Back in the early ’90’s our favorite travel agency sponsored a group tour to Hong Kong over the Thanksgiving holiday. Given what was included -- air fare, Thanksgiving Dinner, hotel, and I-don’t-remember what else, I thought it quite inexpensive. “Let’s go!” I said to Am. And so we did. It was a fairly small group, perhaps 15 or 20 of us, and a most congenial group it was.
Both Am and I were astonished with Hong Kong with its huge modern buildings, gigantic apartment buildings with wet laundry hanging out the windows, the huge variety and size of ships and boats in the harbor, and perhaps what has us goggling the most, the immense number of well dressed men and women in downtown Hong Kong -- all talking on cell phones! Now you may think that is a common sight today, but EVERYBODY? Amazing! And the shopping! Oh, my. I don’t remember what Am bought for herself, but I still have the two pair of handmade shoes I bought. They are still in good shape.
We took that trip before mainland China took over the island, and when we were offered the opportunity of a one day trip to the mainland, we leaped at the opportunity. Just getting to the mainland was an adventure in itself. We had to enter through the island of Macau, which was reputed to be quite a den of iniquity. We didn’t stop to find out.
When we reached the mainland, we were told by our English speaking Chinese tour guide that we were in Guangdong Province, one of the richest provinces in all of China. And we were taken to various presumably famous sites, including the southern home of Sun Yat Sen, the first person to aspire to be president of China. (He died before he could take office.)
One moment I particularly remember was when we were on the tour bus, This was a straight stretch of highway, and our guide was telling us that this was the best highway in all of China -- this as we went
We were taken to lunch, an immense array of foods, none of which I recognized, except the rice and tea. But as we headed back to Macau on our way back to Hong Kong, there was a lone man, out in the fields, guiding an ox. Not exactly the mechanized method, to be sure.
So while our visit to the mainland was brief, it certainly was eye-opening.
~ Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
~ Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained .
~ Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
~ Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
~ Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
~ Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
~ Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
~ Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
~ Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
~ Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
~ Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with 'Yiddishisms'.
~ Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.