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Thursday 11th November - Shanghai to Hong Kong
By Claire
Sunday, 14th November 2004 10:23

At 6am it was raining so the old people couldn't go outside for their morning exercises. Instead, the landings of the first three floors were used, and there was a lot of shuffling, throat-clearing and waving of arms and legs going on. One old lady had her right leg up on the stair handrail and was beating her bottom vigorously with her right fist. We left the hostel quite hurriedly.

We walked through the rain to the shuttle bus which was only slightly further and on the other side of the road than we had thought. The bus took about two hours to get to Pudong airport because of the traffic. The flight took another couple of hours. As we came into land at Shenzhen, the scenery popped through the haze. The sea was full of water fields, bordered by tiny hedges or ledges of land. I'm guessing they were rice fields, but nothing was growing in them. The sun glittered on the water and the huge patchwork shimmered rather prettily.

Getting to Hong Kong seemed easier than we'd expected and the bus was waiting for us to lug our bags over and get on. We'd been led to believe that we'd need a bus to the train and another train over the border and then another bus, but this one was supposed to go straight there. It wasn't that easy, though, and most of the ninety-minute trip was spent standing in queues with our bags. It was during one of these long waits that I managed to do something nasty to one of my back muscles, and every movement after that felt like my flesh was being ripped off my bones. I resorted to dragging my bag, in its covering sack, along behind me. Still hurt, though.

The bus dropped us in Wan Chai, on the main road that led to Causeway bay. It then dawned on us that the address of the guesthouse was in the guidebook. In Shanghai, where we left it. D'oh! Mikey ran across the road to a bookshop and took the road number from the Lonely Planet. We hailed a cab and ended up just round the corner to where we'd stayed before. The guesthouse smelled of soap and washing powder and our room had a double bed, the first since Raffles! In something resembling agony, I smothered myself vigorously in tiger balm so that I smelled of Vicks, and used one of the magic heaty plumps on my back. Then I fell asleep and woke up to the sound of Laurence Llewellyn-whatshisface explaining how to arrange your living room furniture on the telly. Feeling much, much better, we went out for supper and I tried minced pigeon, which was lovely, and had difficulty with the spring rolls. I just haven't worked out how to pick heavy things up with chopsticks without stabbing them surreptitiously. Nevermind, eh?

We checked our email at the internet cafe until midnight. It seemed like coming home - everything was easy and familiar! We've spent almost two and a half weeks here, which is longer than any city so far. But we like it now!

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