So why did I take this picture and why did I name it Three Bags Full? It’s because the line of people is a boarding line for Air Asia and Air Asia has a policy that states that only one bag is allowed as a carry-on item. I don’t have a problem with their policy. I have a problem with their enforcement. People take two, three or more bags on all the time. Multiple people on every flight. Especially females and their half-a-dozen shopping bags. If that sound sexist, it is. Ladies, if you can afford to shop, you can afford to check the bags. So, I snapped this picture and I’m protesting. Formally.
This is the Hong Kong Airport hotel. Notice the word hotel is not capitalized. That’s because it’s not really a hotel. The airport does have sleeping quarters, but, nothing in Hong Kong is cheap, relative to the rest of Asia. These people are sleeping on the benches. I’m assuming they are sleeping here because their flight arrived in Hong Kong late at night and the had to catch an early flight out of Hong Kong and the amount of time that they could actually spend sleeping in a bed would be minimal, all things considered, So they just crashed on some chairs. That’s what I did.
The Pan Gate is a gate of the ancient city wall built about 2,500 years ago that surrounded and protected the city of Suzhou, China. I’m not sure why any of the ancient history courses that I took in high school or college never discussed the fact that Chinese civilization goes back a few millenea, but they didn’t. It seems that the whole history of SE Asia is simply ignored by American schools.
I went to the Shanghai Museum to try and learn a little something about the history of Shanghai. It seems that it has quite the history. It was a great port, an economic miracle, a place where the British brought opium to China by the boatload and left with tea, silk and other goods. It was a place where violence reigned for decades. It was an Asian Wild West. I would have liked to have gotten a little more information on the city, but the museum was closed. Oh well, another day , perhaps.
The Shanghai Customs House, built in 1927, is, supposedly, a customs house even today. It is one of the "classical" buildings on The Bund. The clock on the building, modeled after Big Ben in London, is said to be the largest clock in Asia.
It’s a graph of monthly temerature averages in New Delhi, India. The reason why it’s here is to demonstrate that I always look at temperatures for the places I research. I’m, sort of, a woosy-boy and I don’t like to go places where temperatures are uncomfortable, let alone life-threatening. I’m trying to decide where to go during my 2011 Asia Trip and I’d like to go to New Delhi, bu t those average montly lows are causing me concern. I like to sleep cool, but… The graph is from weather.com and it’s my favorite place to get easy temperature readings. I always check temps before I head off into the unknown.
Okay, I’m going back to Asia for another two months. You might ask what I’m going to do when I go there. Well, I intend on going to Laos, India, Australia and Bali for starters. Sometime in the next week or two I intend to start booking flights with Air Asia to move me around the Asian continent. I plan on spending a few days here and a few days there and a few days somewhere in between. My goals are to spend some time in about 8-10 different counties while I’m there. If I get to ten, the count may be up to 100 countries that I’ve visited. Here’s hoping… So why do I want to spend time outside of the United States? If you have to ask that question then whatever answer that I give probably wouldn’t satisfy you. But I’ll try – the Pyramids of Egypt, Chichen Itza, Pompeii, Mont St Michel, the Great Wall of China, Petra, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, St Peter’s Basilica, the Egyptian Museum, Dubrovnik, the Uffizi Gallery, Hong Kong, the Sistine Chapel, Angkor Wat, the Louvre Museum, the Canals of Venice, St Mark’s Basilica, the Kremlin, Chambord Chateau, the Acropolis, Jerusalem and Hagia Sofia. If the mere mention of any of those terms creates a stirring of any kind inside of you then realize that there are some people in whom that stirring is more intense. I’m one of those people. The ticket is paid for. The money is in the bank for the trip. Now I all I have to do is stay alive.
Yes, I am going to Beijing. Glad you asked. I’m going in mid-September for about 30 days. I didn’t want to go in the winter. Too cold. I didn’t want to go in the summer. Too hot. I would have preferred to go in April, but I had just gotten back from SE Asia. Too soon to be catching another 15 hour plane ride. From Beijing I hope to get to see Shanghai and Xian. Did I mention that I also want to go see the Great Wall as well, but who doesn’t. While it won’t be, technically, my first trip to China, it will be my first trip to mainland China. I’m all excited.
Here I am at the park near my house. Notice the snow. This picture is for all the people I met in SE Asia the two months before the picture was taken who have never seen snow. The picture was taken in April. That’s a late snowfall for Oklahoma. Significance of the photo? Oklahoma has seasons. Big ones. The National Severe Storms Laboratory is located in the town where I live. I don’t have to ask why. I like the changes of the season. As far as weather goes, I think I live in one of the most dramatic climates in the world.
I’m walking down the street. I see a bunch of frogs in a couple of aquariums. I’ve been in Asia long enough to get a good idea of what’s going on. I walk up to the guy in front of the restaurant and point at the frogs. He pulls out a menu. It seems I could have gotten my choice of frogs, named it, then had it cooked to order for about $2. The $2 for frog legs, and the rest of the frog as well, I considered a bargain. Picking out the frog and naming it was going a bit further than I wanted. Again, food really is fresher in Asia.