你好香港 – hello Hong Kong! 18 April 2013

We are staying with friends at a sports club that they manage in Hong Kong and being very spoiled. A driver was waiting to collect us at the airport. Our exit through Immigration was the quickest that we had experienced and Customs was a walk through. Surreal after the queues that we had experienced elsewhere (Narita comes to mind…).

The luxury of a driver was fantastic and the direct opposite of our train and Chatelet Les Halles experience in Paris…

I had no idea where the Hong Kong airport was in relation to the club which I knew was on Hong Kong island. I now know that it is located on the largely reclaimed island of Chek Lap Kok. The drive seemed long through towering hills, concrete retaining walls, sky scrapers and glimpses of harbours. Hard to tell though as I was in micro nap mode (ie only knowing that I had fallen asleep when I woke up again and again and again) after a total of about 1 hours sleep on the plane and only a few hours the night before that. Therefore my entry into Hong Kong looked like 20 second exposures in between naps… One long mass of bridges, skyscrapers and concrete.

Hong Kong Fog

So, the driver was great until he dropped us off at the wrong sports club. He parked around the corner, unloaded our luggage and told us that the main entry was around the corner. We trundled around with our luggage and asked for our friend by name at the security gate. Took a while for them to surmise that we were at the wrong club and ours was 20 minutes drive away… We needed to get a taxi but had no Hong Kong dollars yet. So we needed to find a bank but had a lot of luggage to lug around. Or we needed to phone our friend but still had the unusable French SIM cards in our phone…

Back to the nice security guard to see if he had a pin or paperclip to help us get the French SIM card out. His English was running thin by then and he said that he didn’t have any. I was getting desperate and pointed to his badge asking if that had a pin on the back of it and trying to show him what I wanted to do on the iPhone. Ah, he understood and produced a paperclip. We changed over the SIM card to the Australian one. We then phoned our friend who didn’t answer the phone. We then tried to email them but that didn’t work. Thankfully they answered the second time we phoned and told us to hop in a taxi and they would pay at the other end.

Now to get a taxi. Lots going past but either full or they wouldn’t stop. Hubby decided to walk down the road to find a rank. He disappeared for what felt like a very long time, leaving me with a pile of luggage and no way to contact him as he didn’t have his Aussie SIM in his phone. Success at last though. He eventually came back with a taxi and we were on our way to the correct club. It was quite a long way and up steep hills. I had thought about trying to walk at one point…

Eventually we caught up with our friends and it was great to see them. They live in an apartment at the top of the club and have a full suite of sporting facilities and three restaurants on site.

We had Peking Duck for dinner – first duck for me in a very long time as I’m not keen on it. The whole ceremony of cutting it was great though and I did have a couple of pancakes which were quite nice. The restaurant was very nice.

Hong Kong Peking Duck

We headed to one of the bars afterwards but after waking up twice when I didn’t even know that I had fallen asleep, I decided to call it quits for the night and we were in bed at 8.30.

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