Friday, December 14, 2012

Jet Lag

The restaurant owner and I wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

After a grueling 24 hour flight starting in Hong Kong, with a stop at Tokyo and Seattle, I finally got home after being up over 30 hours.  Although I claim not to be able to sleep on the plane, I am sure there were a few doze off periods that got me through the whole ordeal.  Coming back takes 4 hours less than going as the airlines take full advantage of the trade winds that blow from west to east.  I noticed once we left Tokyo  to Seattle our ground speed increased to around 680 mph, which is about 150 mph faster than from Seattle to Tokyo.  Never the less it seems like forever.  You do get 2 square meals on that particular leg of the trip as well as free beer if you want.  The problem with beer is that sitting in the window seat, the guy next to you falls asleep, its a long hold if he doesn't wake up...........if you know what I mean.  Saturday I was fortunate enough to get a Taiwanese portal for last weeks post and after we left work it was off to our favorite restaurant in Qingxi (shing she) to pig out on Tsing Tao and delicious Taiwanese food.  The restaurant is actually off the main streets, about 2 blocks back in a darkened portion of town.  I have been there many times and is probably my favorite "local" place to dine in China as the food is simply outstanding.   The owner of the restaurant recognized me and brought over a few bottles of beer to celebrate.  He did not speak English however was pleased when I toasted him with the word Gambay!  In Chinese this means bottom up, a challenge he did not take lightly.  I am pretty sure he was half in the bag when he joined us and significantly in the bag when he left.  Like I've always said in China, don't screw with a Cheesehead when it comes to beer!  The food was everything I expected and I left with a belly full of food, beer, and great memories.

Hong Kong Island and Kowloon from Victoria Peak

Sunday afternoon found us in Hong Kong exploring the sites.  Our guide was LT Koo, a gentlemen we know from a business relationship we have entered with.  Now LT lives in Hong Kong and knows all of the touristy spots.  We stayed on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong's business district with the exact location known as Tsim Sha Tsui (pronounced Shim Shy She), at the edge of the harbor.  Hong Kong Island was on the other side and the best way to get there is by the Star Ferry Company LTD.  The ferries run every 15 minutes and take about 15 minutes, so there is one heading each way, all day long.  Interesting as it's a great way to travel, is the most direct route to the other side, and the cost is under $1.00USD.  From the ferry we hopped on a single car/double decker train that followed the main streets then onto an open topped tourist bus which took us within walking distance of the tram which ran to the top of Victoria Peak.  Our initial thoughts were to go to the peak during the day but LT stated it would be much nicer at night.  He was right!  I took this picture overlooking Hong Kong proper from the beautiful vantage point 1400 feet above the city.  The area in the forefront is the main area of Hong Kong Island.  The area across the water is Kowloon with the tip being Tsim Sha Tsui.  It always seems hazy in this part of the world and that night was no exception yet the view was stunning as pictures dimply do not do it justice.  Like everything in Hong Kong, there was a shopping center at the top of the peak, complete with high end stores and restaurants.  I was surprised how many people there were yet in reality everyplace is crowded in Hong Kong.  It certainly is a world city.

View from the Star Ferry Harbor in Tsim Sha Tsui
 So returning home meant back to reality.  While I was gone a number of things arrived, specifically my new pulley for the alternator on my Ferguson tractor.  The tachometer is driven from a cable that came from the generator.  I did convert it to 12 volts and found an alternator with a cable drive adaptor.  After hooking it up and using my neighbor Tim's dwell meter I determined the tach was running 25% higher than the true engine RPM.  The alternator has a 3.2 inch diameter pulley and I needed to increase it 25%, to a 4 inch pulley.  I found one on the Internet and when I returned it was ready to go.  It is spot on right now as I am a stickler for certain details and that on would have bothered me till I was dead!  We had 14 inches of snow while I was gone setting me up for the last few days of giving my new in 2011, 47 inch snow blower for the John Deere its first real workout in over a year.   In addition, I put the tire chains on the Fergie and using the 7 foot blade plowed my back area where the trailers are parked.  It brought me back 40 years ago when I used to use the same tractor to clear the snow from my grandparents house.  Funny thing is that it simply doesn't feel like it was that long ago.   I will leave you with a picture that is opposite the previous one, looking over to Hong Kong Island.  If you look closely you can see the correlation of the two views and get some idea of the scope of Hong Kong.  I am still amazed at the amount of lights and holiday decor going on, maybe a simple reminder of how small the world really is. 

The fishing itch is pretty strong and this snow isn't helping things.  My friend Keith claims he is starting to catch fish north of Brainerd, MN.  Maybe I can sneak out on Sunday!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. Glad the cheesehead is back in time to root for his team vs. Da Bears....


Dave Anderson said...


They did well!!!

Anonymous said...

I am really disappointed in myself after looking at the Hong Kong pictures. I had the opportunity to to go up that tram in June but a co-worker was afraid of hieghts and talked us out of it. I stayed in Kowloon also and the light show across the bay is fantastic.


Jeff King said...

I think Mason Crosby needs an intervention...and thanks for taking the time to post from china Dave. the pics and everything are just fantastic.