I’m safe and sound in Hong Kong.  I don’t remember how much I’ve mentioned about the fact that I am going to China, but now you know.  Now that I’m 12 time zones from home, you know.  Anyway, I arrived in the city the day before the Olympic torch is supposed to get here and I am a little worried about going out tomorrow because we don’t actually know where it’s going to be.  The city is going to be a security clusterfuck.

I have never seen anything so big and shiny in my life.  I have been to New York, and New York doesn’t scare me, but this is so much larger.  The streets are so winding.  I am generally pretty disoriented after I get off a plane, but after a couple of hours I tend to be able to figure out which direction north is.  Not so in Hong Kong.  The place is a vast expanse of concrete, glass and steel, surrounded by mountains I only saw in the hazy distance.  The night was clear so I was able to watch the lights in the harbor as we came in.

I’ve also never been so far from home before.  It’s not too strange.  I’m glad that my dad and aunt were around to pick me up from the Hong Kong airport because it’s a little…intense.  It’s huge.  And also shiny, which is something that always confuses and distracts me.  The layover in Tokyo was a little better.  I was so pooped from the plane ride (approximately 13 hours from Detroit) that I bought a can of beer and a box of Pocky at the convenience store near my gate, consumed them and passed out.  Kirin Ichiban tastes better in Tokyo.

The flight itself was not bad.  At least not as bad as I thought it’d be.  I could have still used more room, more bathroom breaks, more stretching.  Still, the Vicodin carried me through.  My back is gonna kill in the morning, and Ariel won’t be around to give me a massage.  The food was pretty terrible, so when I arrived here we went to this Chinese greasy spoon that is on the first floor of my aunt and uncle’s building and scarfed down a bowl of dumpling soup, chicken kanji, and a plate of noodles and beef.  It cost us only about 10 USD, and my dad told me that the great commodity in this city is space.  Food is cheap as hell, so long as you aren’t eating at a Western joint, but if you can get some floor space, you’re really golden.

And it’s huge.  On our frenzied taxi ride from the airport here, I couldn’t believe how many huge, tall buildings there were.  My dad pointed out the container terminal, the scope of which I couldn’t believe.  We saw about a half dozen huge red cranes for loading and unloading ships.  “We’ll have at least twenty-five of those,” he said.  Across the harbor, the city sparkled.  Outside my window, everything shines.  How the fuck did I get here?