Ah, Americans, even when we're broke we can still throw a party and have the world come to it. Last night, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson hosted a cocktail reception for a number of Hong Kong VIP's after arriving in the colony, er, I mean, Special Administrative Region over the weekend. The Carl Vinson of course has been made famous for being the ship that received the bullet riddled body of the late Osama bin Laden and then ceremoniously dumping it into the sea.
Apparently I am not yet VIP enough to secure an invitation to last night's event but my friend Francis and his wife did.
(Note to self: You are not jealous; you are happy for them :)
In fact my friend, being a professional chef, noted not the aircraft, but the chocolate chip cookies at the reception. He says via Facebook: "Seriously though, nobody has better chocolate cookies than the U.S. Navy... For all I know, they might be bringing them in. If so, they're better than a lot of freshly baked ones I've tried. Waaay better than Mrs. Fields."
Over the 4 day visit 7,000 sailors will descend on Hong Kong's shops, bars, and restaurants and word is they are forbidden to discuss with
anyone details of the Osama burial or even to indicate from where
on the ship his body was "dumped".
Anytime a U.S. carrier comes to Hong Kong it is a huge affair. They are too large to enter Victoria Harbor so they park just off Lantau Island and I usually get to see them from the ferry that takes us from our home to downtown. They are absolutely massive and I do admit to a surge of patriotism when you see something that impressive with an American flag waving from it.
As one local paper commented, the fact that it is parked off Lantau Island
puts it nearly within sight of Hong Kong Disneyland displaying a
combination of American "hard" and "soft" power in the world.
But if I'm honest, the thing I really care about is finding out how to get an invitation to the cocktail reception the next time a carrier group comes to town.