Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
9Trip End Dec 01, 2006
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But anyway, I last left you in Hong Kong. For those of you who have prior knowledge of my family you'll anticipate the description of my week away to include frequent references to alcohol and food. Just so I don't keep on repeating myself, let me do it in one go: I enjoyed good wine/champagne/gin/arrack (oh yes, I took some of the dreaded Sri Lankan drink to D&P and inflicted it upon them at the earliest opportunity) and ate delicious Dim Sum/noodles/steak/curry. Every visit to HK needs to include a trip to the Featherboa for Strawberry Daquiris and the FCC for.... not sure, but we always go there. And the biggest treat of all is always the China Club where they make those noodle things in front of you. Pauline and I also headed into Shenzhen - the ultimate in fake and real designer gear, completely legal DVDs (or maybe not), material and clothes (of which I partook this time), and gems and stones. Tried on a billion pairs of glasses for my beloved sisters and finally settled on two pairs of red, yellow and luminous green frames with pink spots. Just kidding... no spots.
And then a trip to Beijing as well - a visit to the Hutong (is that how you spell it? You know, that chinese alleyway house thing...) where D&P will be living, a stay in a lovely hotel (with a bath
And just in case you were worried that my time away was all food and drinks and shopping, I even did a cultural day round Lantau island which went to the Big Buddha, the monastery and the town of Tai-O where some of the houses are on stilts. I even made a new friend called Laura who we took to the Featherboa.
And that is pretty much an accurate summary of all my affairs in Hong Kong and Beijing. Lovely.
And from one extreme to the other. Having lived the life of luxury for a week, I'm back to cold showers and everything-with-rice. But I really can't complain about being here. It fact I was slightly suprised to find that landing in Sri Lanka and heading back to Ja-Ela with Chaminda in the tuk-tuk felt a bit like coming home. There was something very reassuring about it all. It was probably the contrast of arriving the first time when I was pretty nervous but still... wasn't expecting the little warm feeling inside. Aahhhh. So after a full day of travelling (Beijing to HK, then HK to Bangkok, then Bangkok to Sri Lanka..
After lunch we headed off to Pinnawala where the elephants are and I came face to face with one of nellies for the first time. They are actually pretty scary. And when there's 20 or so of them moving round it does make you slightly nervous. But they are brilliant. They are all different ages and sizes and the smallest ones were so sweet. We watched them in the river for a bit and then followed them up to one of the houses where they get fed. There was a baby elephant there who was 6 days old and just the cutest thing in the world ever. He (could tell he's a he from a mile off - honestly, elephants could really give even the most secure man a complex) was absolutely gorgeous and kept trying to suck our fingers and pull our arms with his trunk. The photos will have to follow. But it was incredible. Equally incredible (but for very different reasons) is the amount of work we have to do in the mornings! Give me back a group of rowdy kids. No I take that back - no amount of elephant poo is worth that
So anyway, first impressions of elephants are all good. The new house I'm staying in is good and the food is good. Its all good. Except the infected cut on my foot. That's bad. Just like Michael Jackson. And only 2 weeks and a bit to go. That's bad too. But also good because I do miss most of you ;)
Be good and behave. And if you're having a bad day be reassured that how ever much crap you're dealing with, I'm knee deep in it.
PS - D&P is our family code for Dad and Pauline.
PPS - I just re-read the bit about the aeroplane and would like to clarify that the smelly man was not my father who was actually sat next to me for part of the journey. The smelly man only got on the plane at Bangkok.
PPPS - If you are actually have a bad day I don't mean to sound uncaring. Knowing that I'm in Sri Lanka with elephants probably doesn't compare to whatever is happening. E-mail and tell me about it and I'll give you some proper sympathy. And prayers. I can still do that whilst I'm here if nothing else xxx