I googled voraciously and started dreaming about the drunken pleasure I would get by venturing out on my own, at an absolutely unknown place, just by myself. I have always wanted to do that. I was so wasted for a couple of hours in those thoughts. 🙂 Hah! and then all the awesome-transforming euphoria was butchered by my dad’s news reading obsession . “There are protests going on there”. That was all he said. And I could see my dreams spilling all over like the milkmaid’s. I read up, and huh! Why do people have to read news.
So, all the thoughts had to be hushed up whenever they jumped up like the air bubbles in the bath! There is still a month to go. May be everyone would make up and call it truce.
Come December 16 and there I land in Hongkong. Breakfast in air, brush in the loo, and I am all set. Information centre, and they have everything printed out for you. Probably because they won’t guide you much verbally. Bhasha ka problem you see.
D..o..n..’..t t..r..y SpeakingLikeThem.
For a transit visa, yay! they don’t charge you anything at all. Nothing. Jheero. They will give you a chit and you are good to go. Keep a buffer of 30 minutes to go round and round until you reach the train station because they will confuse the s*** out of you. People at the customer service desk are so much better. They will give you a map and will confuse you the least. Not so much of a bhasha ka problem. Aw! The trains are so cool, and so fast. I had to make do with visiting Kowloon because the hub was still in a bit of tension. The lady at the customer service desk was very kind to let me know about that without any confusion after I repeated myself like 4 times or so. Sweet!
My first choice would have been taking the tourism bus and see all the touristy spots, but haha I missed it. I extend my (un)sincere gratitude to the airport staff for giving me a detour of the airport terminals. Thank you so much!
Christmas decorations – So pretty!
Transit Visa on arrival – Free. Fast.
Ebola virus scare – EVERYWHERE.
Storing the heavy laptop bag – $12 an hour per piece.
Airport to Kowloon in that awesome train – $ 90.
Bus from the station to random bigshot hotels – Free.
Get down at any stop you please – Bliss.
Roam around the streets to get a feel of Hongkong – Wow! So many people. Even if you are from India. SO MANY PEOPLE.
Local delicacies or anything they call food – Not worth risking.
Souvenirs – Expensive.
SD cards – Super expensive.
Get back on the bus – Be well before time. They don’t stop if you run behind the door even by an inch once it has started.
Train to the airport – Free. And so f****** punctual.
Lady in the train yelling at someone on the phone – Hillariously annoying. No. Annoyingly hillarious.
Airport station to the luggage storage – Confusing.
Luggage storage to the immigration – Super confusing.
Immigration to the security check – Super duper confusing.
Security check to the gate – OMG! It’s an airport or China itself?
Probability of finding vegetarian food at the airport – 0.001
The vegetarian lasagne random plaza – Bearable.
Small coffee that you buy – Impossible to finish.
Coffee before flight – Bad idea.
Next flight – Hell.
Give a lot of time to get back to the airport. They say be back at least one hour before. Read it three if you are a first timer, or second timer, or third. I guess it will take those many visits to figure that city they ignorantly call airport.
Best thing about Hongkong: I was not the shortest one around.
Unique culture: Everyone must have braces.
Tip for visitors: Carry a cigarette to avoid being convicted for NOT smoking in public places. I had a narrow escape, but not everyone is as lucky as I was. You may call it beginners luck.
Lesson: Book a 2-3 day transit to roam about really well. And read news. Or ask dad. Whichever is easier.
Well! I’ve been to China too now. 😀
Disclaimer: I mean no prejudice.
Prayer: I hope my computer and emails are not hacked and/or published.