Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today's Higlight? The Hong Kong Rip-Off

Years ago, when David and I were in Hong Kong, we asked the hotel to book us a nice tour. We were pleasantly surprised as we drove around the island - and we got a pretty good overview.... until the last hour. Then we stopped by a jewelry factory and showroom, so that we could see jewelry making for real. It actually is not that interesting - tiny details, and stuff that's pretty hard to see. But after 5 minutes of factory, we then spent 55 minutes in the showroom, being followed everywhere by helpful salespeople. When we split up, the salespeople had a hard time deciding who to follow - it got to be amusing.

So today, we had a half-day tour of Istanbul - Haga Sofia, Blue Mosque, underground cistern... and just when I thought we were headed for either the spice market or a quick snack stop, we turned in to a pottery shop and were immediately ushered to the back for a pottery demonstration and participation workshop. No purchases required. But lots of apple tea, coffee - anything we wanted - and since all three kids got to make pots, the shop was guaranteed to have our full attention for 90 minutes, plus a return trip two days later to pick up the dried pots.

Of course, when we asked the kids what was the best part of the day today... and nothing cultural even made the list. Benjamin picked swimming, but Annika and Christopher were convinced that the pottery thing was the highlight.

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