Tuesday, 18 April 2017 – Day 5: Macau, CHINA (22.1987° N, 113.5439° E)
“It may be the way the cookie crumbles on Madison Avenue, but in Hong Kong it’s the way the egg rolls.” – Robert Orben
Good morning to all from partly-cloudy Hong Kong…and day two…it is 9AM Tuesday here. Everyone should be checking in tonight (your tomorrow but our yesterday?!) at 9:00PM this evening in the hotel. We hope that no alcohol-related penalties for tardiness are assessed.
We just had breakfast: fresh pineapples, dragon fruit, lychees and Denver omelets, shu mai dumplings, miso, congee, Indian specialities, chocholate croissants, sliced ham, an array of cheeses, etc–and more than one espresso drink. It’s not like we checked into the Hotel Insomniac or anything yesterday, but dang last night was tough. Rebound jetlag at 2AM. But, experience tells me we will quickly get acclimated to Asia time; as it is much easier flying east than west on your body, and that 14-hour late night flight here helped our biological clocks along. By tomorrow morning, my guess is that everyone will be refreshed, refueled, renewed, and invigorated to start anew…and so will we!
BTW…did you know that studies show that it takes on average 24-minutes to fall asleep in a hotel, as opposed to only 15-minutes at home. Not me, 90-seconds tops last night.
So, another day here in Hong Kong….
Figuring out a strategy may be the most important element of this competition–aside from dealing with the travel inevitabilities of: jetlag, logistical snafus, language barriers, cultural nuances and the varagies of the not always smiling travel gods. This event is a serious competition and our travelers take the game seriously…they do want to win. Points are awarded to Teams for completing certain scavenges as requested. For example, they locate and visit a market and find an unusual fruit sold there. They might get 25-points for that. But if they must take a 2-hour local bus to a village outside the city to locate a unique temple or talk with an artist, they might get 100-points for completing that scavenge. Scavenges are usually all interactive in some way, and time, uniqueness, and degree of difficulty, along with active participation of the culture and people, are all factored into the risk-reward point system. No Team is required to do any scavenges outside the few “mandatory” eating scavenges in each destination. Their are a few team challenges where only one team earns points and a few tougher bonus scavenges too. Hope they all figure it out quickly…
…I always get nostalgic when in Hong Kong…don’t know if is the memory of The Road to Hong Kong (1962) — the last of the Hope and Crosby “Road to…” movies (and that hottie Joan Collins’ debut) — but Hong Kong was one of my first foreign destinations in the bad old days of my early travel years. A port town where anything could happen–and usually did. It has changed a lot in the last 35 years…it is simply mind-boggling to soak it all in. Money, development, hustle and bustle, mega-land reclamation projects, corprate brand homogenization, clean streets, red cabs, green Star Ferries, hazy Victoria Peak, hectic Nathan Road…Hong Kong is like no other global city in its dynamic energy–and food. The eats here are just wonderful; but you do have to know which of the 30,000+ restaurants are worthy. They also have a Michelin-stared take out restaurant–that is NOT called Nobu.
NEWS from Hong Kong: Beijing denouces installation of US THAAD anti-missile systems in South Korea. Beijing proudly opens new naval base in the strategic choke point port of Djibouti. Bejing reports first quater GDP growth at 6.9%. In an unrelated story, a Tibetan monk lights himself on fire.
More after our 9:00PM Check-in and maybe a 4-hour notice?
Here is everyone’s blog again: