Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Went with Corey this morning to see where I would catch the bus this afternoon to meet him at his office. Corey found out relatively early that the 215x bus is WAY WAY WAY faster than taking the MTR (subway) to work. It is also two blocks away.
It is not even 9 am and I have learned something today and granted it IS early in my existence here. TRAVEL TIP At least here in HK, never ever leave your room, hotel, apartment with less than 100 HKD in your pocket. Now, I was here for 10 days in 2010 and was just getting used to the money situation, but I left, thus forgetting everything to do with pricing.
I decided today to get my coffee (coffee maker is coming this weekend) before my workout. I pulled out my change (lots of HK $ is in coin) and counted. 14 HKD $1.79USDD). Nice. Off I went. It was not until I walked into Starbucks that I realized…14HKD gets you a bottle of water...maybe and certainly is not enough to get a coffee. I humbly asked the price of a grande brewed coffee (27 HKD $3.72 US)shook my head, mumbled to the barista that I had forgotten my money (like she cared) and promised I would return. The return trip to the apartment did help solidify the route I would need to take this afternoon. The return trip also reinforced how BADLY I got it yesterday…so my two trips already today maybe equaled my errant walk yesterday for coffee.
After a grueling 60 minutes on the meanest cross trainer ever (started at level 3...ended at level 1). I showered, grabbed lunch and off I went to meet Corey. BUSY and important day today!
Well, Corey literally had to talk me through the whole bus ride (you know, that 12 minute bus ride). I seemed to be on the only bus that did not have English announcing the stops.or did I but the whooshing in my ears from nerves muffled it? To be kind, Corey met me at my stop, waving and mouthing “get off here” What a good egg.
Off to the immigration office for my Hong Kong ID card. Because of a great web site and Corey paving the way, it was an easy experience…even with the potential bureaucracy involved. In and out in 30 minutes. Each of the 3 employees I encountered spoke English and tried very hard to make sure I understood what was going to happen next. I am very appreciative of this.
Next, phone. FYI. Buying a phone in Hong Kong is just a big a pain in the ass as it is in the US! Papers, opening and closing of phone, sim card in, sim card out…do we want “this” added to our plan. But again, the young man worked very hard to make sure we knew what was what (and for God’s sake, it is a phone, and I am over hmmm 45…so I’m challenged in general).
Next, Bank. Yep, once again, take a number. Our number 66. The window we were called to? 6. Oh God 6 6 6 Even the ladies in the bank got a kick out of my mumbling this all the way to the chair. But no problem, everything got set up.
Think I’m done? Heck no! Corey and I cooked our first meal in the house tonight. A YUMMY Martha Stewart shallot/apple/pork recipe. We had to eat it while the young man was here to connect our internet and cable.
We are now part of the 20th century again. I can watch my TV from home on my computer here. I LOVE TECHNOLOGY. I was not kidding that when you come here you lose a day and an entire TV season. Now I don’t have to!
My netbook loves to exist anywhere but in Seattle. Blazing speed, no pop up ads.
A full day. A productive day. Wednesday is cleaning day here in the apartment and I will do some acquiring of necessities.

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