Los Angeles, California: We spent the day in Hong Kong, flew out at 5p on Wednesday and - with the time change - arrived into Los Angeles at 3p the same day. Why do I not feel two hours younger?
Since we had been in Hong Kong for three days and had yet to eat (much) Chinese food, we hit the streets this morning in search of grub and a few last-minute gifts.
Don't ask me where this restaurant is located. Pretty sure I would never find it again. It was decent and it was cheap.
We braved the streets near our hotel, avoiding the hawkers trying to sell us tailored suits, "copy" handbags and "copy" watches yet again. I finally convinced my too-polite co-traveler to follow my stance: simply ignore their solicitations. Don't look at them. Don't respond. Do not take their business cards. Pretend you do not speak English. Just keep walking. Avoid any connection and they just leave you alone.
I popped into a convenience store to buy Leo a bag of candy his Mom used to enjoy at the same age. This is where I found the potato chips from the box I photographed yesterday:
Dave and I had one little reminder of the track meet at Hong Kong International Airport - our most recognizable athlete shilling cars. I don't care if the world's fastest manUsain Bolt is advertising bug spray - just so our sport is out there and people are seeing a face of a runner. Again we had business class "pods" (that make into beds) for our return flight to the states on a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777. Champagne was flowing, we were served a lovely meal, I needlepointed and then slept the rest of the night away. Cocktails and warm cashews, followed by an appetizer of smoked salmon with asparagus and a salad. There were four dinner choices (seafood, steak, chicken or veggie pasta), then a cheese/fruit course, then Sacher torte and coffee. Burp.
After traveling to Beijing, Taipei, Manila and Hong Kong, we had the worst airport experience at Los Angeles International this afternoon. Up and down and up and down so many escalators to reach immigration (into our own country), then a huge line to use a self-service kiosk to our passports and have our photo snapped. After this exciting experience, a print-out of our faces was spit-out and we moved to yet another line to clear immigration (into our own country). We were one-hour out from landing just to clear immigration. Every other country we have visited on this trip, we had cleared customs, immigration, and were at the hotel bar before an hour had passed. After clearing immigration in Los Angeles, we had to line up again to clear customs. Never mind that we did not have to stand around and wait for our luggage - we had only carry-on. With nothing to declare at customs, we were waved through, but we still had to wait twenty minutes for this to happen.
I feel so bad for foreign visitors to our country. If we had to wait 90 minutes in the USA line, imagine how long foreigners have to wait.
Ninety minutes after touchdown, we were in the taxi line and after another 45 minutes, we were FINALLY smothered in kisses by our two favorite grandchildren!
More photos in a day or so. This Bubbe is going to bed.
Until my next update, I remain, your USA correspondent.