BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
CHINA... the beginning
Okay, it's about time, I know, I know. But here, I'll give you some good details about my luscious, luscious trip. And pictures. I took way too many. I'll just say I bought two memory cards for my camera and filled them. And how big were these memory cards, you might wonder? One gig. EACH. Yeah, a lot of pictures.

But first! Gaming and kung fu! Gaming? Yes, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow was released. And I've been waiting for it. It's a thing of beauty. Seriously. And it has a cooperative mode in it, that I need to try out, when I find someone who also got it. Coop online, for single-player stuff. Being friendly is fun! Yeah, all the gaming stuff has kind of flooded together, as it has a tendency to do. PSP, Splinter Cell, and God of War. Yes, that's right. It's got everything in it that's bad (as in naughty), but it's a vicarious outlet in a very nice way. Penny Arcade had a very nice view on it. I've only played a little bit of it, but it's well put together. Reminiscent of Devil May Cry. Which was quite good. Just set in the times of ancient Gods. Think Zeus.

Okay, so I'm checking the news now. And it's out. You probably know by now, but Pope John Paul II has passed away. I think he made a major impact in the world, in many ways that people don't realize. That, and he was awesome because he was Polish. His real name was Karol Wojtyla. He became pope right around the time I was born, so he has a bit of a special place in my heart. That, and my parents got a document about my birth and baptism signed by him. Which is cool. But having a different Pope in the world is going to be a very strange thing, probably for a lot of people. I don't think anyone will ever forget John Paul II, though.

Okay, anyway. I can't really follow that up with anything proper, so I'll just go to the standard thing. Kung fu! Yeah, we had class this morning. And Sifu really has gone back to traditional training. We had quite a few senior students there today, including the other Eric and Shannon. Sifu put us through standard warmup stuff, and then rigorous stance training. Two minutes of horse, one minute of each other stance (one minute, each side), then another minute of horse. I think almost everyone collapsed at least once (yes, even Justin). Somehow I managed to stay up. But I sort of cheated. I kept my other stances a TEENSY bit higher. Although the horse was solid and low. And it hurts. Quite a bit. But I love it. It was that, then drills on sparring techniques, and then sparring. I sparred a bit with Eric, and he still throws his fast high kicks. I still rack him when he does. Don't know why he keeps trying it. I got to spar a little with Shannon, too, but it was mostly going through techniques, which was good. It was a good class.

Okay, enough with all of the PRESENT time stuff. China! I'll just load you up with pictures. I took a LOT of pictures. For today, I'll just do the first day.

It began with the trip there. Which began by going to Dallas, then L.A. The airport at LAX is big and nasty. But it's California, which means they DO have a ton of palm trees. Even inside.

Palm tree madness!

So yeah, then we met with the group from L.A., including Sigong Buck Sam Kong. It was through customs, which was nasty enough that I don't want to relive it with photos, and then onto the plane!

It was a big one.

Sixteen or so hours later, we're in Hong Kong! We all get on a big bus to go to our hotel.

The five visible faces: Frank, Julius, Buck, [drawing a blank - to be filled in when I remember], and Andrew.

Gas prices are crazy! Crazy converted!

Exchange is 7.7 Hong Kong to 1 Dollar. And that's per LITER.

We drive, and finally start coming into view of the big city.

It was a nice day, too.

A LOT of people live here, and we were starting to see it.

Packed quite densely.

We get into the city, start seeing shops and people on the streets.

The Lion Pub! Great for women and children!

And we get to the hotel, it turns out to be rather nice. We were happy with it.

Circular stairs. For those who like pain.

Random aside - they do all sorts of construction, being a growing city and all. But for scaffolding, they use bamboo. Which is cool. We could see some from the window in our room (me and Jason) some people working on it.

And in the middle there, a very brave man.

So we unpack, get everything sorted out, then time to hit the town! Woo! And I will tell you, it's a beautiful city.

Look! Foreigners! Oh wait.

We swung by Kowloon Park, which was particularly lovely. A picture's worth a thousand words, so here's a few thousand words for you.


Isn't that sweet?

A view of the city from inside the park.

A group of older men playing mah-jong. Kinda like chess in the park.

We wandered some more, got to a plaza, where they had an interesting display up, most likely still up from the new year. It was rather cool, though.

Roawr! I'm a dragon!

Leisurely loving.

Spent a lot of time wandering, seeing the sights, it was all very good times. And night arrives, so it's time to hit the town!

It's almost brighter at night.

We get the group together and go to get our first taste of authentic Hong Kong styled Chinese food.

Ready to chow down.

Dang, this is making me hungry.

Oh, the food was so good. I need to find a place in town that does it that way, if I can. Or learn how to MAKE food that way. Which would be awesome. We had to get our currency either exchanged or ATM'd. And yes, their money is a lot more colorful than ours. Just like EVERY other country. In the WORLD.

The money's Hong Kong cash.

All very good stuff, and from there, a few of the guys and I went to check out the night market, where you can find all sorts of crazy prices, crazy deals, crazy items, and crazy people. You could bargain with everyone, just keep track of your wallet. It has a tendency to vanish on occasion.

Just one of the MANY bountiful booths arranged at the market.

We finished up our looking around, maybe purchasing a couple of small things (I really don't remember when I bought a lot of the stuff I got), then headed back to the hotel and crashed for the night. We all slept well, I'm sure. It had been a long voyage, and a full day. A very good first day.

Stay tuned for more details on my fantastic voyage! Same place, slightly different time. I hope you liked the pictures. I had to pick a few. Seriously, there's a ton of pictures.

Okay, enough there. Super long blog action! Time for a blog BREAK. So I'll give you a random link. It's not completely random, since it's related a bit to my blog topic. But for those of you interested in learning more, perhaps a language or two, check this out.
Definitely that should be a death sequence in Teen Girl Squad... ATM'd!
Did you take any pics of YOU in China or just China? lol They are great pics...and speaking of Splinter Cell, I got the original for PC. (Along with Jedi Academy, also for PC) Damn you and your videogame black hole! (j/k) But it IS your fault. -A
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as of 10/23/03

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