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July 6th, 2014:

International arms smuggling, epilogue

On my return flight from Hong Kong to Shenyang, I had my toiletry kit in my carry-on bag. As my bag was going though the X-Ray machine, I realized that my toothpaste was in there.

I steeled myself for the humiliating lecture from airport security about Very Dangerous Materials, and tried to remember if I had any more toothpaste in my apartment. I wondered if they would offer to write a receipt and allow me to pick up my toothpaste within 30 days.

Much to my surprise, the airport security did not confiscate my toothpaste. The security staff demonstrated the same bored detachment that Hong Kong shop clerks and wait staff are famous for.

I have to admit being a little disappointed with the lack of drama.

Urban hiking in Hong Kong

In the past, whenever I thought of Hong Kong, I thought of one big shopping mall. No longer. Now I realize that there is natural tropical island beauty in Hong Kong as well.

We started our nature hike on the subway, of all places.

20140706-144742-53262285.jpgAfter about 40 minutes on the subway, we reached the end of the line, and started the hike.

20140706-144847-53327282.jpgIn no time, we left the city, and started climbing the approximately 34 million stairs up a mountain.

20140706-144847-53327954.jpgOur efforts were rewarded with some spectacular views of the city.

20140706-144848-53328431.jpgThe trail quickly led us away from the city, and we started walking through some serious nature.

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20140706-145458-53698977.jpgOur path was the “Dragon’s Back” trail that runs along a mountain range.

20140706-145459-53699366.jpgThe trail ended at a beach town, where we ate lunch and then (30 minutes later, I promise) we went for a swim in the ocean.

20140706-150048-54048985.jpgIt was very hot and humid, we sweat a lot, but the views were spectacular. After breathing polluted city air for two months, my lungs were grateful for the clean mountain air.

I can’t wait to go back to Hong Long and do some more urban hiking. My wife will love it, too. Honey, what do you say, is it a date?

Hanging in Hong Kong

My son is in Taiwan for the summer, doing a research project. He had to leave for a few days (for visa purposes), so we decided to meet up in Hong Kong. Our trip started off with pizza and beer. How can a vacation that starts that way go wrong? Answer: it can’t!

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How do I define a quality airline?

By whether or not you get ice cream.

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Thanks, China Eastern!