Now if an Air Asia flight isn't delayed, there's something wrong! So of course I waited an extra hour and half to jump on the plane to Hong Kong.
The landing at the new Airport in Hong Kong is nothing compared to the hair raising squeak in by the breadth of a cat's whisker landing at Kai Tak, leaving nail imprints in your armrest as you wish you hadn't seen that guy in undies winking at you from his balcony on the decent that brushed by apartments left and right.
I had an evening flight so all the lights were blazing as we landed. It was breath taking to see Hong Kong in all her glory at night, my heart was pounding and my eyes were tearing up, it has been a good 18 years since I'd been home. The funny thing was, instead of that pungent sulphuric smell that makes you want to breathe through your mouth and then realise that wasn't helping and only a gas mask would, was not present. I sniffed the air as we disembarked, ok a bit "beach at low tide" smelling but that was it. Hail to the efficiency of the air port staff, I was gob smacked, the immigration officers speaking really good English (no longer Enggerrish) and being pleasant!!!! Double check.. this is Hong Kong right? yup, wowsa a lot has changed.
I was told to get an octopus card by friends still living there ( though they call it the octopussy.. go figure), as their public transport is still really good, the card allows you to travel by train, bus, ferry and pay for stuff.. loving it already and also a local sim card, no worries there, the telcos took my second phone, inserted the card , booted it up, and sent me off with a little smile, am I really in Hong Kong??? Hopped on a bus and tried to recognise the landscape...
As soon as my hosts arrived to get me from the bus station I grumbled I was hungry, knowing me so well, I was hustled to a 'dai pai dong' right quick for some won ton noodles. Ahhh this was what I was waiting for! Sleeping that night with a belly full of noodles and dumplings didn't dampen the excitement of what was to come tomorrow.
The next morning we were off to Stanley market. Stanley was a popular beach destination for us whilst in school and also for most residents of Hong Kong, it also had lanes of shops with "discounted" items ranging from handbags to table linen. Annie my school chum and bestie from school had been in communication with me from the get go, so we decided to take the bus up for old times sake , plus it was a good scenic way to go and both Annie and I could see where we lived on the way, nostalgia was hitting hard.
Annie and I on the BusDen, Annie's man had never been to Hong Kong before, heh heh I almost felt sorry for him, he had no idea what the bus ride would be like. You see the road up is a windey, narrow strip that is bordered by trees, shrubs and a sloping hillside on one side, that would tap and flick it's branches at the bus's windows upstairs and a panoramic view on the other, with lets say a full on view of the landscape below (I will not say drop, it's a safe ride.. really). As we kept going higher and the bus swung more violently around the corners, little hysterical giggles escaped from me as I watched Annie's man white knuckle grip the handles of the seat. Annie and I both grinned at each other, by the time we hit Repulse Bay, we were shouting out all the names of students and friends who had lived there and around the corner forgetting the other passengers in our glee.
|The View of Turtle Bay/Stanley from the fancy Scmancy Shops|
|Going Bonkers in Honkers|
After a quick debriefing from my hosts and specific instructions from Sylvie to which train or bus to take, I sauntered out into the balmy night to go meet the rest of my classmates, some of whom I've not seen since I left school, lets put it this way, it was many decades ago! Gulping down my nervousness and excitement I was whizzed away into the night . Lan Kwai Fong here I come!