Thursday, July 27, 2006

Greetings from Hong Kong!

view from my window 1Halfway there....

I'm sitting in the very swanky Traveller's Lounge in Hong Kong airport, which is pretty much the most cvilised place on earth right now. For HK$200 (about NZ$40) I get two hours of peace and quiet, comfy armchairs, as much buffet and beverages as I want, air conditioning, internet access and even a shower and a snooze if I like. Bliss!

I wandered over here to check on prices and facilities for when I'm in HK for a full day on the way home, but it looked so nice and I was so hot and sweaty and sleep-deprived that I thought I'd just give it a test run today. Heh.

The flight was OK I guess. The first and last couple of hours are pretty bearable actually, because that's when they feed you - and you can make it last quite a while if you eat really s-l-o-w-l-y. It's the 7+ hours in between the feeding that are the worst. The secret is to get really zen about the whole thing, and just let time flow by, rather than straining to make it go faster - which never works and just gets you frustrated.

view from my window 2I actually managed a bit of a snooze, so that ate up a couple of hours. Then there was the looking-out-the-window, the watching-two-crappy-movies (always a good time-waster), the doing-logic-puzzles in the puzzle mag which I only only ever buy when I'm flying, the holding-on-tight-and-shutting-my-eyes when it got a bit bumpy - ah you get the drift. Think zen.

I sat next to this nice Frenchwoman who was escorting 17 noisy teenagers home from a world study trip - what a mission! Actually they were pretty cool, even with the screaming when we hit turbulance!

The descent into Hong Kong was pretty amazing - it was evening by the time we got here, and we seemed to be flying around enormous cumulonimbus clouds for ages as we approached the city - it was really quite surreal actually - the clouds were lit up by the lights of the city below, and they looked for all the world like giant orange cotton wool or candy floss, and we were in this toy plane scooting around and dodging them.

Hong Kong fireworks for Chinese New YearWe could see bits of the harbour when the clouds parted, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it again in daylight on the way home. As we approached the airport we could see a huge fireworks display going off - it was pretty impressive seeing it from the air - awww guys! You shouldn't have!

It's not very practical having to wear icebreaker and assorted thermals in NZ and on the plane ('cos planes are always so cold!) ands then coming out into the humidity of HK airport and 30 degree heat, but never mind. I wore layers so I could take 'em off. I'm going to have to try and get some major sleep on this next leg of the journey because I am feeling so sleep-deprived now, and so spaced-out, that I don't know if I'll be able to get myself across London and onto the train in any sensible fashion once I arrive at Heathrow...

OK, I think I stopped making much sense about half an hour ago. I'll add some pics to this post later. And maybe tell you the story of the incredible nose-picking man at Auckland airport. Now that's something to look forward to!

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Hotforclay said...

I can sympathize with your flight. I've flown to CA then Taiwan. Pretty close to HK. But I did it with 1 kid first, 3 years old. And again with a 7 and 2 year old. Actually, then were pretty well behaved and maybe they made my flight faster! Never been to NZ, must be BEAUTIFUL!

Idle-wandering said...

The new Hong Kong airport...sigh. Best airport in the world! Did you ever fly into the old one--the one where you could watch people through their apartment windows while you're landing? Always a nice adrenaline rush.

The first time I flew from the US to Japan if they'd have given me a parachute and opened the door I would have jumped...and I'm terrified of heights. It was truly the most claustrophic experience evah.

Hong Kong is my favorite city in the world. Too bad you can't stay awhile. That lounge sounds very nice, though.

Have fun in the UK!!!!