Hongkong

Wednesday, September 4, 1929

The two Norwegian missionaries from Nanking left this morning on the Korea Maru. I spent the morning in Hongkong walking around China Town up near Wellington Street, etc. The whole lower hillside is a solid mass of humanity squeezed in a comparatively small place. The streets go up and down hills, many too steep for auto traffic. Other streets are of steps.

Always there is the great confusion of signs, flags, etc.—of thousands of people wandering around everywhere—of children playing and men and women working in the dirty, filthy streets—of the rush and noise of the markets. There is the stench of fish markets—click-clack of wood sandals—the cry of peddlers—the sound of hammering and sawing in the workshops. Here you see furniture shops, tin shops, grocery stores (such as they are), money lenders, antique shops along side of Kodak shops, shoe stores, etc.

Hongkong and Canton are due for their good weather the middle of this month—cooler and less humid. Around December and January there are about six weeks of cold weather—cold, but not so cold as it is penetrating—and everybody dresses in all the woolen clothes they can find. Shanghai is also entering its season of better weather. In the wintertime it has snow and gets below freezing.

My two white shirts that finally turned yellow when I washed them came back from the laundry white again—at a cost of less than 5 cents for the two! Films are cheaper than at home, costing 45¢ Hongkong. I bought eight rolls and had the money so figured out that when I sailed I had only 5¢ H. left.

At 4:30 PM a small company’s launch took me out to the Linan, anchored about as far away from Victoria as it could get. We sailed immediately thereafter.

The Linan is a much better ship than the Pong Tong, though about the same size. It is constructed to carry a number of passengers. Entrance from the main deck leads to a small sitting room from which stairs lead down to the dining saloon. Along the front are several windows slightly larger than portholes. Two long tables furnish the means. Two settees are placed under the windows. Six cabins open off this dining room. I have #1 and the best—on the starboard side in front, thus having two portholes and plenty of breeze, in fact a regular gale. There are two bunks and a settee, etc.—a nice place.

I am the only European first-class passenger at present. Six more are to be picked up at Amoy. The Chinese passengers, first class and all, are in the rear of the ship and there is also a hatch full of deck passengers.

Food is good and plentiful with only four boys to serve it. The Chief Engineer, with whom I eat dinner, is very pleasant—a Scotchman.

About 40 minutes after weighing anchor we were passing the northernmost tip of Hongkong island, having sailed out of the northern entrance of the harbor. It is certainly a pretty island. I appropriated the captain’s deck chair and read the papers till dinner time. He, as with the habit of Skippers in these parts so it seems, eats alone—and on deck. He has a big police dog which has become very friendly and playful with me.

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