Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The J Hillstrom's in Hong Kong

May 16 2008

Jeff, Leslie, Lori and Scott on their way to Hong Kong to visit Emily there. Afterward,the 5 of us will go to Taipei, Taiwan and then into Beijing, China. Scott was on his mission in Taiwan.

It was a 14 hour trip from San Francisco.

We arrived in time to cleanup and go to Emily's branch meetings. They were held in the 11 story church office building here in Hong Kong where there are 4 wards and 5 or 6 branches. The building also hosts the Asia Area authority offices.

The area authority leaders, Pres. Hallstrom, and Pres. Garns families live there also. Pres Perkins could live there but has a private codo on the south side of the island. Pres. Perkins was Scotts mission president so Scott loved to see him again. He is a very influencial man in China economic circles.
The public transportation systems is incredible. They have every means of moving people. On the street they have an older system called the Ding Ding. It is an electric double decker trolley car, where there are hundreds of them full of people. Their name comes from the bell they would ring to warn pedestrians. There is not much head room for us taller Hillstrom's.

After church we went to a zoological and botanical open park.

Then in the evening went across the bay and watched a laser light show from the warf. We could see the beautiful Hong Kong skyline.

Suffering from jet lag we all slept very well at Emily's apartment.

May 19 2008 -The next day in the morning we went out to a "wet" market (also known as an open market) right by Emily's house. It was cool to see all the fresh fruit, fish, meat and veggies. We bought a bunch of exotic fruit to eat for breakfast, mangos, mangosteens, grapes, dragonfruit, dragoneyes, jackfruit, and kiwi. It is so cool to be able to get all this fresh fruit that you can't get in the states. Afterwards we went to three other markets. We went to a jade market with rows upon rows of jade shops with so many beautiful things to look at. We bought a few touristy things, but mainly treated it like a museum. Anything you thought was cool and looked at with some interest or touched then the people at the stands would try to sell it to you. It was kind of fun haggling with all the people even if you didn't want it. Scott was happy that he got someone to drop 30 or so US dollars off the price of something he bought :). He still thinks it was a great deal but who knows. Then we went to a flower market and a bird market, with many many flowers and birds everywhere. Some things were suprises we have never seen before.
In the evening, Emily's boss with her husband and daughter took us out to eat at a seafood restaurant. We ate some things new, like abalone, ostrich, squid patties (deep fried breaded squid, which was good). We also had fresh shrimp. They are proud of fresh food and when we say fresh we mean really fresh. Her husband ordered the meal. On the menu was a fish called groupa. You can see live fish swiming in the tanks and that is what we got. They cook it whole and serve the whole fish with head and all to you. No, we didn't eat the head and bones.

We rode a couple of ferrys across the harbor to see a big floating restaurant. Went back to crash at Emily's. Still suffering from jet lag. We have a full agenda of things that we want to cram to our agenda this week and we hope we can keep up with Emily

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