No one ever asks about your vacation plans unless they want to tell you how cool their vacation is going to be. This is the situation I’ve found myself in, as someone with an impending vacation I’m dying to tell everyone about. I even asked my class what their holiday plans were, as what I realized later was a hollow pretense for telling them about mine. So rather than post a blog entry asking, “So…what’s everyone doing for Christmas?” I guess I’ll come direct and say: in lieu of presents, a tree, ho ho ho la di da, my family and I are going to Hong Kong and Japan for a couple weeks.
The deal is, my stepmom has a conference in Hong Kong in early December, and due to all the jet-setting that she’s had to do with her job (a short list: DC, Irvine, London, Hong Kong once before, Australia) she’s lousy with frequent flier miles. We’re using these, combined with the gift money, to get us all out there and back again.
We’re in Hong Kong for five days, then Tokyo and Kyoto for a week and a half. I’m pretty totally excited about it. I don’t exactly know what to expect; it’s my first time in Asia, and all I have to go on are friends’ impressions and cultural sources (Tokyo: Lost in Translation, Kyoto: Usagi Yojimbo, Hong Kong: Rumble in the Bronx). But we spent Thanksgiving break poring over guidebooks, and Julie made me a mini-guidebook, and I’m slowly building up an idea of what I’m in for before I get there and am totally blown away.
Anyway, I can always use more reconnaissance. Does anyone who’s been to any of these cities, or who knows someone who has, have any suggestions on what I should see, do, eat, or buy? Hey, I’ll welcome requests for souvenirs, too, though on a student budget I don’t know if I can afford more than a doodad (or perhaps a gewgaw if I find the right deal).