Well, hello there from Canberra, Australia. I've had an excellent Easter weekend here with my buddy Daz. Maybe I'll squeeze in a summary, but not tonight.
So I've landed safely in Australia, my last stop on this trip. I'll be back in Canada in a little over a month now. Hard to believe, but I've got lots to do before then anyway.
In the news, I've decided to return to UBC to pursue a PhD. The money situation didn't work out for England, which made the decision easy, but in any case, I'm excited for my return to Vancouver. Obviously there will be more about this in the coming months.
Oh, and I've added a few updates from the last month (retro-dated for Ben's continued irritation - cheers, mate) in Asia.
I took a bus from Zhaoqing to the Shenzhen border for my return to Hong Kong. As I got off the bus, a guy comes up to me and asks if I am going to Hong Kong, and if he can help me with my bag. I was so surprised at his earnestness in this proposition (sure, in exchange for helping carry my stuff, why don't you just go ahead and run off with it) that I didn't even laugh until I'd declined. Either I still look like a naive new arrival, or he was having a really slow day.
A couple of people that took me for very settled were these guys looking for a pub in Kowloon later that evening; the streets were filled with drunken Commonwealth subjects after the finale of the Rugby 7s tournament earlier in the day. I like to think they found their way.
Overall, my second stay in Hong Kong was much nicer than the first. I had a wonderful place to stay courtesy of Nicki, a longer time for it, and several people to hang out with, not the least of which was Nicki herself. Oh, and no ear infection this time.
After some wandering in the area I knew (the lovely Kowloon), I spent some more time in Hong Kong proper, the downtown area and such. Errands were done, many ties were bought . . .
The fun was had in the evenings. I ended up spending a few of these with some French friends of Nicki's. Great people, showed me a few of the places to go out in HK, and I even made it out for a tasty French dining experience: cassoulet (so much duck, so much sausage). Oh, and a day trip to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island (I have pictures, really I do). I also had a wonderful dinner with Nicki's parents, aunt and uncle and grandmother.
So, after shipping another 10kg of stuff back to Canada (by sea, the predicted arrival should be well after I am back), I was ready to say my goodbyes and fly South.