Back in the UK

I have to say: the thing I miss the most about China right now are the air conditioners.

The flight home was just about bearable. It was absolutely freezing at one point. I had wrapped myself in two blankets (one around my head) and had a jumper on underneath as well. I must’ve looked pretty ridiculous. But I watched loads as I wasn’t able to sleep. I quite like the TV series ‘New Girl’ and ‘Two Broke Girls’ now. I was happily greeted by my mummy as I almost ran through the arrival doors. And I just spent the rest of the day lying on the couch until I crawled to bed at about half past eight in the evening.

Then I’ve spent the past two days going about here and there and now i’m in London. I’m not 100% since going to China because I think I exhausted myself to the max. So whilst Will is at work,I’m taking some R&R with loads of TV. Unfortunately one of my wisdom teeth has decided to appear this week so I can’t eat anything I want as the gum is quite sore. I was living off soup yesterday. The ironic thing is is that I have my operation on my cleft palate which means I’ll only be able to eat soup for about two weeks. So, of course, I’m dying to eat all the foods I won’t be able to! Hopefully the pain killers will work their magic so I can munch away.

This was just a little update on life’s happenings. The next big event is my father coming back from Calgary after six weeks. Interesting.

Xo.

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Hometime

Flying Home from Hong Kong
Flying Home from Hong Kong

16th July 2013

So here I go. I’m coming home. I really do hate goodbyes. The first few minutes are the worst. I’m sitting on the airport express train now waiting for it to leave and to wave goodbye to Tim. I can’t admit I’m not teary..

Hong Kong have this amazing set up at the Central train station where you can check in there two hours before your flight! So I did that with Tim and then we went down to the train. It’s so handy that I don’t have to drag my massive back pack around with me and that I can go straight through to security. Also, something funny happened. The check in lady offered that the airline would give me 1500 HK$ and catch a late plane at twenty to three which would get in at half past eight in the UK and I would go in business class. But I said no. (Harry would look at me in utter disbelief at this moment) I had set myself to come home. I had already bossed around mum to pick me up on time and it meant I would’ve got into London Heathrow at half eight and wouldn’t have had any time to chat to my family because it’d be late and I’d be shattered. And quite frankly, £125 to change my course just didn’t seem to settle it fairly. (I’m not meaning that in a ‘I deserve more’ way but I’ve already been an extra person to think about for Tim. He doesn’t need me to hang around any longer.) So yeah. Crazy. I could pretend I’m really scared of flying and they’ll put me in business class anyway. Haha. Kidding. I’ll probably spend half the flight grumbling now but hey! I’ll just bug the hostesses for loads and loads of drinks and snacks as if I am in business class. (mwahaha)

I’ll see you on the other side.

Xo.

Road Trip!

13th July 2013

Macau is amazing. I know I have said this about every place I’ve been to during the past two weeks but Macau has a slightly different feel to it compared to Hong Kong and China. It’s a mix of a not cared for back streets of Portugal and Spain and the bustling nature of the Chinese people. The pavements are very lovely as they are made from two different colored stones: beige and black. There are stars and patterns made using both of them. Tim showed me the Ruinas da São Paulo (ruins of St Paul’s church where only the entrance is still standing). It was pretty cool.

Pandas in Macau
Pandas in Macau

Then we caught a taxi over to the Parque de Seac Pai Van where the pandas were and i saw pandas! And it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be, it was 10 HKD$ which is equivalent to about a pound in the UK! And they were so cuuuute! The place had two pandas: a boy called KaiKai and a girl called XinXin. They were in separate cages (this isn’t the right word because they weren’t being kept in a space surrounded by iron bars but I can’t think of another appropriate word at the moment) and had a lot in each. They had a mini waterfall, little bridges, these big plastic balls and loads of plants. I’d say they live a life of luxury. And to my happy surprise Tim seemed to really enjoy it too. It made me feel good that I didn’t seem to be dragging him around at this point. So we had a bit of fun taking pictures for a while. The gift shop was quite small but it was stocked with loads of cute cuddly panda toys that if Tim hadn’t been there.. Not kidding. Hehe. But I’ve bought something (don’t worry, not something expensive!) but i don’t know whether I’m going to give it to my brother or not. It’s so hard to buy for Dad and hom. I’m hoping I can find a little something at the Ladies Market tomorrow.

Moving on, we aimed to catch a taxi back but, a bit naively, none were in site as we were in quite a barren part of Macau. So we walked for (luckily) a little bit and came across a bus stop and jumped on the 21A bus to the Venetian as that was our next stop. It was quite hilarious when we got off because we had to walk on the main road to get over to the City of Dreams where we watched a show called the House of Dancing Water. And I tell you now: wonderful, spectacular, impressive. Basically, these dancers/actors perform in water and on stage simultaneously in the most beautiful way. It’s really hard to explain how they do it but imagine a cirque de soleil with water. Seriously, if you’re ever in that part of the world, go and see it! After that we headed over to the Venetian for me to see the casino craze that is famous in Macau and for the fake Venice that the hotel has created on its ground floor. We ate a good dim sum dinner and then headed off to catch the ferry. (In the casino you have to be 21 to enter the area but no one questioned me which was good.) But I think we were too laid back or didn’t realise how much time we needed to catch the booked ferry home at half past eight. We had a lovely little walk through fake Venice. It has a ceiling that resembles the blue sky with clouds and there are buildings that line the little canal as if they are real shops outside. Of course, all these shops were very upper class. Anyway, we ran from the main lobby where the taxi queue looked a mile long (and it was already five to eight) to the west lobby where there was a free shuttle bus that looked about the same length. So Tim refused to stand in a queue (to my relief, they drive me crazy) which meant we trotted off to the Four Seasons at quite a pace. Eventually we got a free shuttle bus to the Taipa ferry instead of Macau and had to get another ticket. But hey, we made it. It’s been one busy fun day.

I’m glad I get on with Tim. I can see why my parents like him, he’s just a friendly fantastic generous person who I think is quite similar to me in some ways. And even though we haven’t been with me today the children are fab. They’re sweet, always listen, always have something to say and have a zest for life. This all makes me really happy to have come here. And so grateful.

On the way home on the ferry we listened to the cricket. England need a flipping miracle. Now I’m going to bed. Exhausted more than I thought possible. But happier more than 98% of the time. And only one more day. (sad face) I want to return home because it’s where I don’t have to wait for wifi, I can speak to everyone easily, I can see my friends, keep my mother company (not that she needs.. I make her sound like an old helpless woman don’t I?), argue with my now teenage brother pointlessly (and also get along with him.. Maybe), go to Wales and most importantly: lying in my SOFT SQUIDGY bed! But I’m going to miss the vibe of culture here, the food, the thrill of being somewhere else in the world, feeling like I have all the time in the world and having no stress about life on my mind.

But hey. Goodnight to you all. Also, thank you to those who have messaged me having read my blog. It means a lot to me that you’ve taken the time to read this. I know it’s hard to drag you away from the exhilarating world of work and school etc.. A big hug to you all.

Xo.

Firstly. I’ve been bitten like crazy. I find it incredible seeing as I have only been here for less than twenty four hours. My legs are decorated in red blotches. So no, to update you lot on my colour: My top half is bright red, my middle half is pale and my bottom half resembles a pink spotted dalmatian. I just find it hilarious!

DisneyLand Hong Kong
DisneyLand Hong Kong

Moving on, today I revisited my childhood. We headed off to Disney Land Hong Kong. The sun was shining and I was armed with my 130 SPF suncream. It has been a beautifully sunny day and we’ve had a good bit of fun! It was about twenty five minutes away from Tim’s and we arrived early because the park opened at ten. Once we were through we went on the Grizzly Grunch Runaway Mine Train three times then went into a newly built part called Toy Story Land where we went on a ride which is a bit like the swinging ship we have in English theme parks but it was the race car from Toy Story. It was good but a bit too short. The second ride we went on was the Parachute ride linked to the little green soldiers in the first movie. This wasn’t worth the twenty minute wait but it was okay. The thing that stands out here is that sometimes you notice that Hong Kong has not got the efficiency of getting the next ride going in a time effective way. They faff around a bit unlike the British who put you on, take you round and kick you off. After that we went on a river cruise ride where they’ve built the land of Tarzan. It was okay but the guy who spoke to us to give us a tour used such a monotone it was painful. But the kids enjoyed it so that makes it worth it. We grabbed a spot of lunch and I had dim sum. I’m starting to get the feeling that I’ll take a while to go back to western food. I love the food here too much. After that we watched the parade which was boiiiiiling because it was in the midday sun. And the second last ride of the day was Space Mountain. I forgot how many sharp turns it had which made the ride double the fun. Then the kids ran around this part where there are loads of water fountains to cool themselves down. Whilst Tim and I sat down and chilled for a bit. The last ride of the day was Buzz Lightyear’s Astro-blaster which was pretty good. You shoot at targets with your laser gun. So that sums up our day at the wonder of Disneyland.

So I’m sitting on their sofa in the lounge now, relaxing for a moment. It’ll be a quiet night in because Tim’s elder children have gone to their mothers. We went swimming earlier which was really relaxing after six hours walking about Disneyland in the heat. I can’t wait to go to the ladies market at some point. (it’s a massive bustling market along the longest road in Hong Kong). I’m going to play with Alex now. He’s such a funny little kid. He calls me ‘Jojo/Dojo’. We can’t seem to convince him that my name is Georgie. I quite like it though.. having a wacky nickname that is.

hello and goodbye..

Today I left the Kwans to join Tim over on Hong Kong Island. They were very sweet and came with me in a taxi all the way to Tim’s apartment. Then I got straight in Tim’s car as we were heading out to drop Alex with his Por por (grandma) so we could go up to the Peak for a few hours. Once we’d done that Tim drove us up there. To protect my sunburnt arms I bought a 130 SPF suncream! I never even knew it existed! We walked along the path around the peak (which is 3.2km long!) and had some lunch. Unfortunately I got bitten a few times but nothing as bad as some of the bites the Kwan family had. After that we went down to Stanley Market on the south side of the island and I cheekily spent some money. I bought some earrings and a jade bracelet which was very symbolically important in China.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and we played Harry Potter Cluedo which was pretty funny. Haven’t played at in ages! Now I’m going to bed because I’m so shattered. I promise tomorrow will be much more interesting! It’s just one of those days. Hope you’re all good. I can’t wait to get into a proper double bed tonight.

Xo.

Long time, no blog.. Oops.

I arrived Hong Kong at 16:18 on Sunday afternoon and was expecting to be greeted by Will and possibly his Dad and Mum but this was a bit far from reality. I arrived to see his brother and sisters too, and his Auntie and Grandmother waiting for me. Daunting? Very much so. The relatives in Hong Kong barely speak English and my worse-than-passable cantonese was not ready to kick in. So first impressions of me are debatable. I joined them to go to walk around a kinda market mall before dinner with even more of his family members. The food was really good and there was so much! Peking Duck, roast pork, jellyfish, sweet and sour pork, soup, roast chicken etc. I was incredibly full. I warn you all now, I’m coming back to England and won’t be able to eat anything! Then I stayed at Will’s aunties for the night. It’s really kind of then and they have a nice place. But it’s a shame I can’t communicate with them. I felt so out of my depth which was quite daunting. Plus the pressures of being good etc were scary. I don’t want to leave thinking they don’t like or approve of me. We’ll see.. But they are so upbeat and friendly here. I love this atmosphere.

The next day, Monday, I went to see Tim quickly to say hello and plan a quick rough itinerary with him for the week. Then I returned to the top of Hong Kong island and Kowloon with Will’s family and spent the day walking about some hotspots here. The first one – cue the picture – is the Bank of China building that is the third highest in Hong Kong and you get to go up there for free. That was pretty cool! The second was the Star ferry that takes you quickly between the two islands. And then we walked around a bit. I love the look of Hong Kong. The streets are filled with colour all day and night with the massive shop signs/neon lights. We visited the really long road in Kowloon called Nathan road that has many many many shops down it. Will’s dad also showed me the pets street where cats and dogs are sold as pets, also bucket loads of fish. Even tiny terrapins! So cute! I wanted to take them all. I alas, I have one fat cat at home. (and imagine the immigration malarkey.. Not worth it? Haha). Last but not least we came back to dinner at Auntie’s place and it was almost as busy (oops, this was boring because of a spellcheck mistake but now amended) as the night before. I love the pick and choose dive in eating culture here. After that I chilled really. I can’t take major part in conversations although I want to because I can’t deduce what they say without any idea of what they’re on about. But I’ve picked up a couple of phrases. I’ll make use of them.

I’ll update better in the morning. Right now I’m falling asleep as I type and that isn’t good.

Xo.

6th July 2014

I managed to sleep in this morning until half past ten (even though there were builders banging and crashing on the floor below me) so I felt pretty rested. I had a shower and packed my bag (for the second last time!!) and headed off. The guy who runs the hostel is lovely. He commented on how I went to bed early so I was obviously disappointing on the social front. But I would’ve been no fun last night. So it’s only a bit unfortunate. There were some shops and food stores just outside the compound so seeing as I had some Yuan left I decided to buy myself some good food for the journey. I bought five dumplings and another one of the sticky rice in a lotus leaf thing. This cost me 10¥ which is basically £1! For that quality, you’d have to pay atleast £5 in England. There was a cake shop next door where I bought some profiteroles, a bottle of water and a papaya juice. Again, it was 13.50¥. So cheap. The next shop I came across was one for babies. So I decided to get Alex (Tim and Cathy’s eldest) a little remote control car. I know Tim has three other children but they’re all older so it’s harder to guess what they like. And his youngest is still a little baby. So I think it’ll be okay.. I want to get Cathy some flowers but that’s one thing they don’t really sell here. Obviously that’s a very British custom. Maybe I’ll be able to grab some when I arrive. But going into the shops was great, I spoke mandarin to all of them.. Albeit patchy and not being able to understand a few things they said back. I’m happy. It was a good end to my week in China.

Now, I’m sitting in the waiting room to catch the train to Hong Kong and I’m aiming to be the first in the queue so I get a window seat. I want to take advantage of seeing other parts of China although it’s from a train carriage. Anyway, I better eat my food! Speak to you on the other side!

Xo.