The major themes of our stay in Hong Kong were: Jet lag, the comfy hotel, and Cantonese.
The night we arrived in Hong Kong, we were all either in tears or close to it. We, collectively, hadn’t slept much (though some more than others), and really needed beds. The hotel was air-conditioned, and the beds were soft and we all fell asleep instantly. The babies (having gotten the most sleep on our journey) woke up at 3:00 am and wanted company. Everyone ended up waking super early and that night we were all asleep by 5:00 pm. Thankfully, each night, we all went to bed a little later and woke up a little later until when it was time to leave we were almost back to our normal bed times.
The hotel we stayed at was the perfect place to recover from jet-lag. It had comfy beds, air-conditioning, fridge, electric kettle, wifi, and bottled water. What more could you possibly need to remember who you are? Oh yeah, food.
This brings us to the Cantonese issue. Robert speaks and reads Mandarin, so we thought cantonese wouldn’t be too hard, even if he doesn’t understand what people are saying, he can still understand the writing system, right? Turns out it was more complicated than that. He honestly thought he would be able to be understood, and it was frustrating for him how many miscommunications he encountered. More people spoke English than Mandarin which helped me as I ventured into the busier parts of Hong Kong, but the food stand down the street (the woman spoke only Cantonese) was more of a struggle. Well, you live and learn, and we definitely learned. Next time we are there, we will have a better command of basic cantonese or go with someone who does.
One thing that would follow us all through Xiamen, Hong Kong and into Taiwan is the fact that we have six children. That really makes people in Asia take notice. Not just notice, but also stop, stare, and take pictures. We must look like a complete circus. Hong Kong was more diverse than Xiamen airport, but we were still an anomaly. When my oldest was 5 (she is now 16), she constantly got candy and requests for pictures in Taiwan, so I expected some, but it is amplified if you are foreigners, not just with one child, but with a whole passel.