hong kong part Ithe trip to hong kong was not as awful as i had remembered, having been lucky to afford the direct flight from jfk to hong kong, via the north pole. the ride clocked in at 15 hours when it used to be 24 hours door-to-door (on top of the fun 12-hour time shift). and it's when i ride an amazing system like the airport express from the airport that i appreciate what mayor mike is thinking of when he wants a "one seat ride to jfk". it took me from the huge airport on lantau island to a station on the mainland were i was picked up by my dad in just under 20 minutes.
there were plenty of greedy monkeys on the side of the road near my dad's house. he's gone and moved from hong kong island proper to tai po, which is almost as far from downtown you can get and not be in china. hong kong is technically in the tropics so there aren't any squirrels in this version of suburbia, but we probably do have snakes in the yard.
it being the tropics, there was also the appropriately stifling mode of public transportation
the electric tram system is over 100 years old. but apparently that's not the reason they're made of out wood and have no air conditioning. torture on hot days for those trips the MTR just does not make, like happy valley to central.
the clipper lounge at the mandarin oriental is our family's traditional meeting spot - instituted by grandma who loved to look over the balcony and gossip about people in the lobby, which was a pretty major hong kong thoroughfare. the mandarin is closing down in december, for a renovation that will take away the balconies that celebrities commit suicide off of. it's definitely a bit sad to know that i've had tea for the last time in the clipper lounge i remember.