if you fail a pass/fail course?

Yep Hong Kong is a shopping city, shopping everywhere. See how it can change a girl. Actually I just bought a few things at the night street market.
The nun was from the Ukiah monastery of 10,000 Buddhas. She was shocked when I guessed where she was heading.
A 12.5 hour flight home with catch up on 2 movies, 6 episodes of Madmen, and 1 Australian travelog— the entertainment centers do make the hours pass faster. I like watching British, Australian, Indian, and US series. It seems like traveling just watching TV. Dave was at the airport to pick me up, a sight for sore eyes.

Japan occupied Hong Kong for 3.5 years during WW II.
Comic books.
Hong Kong financial trading board.
On to the peaceful Nan Lian Garden, an oasis of tranquility in the midst of the city. Tang dynasty style but it has such a Japanese feel. That Buddha fellow had good taste. There were some serious bonsai there. The Chi Lin Nunnery is beautiful from outside but had already closed by the time I arrived.
In contrast to India, the charge to foreigners is the same as for locals. What are the implications and mindsets behind these two approaches?

The lock on my room is very slick.
Muslim head covering is a US flag pattern—interesting mix of images.
Geeky gal. I spent 3-4 hours in the Hong Kong Museum of History—very well done. The Patna opium boxes were the British ( and US ) smuggling opium into China against the country’s wishes—and we complain about illegal Mexican smuggling.
Stopped at the Ladies Market to buy a suitcase with wheels to carry my extra loot. Packed and ready to go. Will try the MTR subway to the airport tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing Dave tomorrow but not the 12.5 hour flight.

If you tap on the small photos they enlarge. I love this transportation system in Hong Kong, busy, safe, and full of people, even at midnight. Why aren’t those teens in bed? I discovered the longest escalator system taking folks uphill, avoiding the busy streets and traffic, allowing one to look down on street diners, neon signs and into shops, restaurants, and foot massage/care parlors. Heading home tomorrow. It has been a great trip but will be happy to be reunited with my family.

Ferry across the harbor. Folks walking and jogging along the sea. Tugs and ferries, barges and fishermen ply waters with the city mountain rising across the water in both directions.
Showing skin is not verboten in this city.
There is an entire supra structure over many parts of town. People moved in conveyor belts up the hills and on walk ways over the busy street. All is connected with the subterranean MTR trains. Efficiently moving people throughout the islands.

10/10 we took the night flight from Delhi to Hong Kong. They are understandably serious about airport security.
Prayer and smoking rooms this way—amusing. The charging station for every type of phone—just lovely.
The Funicular railway, the Peak Tram, up a steeper hill than SF. Light show and spectacular view from the top. A lovely dinner at the oldest restaurant on the hill, the Peak Lookout. Paula left yesterday AM and I found a less expensive room near the YMCA on Nathan St in Kowloon. Off to take a ferry ride today.

Vinod took us to the Kebob Express, a fast food chain I wouldn’t mind seeing in the US, really delicious, savory food. The parking was too cool. You pull into a congested sidewalk car park and hand over your key for valet parking. Check out the dude’s key ring.
Vinod showed us beautiful gardens, embassy row, a great fabric store. My impression of Delhi has been modified from 31 years ago— it is a tree and garden filled city making inroads on the traffic congestion/pollution by public transport and a new Metro.
Dinner with Pauls’s family and a newly arrived, old family friend, Dr Das. He practiced near Rochester NY and now in retirement is involved in building a hospital in Assam. Amazing people.
Packed up and Vinod dropped us at the airport for an all night flight to Hong Kong.

Dressed in our new traditional finery, we went to Didhi’s sister’s family for an delicious meal. She was a teacher, the daughter, Aragita, a lawyer, her husband, Ajay, also a lawyer/economist who works with NGOs—one in Davis, another in Des Moines. He had been to the US 3 times in the last 6 months.
I loved the poster on their wall. Interesting discussions into the wee hours of the morning.
Ajay arranged for us to visit a program that connected via cell phone to poorly trained, rural health practitioners, some of whom they identified as “quacks”. Patient data would be collected, the patient and practitioner could have a three way Skype- like connection. The doctor hopefully will improve the quality of care. The potential is mind boggling.

More Taj detail and people shots. A mad dash through the West Gate, motorized tri-rickshaw back to our Panicker’s tour bus. We were the last to arrive. 3 hours on the new toll road found us back in Delhi, waiting outside the Hyatt, rail thin beggar children pulling at our hearts. What a contrast.
Will post again at next wifi connection. I am actually in Hong Kong today.