This is either an update,or a house-cleaning.
I’ve been looking though my notebooks, which I usually take along when I travel, and I have a lot of things that never made it to the blog. I don’t put everything I write here. As with most writing, it’s personal. As with most personal things it could either piss people off,worry others, and likely bore the heck out of others.
It begins during a trip to Singapore.
Singapore is an organized,clean and altogether comfortable place to visit.
If I was traveling with Emily it’d thrill me. It doesn’t,because I’m not. It’s the dreaded visa trip.
The new school is playing it safe and getting a business visa. Save means I’ll be making this trip again in a few months.
I’m staying at the Golden Landmark. Golden Landmark is a three-star hotel. The rooms are comfortable if slightly unappointed; no comb and no mini-bar. It’s bad enough I have to leave the room to get drunk-but to have messy hair as well?!?
It’s one of the nicest and most centrally located of Singapore’s budget hotels.
The hotel is located on Victoria street between the Indian area and the Arab quarter. There are a fair number of great little restaurants and places to browse and walk.
I’ve eaten a good meal,had a nice walk and I’m sitting comfortably on a large bed. I’m watching storm clouds gather in the darkening sky. The golden roof of the mosque ‘neath my window stands in stark contrast to the steel grey skies.
Even a nice room can’t make dark clouds look any less threatening.
Nothing wrong with this place that a couple of well-place slaps to the head wouldn’t cure. People, especially guys, are getting way too close for comfort. You get used to the lack of personal space in China,but sometimes your tolerance is tested.
The hotel was nice. Just don’t hold your breath if you need bottled water or them to call a taxi for you, without charging through the nose.
I was out walking after a fairly grueling day. We had meetings in Xia’an about opening a new center. It seems impossible for people here to ask a question without a 20 minute preamble. As you wait for them to get to a point – any point – they then decide it’s time to lecture you. The lectures ranged from local business, to local government, to Chinese culture.
So After six hours of this I really needed some fresh air. I walked out of the hotel and down a few sidestreets. I was looking for the noodle shop we had eaten at just the afternoon before. It was on the second floor of a shop house. I should add here that my sense of direction is on a par with Columbus.
As I leaned back to look up my head collided with another head. Now that shouldn’t happen. I walked on rubbing the back of my head. Eventually eating back at the hotel.
The next morning it was time to fly to Shenzhen.
I had arranged a car to pick me up at 6:30am. The time being both unfortunate and unavoidable. I arrived at the airport and waited to check in. My street buddy must of had relatives at the airport. They shared his desire to get close.
I’m tired and I don’t think a mere 6 to eight inches of personal space is too much to ask for. Here he is again, the crowder. At least take a shower before you get so damn close.
Okay. I’ve checked in and we’re boarding the shuttle to get to the plane. Here he is again! He’s not holding on to anything and bang. I almost fall over as he hits me, and knocks my bag over. I call out the name of a man you can believe is devine or not, and suddenly I’m a star. Seems everyone needs to take a look at me. Why aren’t they having a talk with my buddy.
I arrive in Shenzhen and take the shuttle to the ferry.
At first it’s very confusing. There are three lines with no descernible beginning or end. Cards need to be obtained as it becomes clear that immigration is handled here as well.
A welcome surprise is that a lot of formalities such as checking bags and customs are wavived because you’ve never actually been outside a secure area. once they confirm the ongoing flight I’m able to purchase a Turbo-Tet ferry ticket that takes me me from Shenzhen to Hong Kong airport in a little under an hour. It’s clean,smooth and very spacious. All for 289 Hong Kong dollars.