We woke up early and ate our first semi-American meal–continental breakfast at the hotel. We were on the MTR by about 9 heading to Tung Chung, an island out near the airport. Our plan was to take the cable car up the mountain to Ngong Ping Monastery, but sadly they were closed for maintenance. We took a bus instead, which turned out to be quite an adventure. We drove up winding, mountain roads past lots of cool little villages. At one point we were positive that the bus wasn’t going to make it up the steep climb. We couldn’t help but whisper, “I think I can, I think I can,” as we slowly but surely made the climb. We finally made it up the mountain and had a blast exploring the monastery and climbing the steps up to Big Buddha. This was my third time up there, but I had so much fun watching Brady see everything for the first time. He loved the ornateness of the temples and all of the symbolism behind everything. I taught him about Buddhism and we reverently watched the Chinese worship their ancestors. I think Brady had an Asian overload, because he made us stop at the gift shop on the way out to buy Pringles and Diet Coke… What an American!
We rode the bus back down the mountain then headed to my first area–Kwai Chung. Brady couldn’t believe how tall the apartment buildings were. He kept complaining about the smells of fish and cigarette smoke. Is it bad that those smells don’t even phase me anymore? We shopped at the dirty mall and tried little bites of all of my favorite foods– Yoshinoya rice bowls ($3 USD), freshly blended pineapple juice ($0.75 USD), BBQ pork rolled in sticky rice and seaweed ($1 USD), and then an ice cream cone for American Brady ($1.25 USD). I bought five shirts and one dress for about $30 USD. Oh how I have missed Hong Kong shopping! Brady made up a game to pass the time while I shopped called “Who can find the ugliest t-shirt?” We laughed and laughed at the terrible English phrases that Chinese people put on their t-shirts. My personal favorite was, “Wyoming… Looks…” What? Brady liked the one that read, “Hey don’t like you but they will cheching you page religiously.”
After shopping we met up with my favorite girl from my first area, Vina! She was our little tour guide for the evening. We went to my favorite noodle shop and had Syun Laaht with cabbage and pork belly. Vina and I laughed hysterically as we watched Brady to figure out the ancient Chinese art of noodle eating. After dinner we walked around the city and watched the light show across the harbor. It was so good to see Vina again! Her English has gotten so good and she is planning to go to BYU Hawaii next Fall. I am so proud of her.
Brady and I were exhausted tonight, so we went up to the rooftop jacuzzi to relax and enjoy the city view. I am so happy that he is here with me. Showing him around my city and having him meet all of my favorite people has been even more fun than I expected.