Last week, since I didn't have any classes to teach, I was very lucky to tag along with the husband on a work trip to Hong Kong. I still had to do some work there, but I was doing it with a view of Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon peninsula. Most of our activities revolved around eating a gluttonous amount of delicious food, but another highlight was the journey to Lantau Island to see the 26m-tall, 202-ton bronze Buddha statue. It was breathtaking, but there is a catch. You have to take an absolutely terrifying ride on a gondola high up above mountains and water (see above, photo courtesy of husband). It didn't actually occur to me at the time, but I later realized that I was carrying in my purse some symbols I had made using an embosser and some scratch paper the day before at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. From top to bottom they are clouds, which represent luck; a bat, for good fortune and well-being; a butterfly, for blessings, longevity, and happiness; and finally, the symbol for longevity. I wonder whether, as I clutched the bench, I would have felt any better knowing that these were with me. Probably not. Maybe I would think, "I wonder if anyone will find my embossments after they scrape me from the ground? They're definitely toast if we fall in the water. I wish I had a Ziploc baggie. They're quite nice." Well, I'm glad I survived to share them.