My darling boyfriend and I decided to take a vacation. Now normal people enjoy warm weather and beaches and the Caribbean, we prefer the cold, weird places, and try to stay far, far away from sand. So naturally we decided to go to China. But not just China, ten days in Hong Kong.
Interrupting myself for a second though, I just got the new Hardcore Superstar record, Split Your Lip. It is absolutely fantastic and totally deserves it's place on the year's top fifteen list I wrote for MetalSucks. Coming soon, stay tuned. My copy came signed by the whole band! I shrieked and ran to show Elliot who just nodded encouragingly but really didn't know what the hell I was dithering about (he was playing Fallout). I'm such a fangirl, how am I a "music journalist?" It's ridiculous.
The trip started out innocently enough. We'd packed the night before so we kissed our little Egg good-bye and left for the airport at around 9:30 in the morning on Dec. 1st. Security was harmless enough even though we had to take our shoes off. I can't begin to explain why this pisses me off so much. NO OTHER COUNTRY DOES THIS. Why in the good God's name do I have to take my damn shoes off? One time, just one time, someone smuggled something through that way. And now we have to suffer this. TSA, you are worthless, a waste of money, and no you do not make us safer. You make traveling a fucking ordeal for everyone involved. Jump off a cliff because your presence is what inspires homicidal thoughts in me and probably most others too. Believe me, when someone finally snaps and tries to take you out, any weapon they have on their person will not be in their DAMN SHOES. But I digress. I digress a lot when I write. Anyway, we got through and sat. And sat. And waited. Then waited some more. Our connecting flight was through Newark and apparently Newark in it's infinite generosity, decided to have the storm of the century and restrict all flights coming in and going out.
A lot of people were connecting through Newark and going on to Hong Kong along with us, along with a Chinese lady and her baby. I seemed to be the only one who could understand her garbled English so I had to translate what she said to everyone else without making it too obvious. I think everyone's blank expressions might've tipped her off though. Finally, after letting us twiddle our thumbs for two hours without really giving us any answers (thanks Continental!) they booked us on an alternate flight. Instead of a straight shot to Hong Kong from Newark, we'd be going to London then on from there, adding about a day's worth of travel.
Which would've been awful had we not been booked on Cathay Pacific.
Oh. My. God.
I don't know if it was because everyone made such a fuss that the Continental people booked us on a rival airline (American to London then Cathay Pacific) but I'm sure as shit happy they did. Let me put it this way, you know how the Japanese are the best at everything including their airlines? Cathay Pacific puts even them to shame.
After making sure the Chinese lady and her baby were also taken care of, Elliot and I trooped back home much to the kitty's delight. We hung out for a couple hours before heading back to go through security and re-check our bags all over again. Taking our shoes off again (grrrr...). Our flight to London was pretty uneventful. We were on the same flight as some hardcore band I think. They were dumb. One had a head of bleached hair and Elliot and I called him Billy Idol (under our breaths) all the way there. When we were getting off, one stewardess went, "Ohhh I didn't know Billy Idol was on this flight!' I lost it and almost fell over laughing.
London was freezing. Everywhere was snow and ice and I think I got my first cold symptoms there. Oh yeah, I got sick and I'll get to that in due time. My throat was sore and I could feel the stuffiness coming so I got a few preventative medicinal things there and napped the four hours we had in between flights. Poor Elliot sat awake the entire time. At that time it was 11 am in London, 5 am in Boston, and he hadn't slept yet. But then we got on our Cathay Pacific flight.
The plane was huge and so spacious, even in Economy. It was nowhere near full so Elliot and I took over the four seats in the middle and took turns sprawling out and sleeping. Each seat had a video monitor and selection of TV shows and movies, as well as games. You had your choice of about 15 episodes per show too. I'm not kidding. Elliot watched a season of The Cleveland Show. The stewardesses were pleasant Chinese ladies with perfect English and the food was actually edible. It was the most comfortable I've ever been on a ten hour flight. We were so spoiled. Kind of dreaded the flight back where we'd be stuck on crappy Continental. But in the meantime, bliss.
I definitely got sick though. Nose got stuffed up about halfway through and then I got a fever. I couldn't know for sure because I didn't have a thermometer but I know when my body has a fever. My hands get unbearably hot as well as the rest of me but I'm cold to the touch and the slightest movement sends chills down my spine that wrack my body with shivers. Not good. I drugged myself with Tylenol PM and hoped sleep would make me feel better. I was out.
We arrived at 7 am Hong Kong time, on Dec. 3rd. Yeah, we traveled all the way through the 2nd. It wasn't too bad though, originally we would've arrived at night on the 2nd so we didn't really miss anything. The Chinese lady and her baby made it all right too and we waved bye-bye to them after the passport control. Our suitcases showed up no problem (mine was red, in honor of China bahaha) and we took money out and got our Octopus cards at the airport. Hong Kong has a system for travel called the Octopus card. It's basically a metro card you can keep putting money on and use it on every source of transportation and in most convenience stores. It was great. Best system. We hopped on the airport express and rode it all the way to Kowloon. Cue my ten days of quoting Cassandra from Wayne's World, "Oh my GOD, I WAS BORN IN KOWLOON BAY." The first half of the trip we were on the Kowloon side before moving to the Hong Kong side on the 6th.
Then we got lost. We got yelled at for trying to take our suitcases up the escalator (though we were dumb and missed the huge sign that clearly told us to take all, "hefty baggage," up the lift) then we couldn't find the bus even though a patient lady tried to help us. At this point, I begged Elliot to just let us take a cab and we did to our hotel The Luxe Manor. It had huge Chinese fortress doors and a snazzy, modern lobby with a giant plush red armchair. Breakfast was complimentary so we dumped our stuff in our room and went down to eat. It was 9 am at this time. After breakfast, feeling more or less ok and non-feverish on my part, we headed into the town.
Five steps outside and I walked smack into a Turkish kebab place called Istanbul Kebap. It's like there's an invisible cord connecting me to the motherland at all times. Thanks Hong Kong :D !
My airport express ticket.