Francisco is nearing the end of his deployment, but this is the first of two reports from exotic locales on his way home. (To read previous chapers, click on Francisco's name above.)Hong Kong
One of the best rewards of serving in the Navy is the ability to travel all over the world. Since joining the Navy I have been to Hawaii, Guam, Malaysia, Dubai, Bahrain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, and finally Singapore. As I write this post we are headed into another country, but last week, we sailed into Hong Kong. To put this into perspective to some of our readers, a vast majority of our crew hadn't seen land since June 1. So as you could imagine, everybody was anxious to step on land.
On the first day we pulled in, I had to work--in Navy terms this means standing duty. For obvious security reasons, we cannot leave the ship unmanned. On the second day, a friend and I headed to our hotel room, unpacked, and headed to Disneyland Hong Kong. The park itself was much smaller than the one in Anaheim, and they are still adding more attractions. However, the park was immaculate, the workers were friendly, and the rides of course reminded me of my childhood. It rained off and on throughout the afternoon, but not even the rain could prevent us from having fun. We picked up a few gifts for our families back home, and we took the train back to our hotel.
For dinner we headed to a very expensive Chinese restaurant where baby pigeon was the daily special. I decided to pass on the baby pigeon, and instead, I opted for the usual fried rice with Mongolian beef. We headed back to the ship to take one of our friends back; she had to work the next day.
The next few days we spent sightseeing, shopping, and eating. One day, we were walking near the mall when two tall yellow golden arches caught my eye. I had been craving McDonalds since we left back in April. I raced into McDonalds and had myself a nice meal. Later on in the day, I was craving a nice cup of coffee so we headed to Starbucks. The rest of the time, we spent touring the city, and we headed to Chinatown to buy gifts. That evening, we headed to a salsa club.
Our stop in Hong Kong was a memorable experience. As I was headed to the ship, I couldn't help but notice an airplane flying overhead. While it wasn't a Canyon Blue plane, it was an American carrier (United), and it reminded me of home. We are so close yet so far away...