Friday November 20, 2009
Ben was up and out for his first client visit at 8:45. Jane was lazy and stayed at the hotel working on getting some of the photos posted to the blog and checking addresses of the locations in China Town to visit this morning. Ben was back about 10 and we both left for the second client visit that was further away. We or rather GPS Lady found the location and then we headed to visit China Town.
This is the largest oriental population outside of Los Angeles. We found the location and enjoyed the signage for a while until we located the Hong Kong Mall that was written up as a composite of all oriental cultures in one store. Jane loved it and we spent about 2 hours slowly looking through the store. It was as large as most Wal-Marts ! There were fresh fruits and veggies from across Asia. The fish section was fascinating – large glass cases full of live lobsters, crabs, and all sorts of fish. There were fish mongers who were cutting up large fish too. Most of the people just put their fish or crabs in a paper bag and went on their way. We of course could not really purchase these fresh foods. They also had a section of ducks hanging up getting ready to be prepared.
Hong Kong Market
The aisles of noodles, sauces, drinks, rice, and too many things to mention went on and on. Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, they were all represented VERY well. Jane bought several things and resisted the temptation to get others. There were many items that brought back memories of our days in the Philippines. Jane managed to resist the temptation to buy a whole set of china; but did get several serving pieces that can be used with the blue and white dishes she already has! We also resisted buying 20 pounds of rice – it was so cheap! In fact many of the prices were much lower than in our regular supermarkets. We even found San Miguel Beer – made in Manila.
San Miguel Beer
Ben did grow rather weary and after about 2 hours we left to find one of the Chinese restaurants in the area where we ate lunch. We ate at Shanghai Restaurant. Our meals were excellent – we could have split either or our orders and still had some leftover – so we have another meal of Chinese food for another night soon. Having the refrigerator is a very good thing!
The interesting thing about this China Town was it was modern. The stores were in a “shopping mall and strip mall” format. The streets were all 4 lane with both English and Chinese street signs. All stores of all kinds had both English and Chinese Signage. The banks also had Chinese signs along with the English. The only store we saw that did not have Chinese was the Home Depot. The clients in the stores we were in were primarily oriental but there were a few Mexican and Anglo people mixed in here and there. Ben said his funny was watching an oriental lady talk on her cell phone with one hand and try to pick out crabs with the other…evidently it was very funny.
Chinese and English Signage in China Town
We headed back to the hotel for a rest that turned into a nap for Ben and posting of 5 or 6 days of photos for Jane. We have not had email of the quality needed to post photos most places we have stayed so wanted to take advantage of the internet capability. Another thing that made the day lazy was it rained most all day.
Rainy Houston Skyline
We spent about an hour trying to find the closest Papacito’s Cantina so we could go there for dinner. We finally had to give up as none were closer than 40 minutes and in Friday night traffic we just did not think we could do it! There are also Papacito’s in Austin and San Antonio so we will hope to find one more convenient. We found another Tex-Mex restaurant that was fairly close and ate an excellent dinner.
Now back at the hotel we have figured out the next couple days of travel and will watch Monk. This down day was really good. We have a fairly busy next few days so enjoyed every minute of not traveling. Not that we do not love the travel – we do but this huge city was really a bit much to absorb and we did not want to do NASA or the museums.