Right, ok, Hong Kong. The uninspired feeling never passed so we just have to kinda go with it.

A week ago, I went to Hong Kong. I went to Hong Kong by train. This is the train.

image

Double decker train! Yay!

This is where I stayed, at the temple patron housing across the road from the temple.

image

Here we are at the temple.

image

This is my friend Kenya. She is American too, except her dad is Chinese. Sometimes she reads my blog. Hi, Kenya!

We went and did baptisms on Saturday morning. It was interesting to hear the person performing the baptism switch between Cantonese and English, depending on where the person acting as proxy was from. One man (I think he was American) couldn't read Chinese characters so one of the witnesses had to read each name out for him when the names were Chinese.
I was excited that I got to do Chinese names from the 1600's. I got even more excited when I could recognize a few of the characters in the names, including the character 昭 which is also in my Chinese name.* In Mandarin it's Zhao (first tone) but in Cantonese it's something different. I hadn't realized that even names are competely different in Cantonese. What language did these people speak when they were alive? If it wasn't Cantonese, what do they think of their names being read in Cantonese for their baptism?
(For more information on lds temples go to new.lds.org/church/temples)

Then we joined some other friends and found a Mexican restaurant. It was hard to find. But it was good.

image

The restaurant was in Soho where there was a street fair going on.

image

image

It felt very European. But then Hong Kong in general feels very European to me.

Does this sign look like it says "carp ark" to anyone?

image

No? It's just me then.

After lunch the other friends had places to be so it was just Ekitzel, Kenya and me. We went and waited in a big long line to take the trolley up the mountain to Victoria Peak.

image

The view from Victoria Peak.

image

This would have been a good picture if that tree wasn't there. But it was. So it's not.

image

Then it was time for dinner. Kenya had her heart set on eating dinner at a restaurant a friend had recommended called Modern Toilet. Yes, that's right, a toilet themed restaurant. Classy. We were pretty proud of ourselves for finding the place, but sadly, it was closed. It looked like it had been closed for some time. Strange, right? How can you go out of business when you're serving people food in toilet-shaped dishes? Who wouldn't want to eat there?

Kenya was heart broken.

image

image

We went and ate in the food court in the mall instead.

Ekitzel went home Saturday night but Kenya and I stayed another night and went to church in the morning. 

We were going to go to one of the English speaking wards but they were all having district conference so we went to a Cantonese speaking ward. It was really cool.

In mainland China it is illegal for us to attend church with Chinese nationals. We are only allowed to worship with foreign passport holders and their immediate family. There are branches for the native Chinese but they are strictly seperate and we by law we are not permitted to mingle in any religious context. So this was my first time experiencing church in Chinese.

A woman who introduced herself as Debbie offered to translate for us and for two men who were visiting from Utah to do work on the temple. Debbie is a teacher who tutors students in both Chinese and English. I asked her where she learned English and she told me she studied at BYU-Hawaii. Me too! She was there long before I was but it was still cool to talk to her about it.

image
Kenya, Debbie and me.

I don't speak any Cantonese (it's even harder than Mandarin and Mandarin is crazy hard) but I did introduce myself in Mandarin in Relief Society. So yay for me!

After church we stopped in the hallway to talk to a guy that Debbie had pointed out as having studied at BYU. His (English) name is Ben and he is fully fluent in English complete with an American accent and a desire to one day move back to the States so he can have a big house. We asked him about the YSA scene in Hong Kong and made plans to make plans to combine YSA activities in the future.

There was a birthday lunch going on in the cultural hall for a 12 year old boy and we were invited to join. Not just invited but pressured to have some food, which we were happy to do.

Then I went home.

* My Chinese name is Zhaojun (first tone, first tone) which a friend gave to me when she was tutoring me in Chinese, naming me after Wang Zhaojun. I chose the family name Ma (third tone) because it sounds like the first syllable in Meservy. So in Chinese I am 马昭君 or Ma Zhaojun.