I'm so sorry I didn't get the last Japan blog up before we left! Things just got so busy as we were leaving. I promise the rest of the pictures and stories from Japan will be coming very soon.
John and I are in Hong Kong now, staying at residential college at Hong Kong University. It rained for the first three days that we were here, which was not the welcome we had hoped for. But the rainy season here is supposed to end by the beginning of July, and it's actually been clear for the last three days. The accomodations here aren't anything exciting, but it's nice to have lots of friends around. The beds here are so hard! My mattress feels like a piece of plywood with a fleece blanket and then a sheet on top. Surprisingly though, I still sleep pretty well. Every morning though, I think about how amazing my own bed will feel back in the US.
I bought a guide book, and I'm looking forward to getting out and exploring the city some. Before we got here I didn't think Hong Kong would be all that different from Japan. I guess in my mind one foreign Asian city was the same as another foreign Asian city. But they're so different! The architecture is so different, and the city is layed out in a totally different way, people act differently, and a lot of the food is different too. It's funny though, I find Hong Kong far more accessible, becaue there is more English here than in Tokyo, but John feels much more limited because he doesn't know any Cantonese and he did know Japanese.
Today I went out with a group of people to see a temple that used to be Buddhist' but then was converted to Taoist. I'm not entirely sure how that happened, but it was interesting to see, and different from any of the other temples I've seen. Then we went and saw a beautiful garden at a Buddhist nunnery. While I was off doing that, John climbed The Peak, which is a mountain top very close to the university. The view is supposed to be incredible, so I'm sure he'll have pictures to post soon, but the first mile and a half of the walk are supposed to be incredibly steep.
Other than that, we haven't done a whole lot. John had class everyday, and I've been traveling and touring so much that I'm starting to get lazy. I've taken the past few days to just relax and enjoy other people's company without charging off with a guidebook and a plan every morning. I am getting excited to go shopping for pearls though (and maybe opals and jade too). The shopping here is supposed to be really good, although not as great as mainland China, so I'm looking forward to that.
I hope you're all having a great summer! Happy fourth of July!