Friday, May 6, 2011

Hong Kong

I dip my feet into the cool water and then slowly lower myself into the pool. It’s perfect.

I sigh, and then stretching my tired, aching muscles I tip my head back to scan the night sky for stars. Surrounded by skyscrapers only a small square of sky is visible from the pool deck. Between the lights of Hong Kong and the haze of cirrus clouds I can’t spot a single one. For a moment a pang of loneliness tugs at my heart. I really am on the other side of the world.

Shaking the mood I continue to do stretches and then start to swim laps. As I swim my thoughts drift over the sequence of events that made up today.

The morning had started early. Up at 7:00 a.m., I had quickly checked my hotmail account for any emails from Jason. Having all access to our blog and website blocked, China finally even made access to our shared gmail account next to impossible. Thankfully I had an old hotmail account that still worked and now I sign in. Sure enough, a message from Jason. I scan its contents, type a quick reply and then get to work re-packing my backpack and suitcase. Today is our final day in Guangzhou and it’s going to be challenging and busy. Challenging because we are without our translator and busy because we need to pick up all our fabric and beads from the individual shops with a van we somehow need to rent and then drop them off at a warehouse that we haven’t been to yet.

With the help of a bellboy we manage to carry our suitcases down the stairs and check out. Shelley walks to the main road to hail a cab as I wait with the luggage. Thankfully she is able to explain to the driver that she wants him to drive into the back alley where our hotel is located. We load the taxi and then hand him a business card of the first shop we need to go to. Since the narrow street is a one way the taxi driver needs to do a three point turn to get us back on the main road. Apparently he’s never done one before and Shelley and I look at each other as he struggles to turn the taxi around. What did we get ourselves into?

Our first stop is the Fabric Center and since from there we need to rent first a bicycle carrier and then a van we let the taxi go. Sitting on top of our pile of luggage I wait as Shelley finds a bicycle carrier. She gives him three business cards with addresses where the shops are located and then off they go. Shelley rides on the back and I laugh and take pictures, so far, so good.

They return 45 minutes later with all the rolls of fabric we had previously ordered.

Now we need to rent a van. Shelley finds an information booth with English speakers and asks one of the workers to come with her to hire a van and driver.

They pull up together a few minutes later and we load the van. Since the seats are out, I get to balance on top of the rolls of fabric.

We hand the driver the business cards of the bead shops and we’re on our way. When we finally arrive at the main entrance we are unsure of what to do. The van is not allowed to park here and we don’t know how to make our way through the side streets to get to the loading area of the bead shops. Thankfully one of the workers from the bead shop walks over and shows us the way. Once again I wait as Shelley goes to the shops and with the worker in tow explains where are van is parked so the boxes of beads can be loaded.

Now our final stop, the warehouse. Judging from the confused expression on the drivers face, I’m certain he has no idea where it is. Sure enough, he takes many wrong turns, and stops to ask for directions 6 times before we find the warehouse.

Since today is one of a three day Chinese holiday, we are grateful to see that the warehouse guard is there and can open the large sliding doors.

Together with the driver and guard we unload all the boxes, label them, and then put them in the correct spot.

Now, if all goes well, we will see our cargo again in about 6-8 weeks in Port au Prince.

Heading back to the van, Shelley pulls out a map and points to the train station. We need to catch the train to Hong Kong. The driver makes us pay extra, a lot extra, but by now we’re too exhausted and happy to argue. At the station we eat our last bite of McDonalds and then buy tickets for the 4:30 train.

By 6:00 p.m. we’re in Hong Kong and take a taxi to the airport hotel. After checking in and collapsing on the bed, I change into my swimsuit and make my way down to the pool.

Now, feeling the cool water around me I relax my tired muscles. Looking up into the night sky, I thank God for His providential care over us today. So many times He sent people are way to help us. All glory to Him.

1 comment:

  1. I havent been on the computer for awhile, so tonight I was, and i thought, Hmm I'm going to look at the Kruls blog :) What an experience you had Wil, having the oppurtunity to go to China!!