And now I write to you from Chang An, outside of Dongguan, China. I am staying in what is hilariously named the Haiyatt Garden Hotel. Not “Hyatt”, “Haiyatt”. It sounds the same when said out loud, but believe me they blink at you funny when you try to hand them your Super Travel Special Guy Hyatt Card. This is, I think, the ultimate testament to the brand copying so endemic in China. In three words: I love it.
Crossing the border from Hong Kong, I realized that I’m garnering a fairly respectable amount of passport stamps. Nothing like Jimbo, I’m sure, but more than maybe the average American-born American with family as far away as… the East Coast. I hope to add to it this year for an actual vacation, instead of business. Of course, I would prefer it if I had someone to go with me. *cough*
Speaking of borders, I find it bewildering why the border is still controlled between Hong Kong and China-proper, given that The Handover is old news by now. Actually, I don’t find it bewildering, I understand completely, as one side is communist, and the other is more socio-capitalist.
It’s still quite the song and dance crossing the border, though. Basically, you have forms to fill out to leave one side, and then forms to fill out to enter the other (no matter which way you are going), and go through immigration twice. In between, you reside in some sort of quasi-non-existant state where you are part of nothing for no one. And the difference between the two sides is as striking as looking over at Tijuana from San Diego.
On the Hong Kong side, everything is sunshine, lollipos, and rainbows, everywhere. English-friendly, and beautiful. The other side is… communist. Which must be why I feel right at home. Every political quiz I’ve ever taken pegs me square in the socialist camp. I am apparently just. that. liberal.
Yes, this is the second post in a row that has bored me to tears, too.