October 14, 1961 – Hong Kong

Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, China – Clear

     As I opened my eyes I realized I felt worse than last night.  I started to get up and found I couldn’t do it.  I told Edith I felt miserable so she came over to check my forehead.  Edith shook her head once her hand touched my head and she told me I definitely had a fever.  I was grateful when she told me she would call the front desk because I didn’t want to have to move.

     All I could do was turn over and close my eyes.  Edith brought me a couple more aspirin to take so I propped myself up to take them with some water.  After doing what she could for me Edith got ready for the day, wished me well and then left to join the remainder of the group for breakfast and a day of touring.  I was sorry I couldn’t go with her because I knew they were going to see several things I wanted to see.  I knew that all I could do was to find out later from Edith what they had seen and enjoy her pictures when we got home.

      I stayed quiet during the morning and tried to regain my strength.  I called Peggy to let her know I was sick and she promised to come by later in the afternoon to pick me up and take me for a fitting on the dress and suit I had ordered to be made the day before.  I hoped I felt better by then but knew I needed to go regardless of how I felt.

      A Dr. Wu finally arrived a little before lunch time, examined me and gave me a shot of antibiotics to help me fight my bronchitis.  He also was kind enough to give me some prescription strength cough medicine and antibiotic pills for the next few days.  The doctor spent a little over an hour with me and was very thorough in his exam.  He told me that it was quite common for him to be called to treat visitors and that surprised me.  He said often people would get so tired and rundown traveling they became more prone to catching infections.  Dr. Wu was most gracious and when I went to pay him I was surprised to find out that his fee was only a couple of dollars and comparatively little to what it would have cost me in America.

     I ordered a light lunch from room service because I didn’t want to take my medicine on an empty stomach and once I’d eaten I felt better.  I took another hot bath and that helped even more.  After I’d dressed and gotten ready to meet Peggy I found I felt surprisingly better.  I realized the shot must already have helped me fight the disease.

      I went down to the lobby to wait for Peggy and while I sat there I made a short list of things I wanted to try and get accomplished still that day so it wasn’t a complete waste.  I only had to wait a few minutes though before Peggy showed up.  When I went out to the taxi I found that Peggy had brought her mother to go with us.  It made me happy once I saw Peggy and her mother.  I was excited for the change of pace spending time with them offered me.

Peggy Aw and her Mother Shopping with Me

      Peggy took me back to the tailors shop so I could have a fitting and it was fun to see how much had already accomplished since yesterday.  I looked forward to getting the final dress and suit once I got home.  The tailor and I had to talk about the measurements I’d given him the day before for Ray and Bob’s suits though.  He seemed fine with the ones I’d provided for Bob after we talked but not for Ray.  The tailor had to find someone who had a similar size and proportions as Ray did and after looking over the man we adjusted them to make sure they were right.

      After visiting the tailor Peggy took her mother and I to some other shops where I could find some bracelets and charms for Penny, Janice and Liz Ann.  I also was pleased when I found a pair of binoculars to use on the rest of the trip and a telescope for David.  Peggy helped me package up the gifts along with some rolls of film that were ready.  She promised to mail them back home for me the next day.  I wasn’t sure I would have been able to accomplish everything I did without Peggy’s help.

      After Peggy and her mother took me back to the hotel I was ready to collapse on my bed.   When Edith returned from touring all day she found me in bed writing a letter to Ramona.  She was thrilled about what she’d seen earlier.  It seemed the group had gone by cable car to Victoria Peak and she had found it exciting.  The group had also gone to Tiger Balm Garden and she thought the home and surroundings had been fantastic.  She told me the home had been built on a hillside and had a terraced garden.  She said there was a cliff with large rocks that were painted in bright colors and had weird animal statues of various sizes and shapes amongst them.  Edith was full of information about several rooms there which were filled with statues and many kinds of art work.  She said there was even a jade collection valued at least $2 million alone. 

      Edith was full of conversation and feelings about what she’d seen and though I was glad my day had been so nice after all, I did regret missing the tour.  Edith went down to eat dinner without me as I really wasn’t hungry.  When she returned she had brought me a couple of rolls with butter on them and some tea.  I was still writing my letter to Ramona so she went to take a hot bath and I returned to writing:

 Oct 14, 1961 – Hong Kong, China

Dear Ramona;

     It seems I get so little time for writing you will have to read the Herald or wait till I get home to find out more about our trip.  We are in Hong Kong now. 

     I am sending packages home.  You will have to open most things to see if everything is okay.  Also the clothes will have to be unpacked.  I had a suit made for Ray.  (Your measurements were wrong so were Bobs.  The tailor sure scratched his head.  We had to get someone Ray’s size to make sure what you meant.  He put plenty of material in so Ray can have it altered if necessary.)  I didn’t have a coat made for Janice because it cost too much for the tailor.

     The pearls are $40 a string best price. 

     I met Peggy, she is a darling and I also met her mother.  Peggy will be my contact in Hong Kong in case I want something in the future.  Tell Janice to write to her.  Her aunt is a plane stewardess.

     Now we are having trouble not having the letters from the church.  Our guide says we need them.  Letty says we don’t but we don’t have Visas or anything so get them and send them to me, regardless of Letty unless Letty says she is sending the original ones but make sure she is.  You have Letty’s contact number at the church office don’t you?  Somebody is slipping up and I will end up without being able to get into Jordan.  This is important. 

     Also go to see Mr. Thomson at the bank and send me $300 more.  Edith spent more money than she intended.  So did I.  Have it forwarded to the Hotel Guirinale, Rome, Italy.  Mr. Thomason will know how to handle this so I will be sure to get it.

     I bought a beautiful coat for $121, American suit for $43 and a dress for only $30.  I sent David a telescope this morning.  I hope you get all this stuff that I bought.  I got a much better deal on the stuff I’ve bought than Edith did.  Peggy took me to the best tailor in Hong Kong.  My suit is dark blue tile silk. 

     I don’t know what I will get the children.  It is hard to get out and Peggy works.

     Postage is terrific here and all over.  Have to mail this. 

    Leaving tomorrow for Macao.  Love Mother

     My letter finished I ate one of the rolls and drank the tea.  Then I took a nice long hot bath and went bed exhausted.  I was grateful that the cough syrup provided by the doctor worked much better than the medicine provided by Miska and I dozed off easily.

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