Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hong Kong Phooey

Shannon and I arrived in Hong Kong at about 6:30 this morning. My brother got us to the airport without a hitch and we wandered around SFO International or a few hours to give our legs some excercise before our 15 hour flight. Singapore airlines is pretty great! We basically watched on demand movies the whole flight [fn1]. The bus system was very self explanatory and we caught a bus into Kowloon with ease. Now we're waiting for 12:30 so that we can check into our hostal, but in the meantime, we decided to take a ferry to Hong Kong in order to track down some dim sum. So far it seems to be a grandiose city with a lot of topography and looks how I would imagine Chinatown in San Francisco would look like if it were slightly more domesticated and spent some time on a stretching rack. Every street is adorned with neon signs hanging out over the roadway, and almost every building is connected with foot bridges two stories above the ground.

Right now we're at a little juice cafe' trying to pump a bit more caffeine into our blood so that we can ascend the escalators up Victoria Hill without giving in to narcolepsy.

[fn1] I learned that 1) I'm not sure I'm a big Clark Gable fan, and 2) Capra's "It Happened One Night" (1934) was most definitely the movie that Mel Brook's "Space Balls" is based on and probably provided the inspiration for "Roman Holiday" as well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tomorrow...

we leave. We arrive on Thursday according to HK time, but I am not sure what time that is here. Let's hope we make it through swine flu quarantine at the Hong Kong airport. When we come back we arrive two hours before we left... oh, international dateline fun.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something to report!

The blog title changed.

We are currently thinking about our itinerary. If anyone knows of things we should probably see in Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, or Singapore, please let us KNOW!

As you can see on the right, we have not gotten very far with our itinerary yet.

Another item to report, about this fall:
Shanny will be a Golden Bear.
D. will be a Gaucho.

The silver lining of this less than ideal arrangement is that Shanny plans to eat as many Æbleskiver as humanly possible in the next two years. Solvang might just be my favorite place on earth.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Trip Digest

From The Trip, pt. 11: Back to Peru

We are back in the mother country. In the end we visited four countries (pearoo, bowlivia, largentina, and oooorguay), we dipped a toe into Brazil, and we had a run in with the authorities in Paraguay.

From The Trip, pt. 11: Back to Peru

Our favorite foods: Criolla in Lima
Our favorite music: Huaynos Peruanos in the Andes
Our longest bus ride: 20 hours between Buenos Aires and Puerto Iguazu
Our favorite city: Montevideo

From The Trip, pt. 11: Back to Peru

Funniest cab driver comments:
1. In Puno, Peru: Carnaval dancers are fueled by beer and faith.
2. In Montevideo, Uruguay (on the way to Penarol soccer game): Penarol sucks. If you want to see futbol mas lindo, you will have to go see Nacional or Defensador.
3. In Santa Cruz, Bolivia: Don't see a soccer game here; all the players get drunk..... Is it daylight right now in the United States?
4. In Santa Cruz, Bolivia (different cab): ...... and that's how I lost my eye.
5. Cuzco, Peru: Do they speak Spanish in Costa Rica?
6. Everywhere: So you like Barack Obama, even though he's black?

From The Trip, pt. 11: Back to Peru

Books we read:
Tender is the Night by Fitzgerald
Cantos by Pound (ditched in Chiclayo)
Damien by Hesse
Absalom! Absalom! by Faulkner
Lolita by Nabakov
Treasure of Khan by Cussler
Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky
Don Quixote by Cervantes (not finished yet)
Treasure Island by Stevenson
The Road by McCarthy
Twelfth Night by Shakespeare
Catch-22 by Heller
Wuthering Heights by Bronte
Crepusculo (spanish translation bootleg) by Meyers
Grapes of Wrath (lost in Bariloche)

From The Trip, pt. 11: Back to Peru

The things we lost (and by "we," I mean John):
1 raincoat
1 hat
2 empanadas, 2 sandwiches, 1 bottle of water (left on a bus)
1 debit card
2 laundry soaps
1 bath soap
1 Grapes of Wrath (see above)
1 umbrella
1 Meizu (Chinese Ipod knockoff)
1 sound-cancelling headphones

From The Trip, pt. 11: Back to Peru

The things we gained:
1 hammock
3 Andean blankets
1 Uruguay shirt
1 Bolivia dress
2 llama print leg warmers
1 little guitar
4 bottles of Argentinian wine
5 mini bottles of wine (lost to evil customs officials)
1 luminary for the Virgen de Copacabana
4 reed mobiles
6 scarves (not made from Alpaca)
1 bottle of sexually invigorating booze from the Peruvian jungle
3.625 liters of Inca Cola
2 bottles of Pisco
5 bottles of beer (4 Argentinian, 1 Peruvian)
2 Inca Cola t-shirts
1 antique thing from Uruguay that is a secret Christmas present
2 watercolor paintings from Cusco, Peru
1 lingering case of stomach demons
1 seal-shaped bottle opener
3 mini bottles of voodoo jungle potion
2 Andean shoes
2 Uruguayan shoes

...the list probably goes on. In the end we acquired more things than we lost.

From The Trip, pt. 4: Arequipa to the frontera

Top South American Ah-HA! Moments:
1. Coca is the leaf from which cocaine is derived. Coca cola used to be made with coca leaves in it and originally had a significant amount of cocaine in it..... ah HA!
2. Cafe is the spanish word for coffee; -teria is the word for a place that sells whatever is stated in the first half of the word. Cafeteria is a place that sells coffee, but somehow it came to mean the elementary school lunchroom in America.

...ok, so maybe I should have realized both of these things earlier.

From The Trip, pt. 4: Arequipa to the frontera

Souvenirs and mind-blowing revelations aside, it was an amazing experience. I would recommend a trip to South America to anyone. You can check out all 2000 of our pictures here. At first glance, San Francisco looks tame and sleepy in comparison to the busy streets of Lima. We are quickly reacclimating to the luxuries of the United States, like toilet paper, potable tap water, vendors that actually have change, possessing a car and cell phone and more than two t-shirts.

From The Trip, pt. 7: Uruguay

I am not sure if we will be using this blog to post about our mundane relaxations and selection of a graduate school, but over the next four weeks it will be converted from !Pearoo and Bowlivia! to !Hong Kong and Beyong! in preparation for our three and a half month trip to ASIA, starting April 29. First step in the new trip: wading through the various visa requirements and new varieties of bureaucratic red tape.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Folding South America

I lugged a 6x6 folding camera all the way across South America only to realize once I got there, that I had forgotten to buy film. One-twenty film is not common in Peru and I had given up the idea of taking pictures with it. Finally in Bariloche, Argentina, I found some film. What you see is result

.

I had not taken pictures with it before, so I wasn't sure how they would turn out. Well, they're a bit on the blurry side, but I think it was worth the effort in the end. The camera is not coming with us to China.