You may have noticed that the frequency of my posts has slowed this month. The explanation? Henry’s still traveling in Asia, which means I’ve been up to my eyeballs in mom-related duties (on top of holding down a full-time job at the hospital). To make it up to me, Henry’s been tasked with writing another postcard-slash-blog post for me. And here it is!
We left off last time in New Delhi, but I’ve been doing a bit of hoofing around since then.
Last Saturday, I traveled from Delhi up to Agra. The bustling street life (complete with water buffaloes, monkeys, and camels) was intriguing…
…but my priority was to see the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. I wish my photographs could convey the beauty of this enormous masterpiece of carved marble and inlaid gems, because I don’t have the words to describe it.
Built four hundred years ago by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is one of the grandest edifices on the planet. Combining elements from all across the Mughal empire, the Taj Mahal shows off architectural and decorative elements from Persia, Turkey, India, and even Europe and China.
In a word: Breathtaking.
In another couple of words: Incredibly crowded.
Before the day was out, I managed to hit a couple of other spots in Agra (including the impressive Agra Fort) before hightailing it back to Delhi and then to the airport, where I boarded a red-eye to Hong Kong.
Groggy and exhausted, I blinked back the sunshine, and headed out to find my parents.
Yep — that’s right: By coincidence, my parents are vacationing in Hong Kong. They treated me to a dim sum lunch…
…before I went back to my hotel to collapse for a few hours. When I got up, it was already dark — and it just so happens that evening is the perfect time of day to explore Hong Kong on foot.
I found crowds at outdoor food stands…
…and wonderfully maze-like “mansions” crammed with vendors selling everything from internet services and cell phone plans to spicy foods from India and Pakistan.
Although I’m in Hong Kong for business — which means spending most of my waking hours in conference rooms and hotel restaurants — I did make it out every night to hunt for good grub. And there was plenty of it to be found.
A couple of nights, I dined out with family…
…and other meals I enjoyed with friends.
Best of all, I got to see Hong Kong for the first time in almost a decade, and in that time, it’s gotten even more cosmopolitan — and frankly, much more obsessed with high-end consumerism.
No one blinks an eye when a baby store sells kid-sized Ducati motorcycles (with training wheels, naturally)…
…and the lines in front of Chanel and Hermes are de rigeur.
Malls are everywhere. Retail is king.
Thankfully, there’s still time for late dinners and group foot massages in swanky/kitschy parlors in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The four of us passed out in our chairs while our sore feet were being rubbed. I think I snored.
And with that, it’s time for me to pass out again…