The 11-hour overnight bus ride into Shenzhen was our last memory of China. Different from the trains in several ways, and a nice transition between China and Hong Kong.
Not surprisingly, the carriage was full and the underbus luggage compartments so jam-packed that our backpacks only made it on due to the conductor’s brute force. But that’s where the familiar stopped. We have grown accustomed to the eating, drinking, shouting, and smoking on the trains, but stepped onto this bus to the sound of quiet, with the conductor asking us to please remove our shoes and place them in the designated bag. Jeff took his space on the top berth window bunk, while I was stuck with the top bunk in the middle aisle of the carriage. I think they assign small people to the middle.
After fluffing my pillow and arranging my bag and shoes and self into position for the night, I was amused to find a seatbelt attached to the bed. I laughed, but there was a short portion of the ride where I put it to use in order to remain in bed while the bus took some sharp turns. During bathroom stops, passengers quietly tiptoed through the aisles off and on the bus. I kept waiting for a loud phone conversation or music, but the ride was peaceful and uneventful.
We stayed with a friend who had an amazingly awesome view of the Hong Kong harbor and skyline (ok, the last one is not actually a comfort of home, just a pretty cool comfort). It’s been months since we’ve been able to stay with a friend, and while some of the hostels might be nicer than we expected, they can’t compare with the feeling of staying at a friend’s place and the benefit of their company and hospitality.
We have been in Hong Kong for a few days now. I like this place.
Maybe not so much as a backpacker, but I imagine for vacation or business or residence, it could be great. I wonder if they need speech therapists here. I’m told they do. The tough thing about traveling through trendy cities is the effect it has on the small amount of vanity I have left. The skyline is gorgeous.
The people are beautiful. The malls are ridiculous. Last night after a delicious Shanghainese dinner, we went out for a drink. We took an elevator up to the top of a high building, and when the doors opened to the rooftop bar and view of the city lights sparkling below, I actually gasped.
Then I remembered to try to act like this is where I hang out every Thursday night. I’m feeling a bit like a country bumpkin, which I assume might be uncomfortable already if that was true, but despite being a “world traveler” (I guess I’m allowed to self proclaim that now?), I am also a city girl at heart. I don’t yet know how to reconcile these two people and respective ideologies, but I hope to find a way.