Hong Kong Nights

The good thing about traveling west from California is arriving in the evening with just a few hours of exploring then falling into bed. It's a sure cure of any jet lag issues. So waking up yesterday at 6am was easy and I felt completely refreshed.

Last night is another story. As dinner guests with a group of Taiwanese and a frenchman I was surprised as we sat down at the huge round dinner table in a Shanghai cuisine restaurant when our host planted a bottle of single malt scotch on the turnstile. Soon the waiter was lining up the glasses. This was especially curious to me because I had toyed with the possibility of bringing one of the few bottles of wine I hand carried from California. After conferring with a few “locals”, I figured that I'd rather not risk a total cultural faux-pas (my apologies to Phillipe, the Frenchman) and show up to dinner with simply a smile.

One of the first things I learned from my Taiwanese host was the matter-of-fact point that I shouldn't “clink” my glass when toasting a drink. “Don't touch the glass…” I quickly learned. Unless of course, I'd be prepared to “bottoms up” and down the entire contents. In this case, we're not talking sake. Bottoms up. The theme of the night.

The weather has been rather dreary with the cities skyline shrouded in a cloud of fog, clouds and smog though late yesterday it appeared to clear up a bit. I'm told that there are green mountains and a sense of a subtropical island here. Just haven't seen it yet.