We got to the train station 2 hours early to make sure we got to the correct waiting room. We had no problems navigating the station thanks to our earlier adventure this summer with Jessie and Jeff. Only once on the train did we meet up with a person who wanted us to believe something other than what our tickets said. We requested two lower bunks and one middle bunk. The man in question had a middle bunk and was telling us that we had both middle bunks and one upper bunk. I’m not sure if he just couldn’t read the tickets or what. People all over will try to pull stuff when they think they have the upper hand like we don’t speak or read Chinese well yet. However we meet Allan, a Chinese man who has spent 10 years in Australia for school and then work. Because he has a wonderful command of English he befriended us and told us (as I thought) the tickets Qi Yan got for us said two lower and one middle bunk. Unhappy man then took the pillows and blankets from the lower bunks to make a nest for himself only to have a steward redistribute everything once he was asleep. Anyway, Allan rode all the way to Hong Kong and was able to point us in the correct direction to go for immigration when we got off the train…almost 1.5 hours late.
I mapped our journey on the train by writing down lots of the stops on the trip. Sleeping was a large past time on the train so I have a rough idea of where we went. There is something called ‘WE CHAT’ here and I posted in English and Chinese to tell of our train journey. I couldn’t update my blog on my phone, but I could post to that. We traveled from Zhengzhou in the Henan Province through the following provinces: Hubei, Jiangxi, Hunan, back to Jiangxi, Guangdong ending at Shenzhen where we disembarked and crossed the boarder. Leaving mainland China was no problem bu entering Hong Kong was another story. I was the last foreigner and they closed the gate behind me. The crossing we used closed at midnight and we got in line at 11:30pm. We made it to our room at nearly 1pm. We rode on the last subway to this area from the train station and took a taxi from where subway ended and the other would have picked up had it not been closing time.
We got up early so we could get jump on getting my visa paperwork into the offices of Shoestring Travel, LLC. First stop was breakfast and we were all in the mood for hotcakes and headed for McDonald’s and YEA here unlike in China hotcakes are still on the menu. We changed money over this morning after breakfast and the store that changed our money also sold phone cards so we got three. Although Hong Kong is part of China if you look on the map, because they were a British holding for years (driving here reflects that) and phone service from mainland China doesn’t work here. So our cell phones won’t work unless we get ‘SIM CARDS’ from HK. At least we don’t have to buy brand new cell phones though. However Murphy’s Law found us; one of the three sim cards worked at first, I didn’t have all the paperwork I needed for my visa and Chuck fell down a flight of stairs today going for some air. I had to call my boss and have him email the certificate that the visa company needed to include in my visa application and it was nearly an hour sitting around in the visa office waiting. I’m no lover of AC and I was beginning to feel like an ice cube sitting there. Then on his way to the rest room Chuck falls down the stairs and cuts his hand and knee and bruises himself. He keeps band aids with him so he was able to patch himself up but YIKES! He showed Nate and I his blood soaked band aids and found cuts on his knees and leg that he didn’t know about he did make it to the bathroom across the street. Then as I mentioned our SIM cards are necessary to life here in HK and for whatever reason they would not initialize in Chuck and my phones without being outside so Chuck and Nate did that while I waited for my boss to email the missing forms.
After this we came back to the room and surfed for a bit and then headed out to a favorite eatery ‘Istanbul’ go figure right, you go to Hong Kong and then you get Turkish food. Awesome Turkish food; Nate and I are hooked on donner’s. The area is still feeling the affects of a recent typhoon and we had a heavy rain shower at that time while we were in the room and it lasted while were going to eat too. Damp hems to pants are our gift!
During lunch the rain cleared and we were able to do some walking and went to Swindon’s book store here in Hong Kong. We got two of the text books Nate needs for school in the fall and some reading books for us.
Chuck and I went to see how to get to Disney from here. We found the subway line and rode to Disney’s special line. There I asked the cashier how to get tickets for Disney
Nate from the room (on line gaming) and we went to dinner at McDonald’s. Funny but in the states that was not really a night out but here where we don’t often do fast food, it is a treat.
Well off to more internet surfing!