Monday, November 28, 2016
1986 Family Letter - October 1986
Dearest Family –
Dad brought home a new typewriter and I did try using it but it was really different than this old one. It beeps when you misspell a word in its limited vocabulary and had alot of features this old one has. It was nice but we ended up taking it back and will try another one later on. I did like the correction part – either a letter or word at a time. The same typewriter was about $100 or so cheaper through Service Merchandise so it might be a better place to shop.
We did have a wonderful trip and as always are glad to be back. Our group was so small we really got acquainted. There were four other men and no other women. Two were from Puerto Rico who had been on the same Commerce Tour last year so knew their way around. One man was from Anaheim who had recently gone through bankruptcy but very, very personable. The other was from Boston, separated from his wife and anxious to impress her with his many purchases – furniture for his new apt/house, two tailored suits plus extra trousers from Hong Kong and more like things from Korea. They were both quite young and very interested in importing. The toy shows were varied – relatively little in Manila but we did tour a stuffed animal factory there which was very interesting.
Mary Greene was very nice to us [same Mary that showed us great hospitality in Hong Kong in November 2016] – sent flowers and a note to our hotel, took us with a driver south of Taipei where we visited a number of toy factories (?). The first was actually a factory but the other two were makeshift factory/homes where one made & packaged paddles and the other made rubber balls. That evening after dinner we went to Mary's apartment and it was luxurious. Our living room and bedrooms would fit in hers easily and she had a balcony and also a roof garden. She does want Roberta and Sid to come and visit and does have the space.
We did find the hotel where we had stayed 14 years ago but hardly recognized it for the whole area had changed (built up) and just about one block from our hotel this time.
The Philippines was interesting and would have been nice to have more time on our own there. The night before we left they had a 1st grade typhoon which made it more memorable. Also a 7 course dinner with escargot and cinnamon sherbert.
Hong Kong was fascinating – like a homecoming for we had good recollection of the beauty of the city. We had a room with a "view" and made good use of our four days there. Covered the area pretty well via street car, incline, boat, ferry, bus, train and taxi. The toy show here was nothing exciting, but found that the people were more than anxious to come to your hotel to show "their wares." H.K. seems like more of a bustling place than New York City. Oh yes we did go back to the same tailors here we had bought items 14 years before, but we found it much more expensive but still many bargains there which we regretted not taking up on as they said Korea had same things but cheaper.
Mrs. Kim met us at the airport with Kim's sister and took over as our tour leaders. It was good for the man who was to meet us never came to view at the airport altho he said he was there & looked for all of us. Seoul is really a modern city with many skyscrapers and wide streets – 14 lanes wide in some places. They use tunnels under the street to accommodate the pedestrians getting across the busy thoroughfares. We attended the largest church perhaps in all the world –they have seven services each Sunday morning with 15,000 at each and many people standing. Sunday school was conducted for the children in the outside area around the church. It was a real traffic jam both before and after. Luckily they had seven language speakers in the area where we sat so the headphones translated it very quickly. The hymns were very familiar – the music that is and very touching to see and hear everyone participating. The song service between services was interesting too with someone relaying the numbers to us in our area reminding us of football calls.
We said goodbye to the two Americans in Tokyo and found ourselves in business class from there to San Francisco which was a nice experience. The many amenities spoiled us for the rest of the trip but we didn't resist too much when they luckily moved us there.
We are still recuperating – waking up in the middle of the night but can hardly hold our eyes open after 8:30 P.M. We were glad that Roberta had come to be with Grandma the first week we were gone and then the Hortons came before she left so had a nice visit with her and stayed for three weeks. They left Friday for the Kintners and Joe was to come for the weekend. We are all waiting anxiously for news from Cris and Angela as the due date was last weekend. [Laura?]