Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hong Kong and Macau (Part 1)

Every two months, I get a few days off from teaching. Sometimes this is a two day break in the middle of the week (my first break was Tuesday-Wednesday), and sometimes it's like this last one, which was a three day break (Wednesday-Friday) right by a weekend. In other words, a five day break. I wasn't interested in sticking around for that long, so I decided to check out Hong Kong.

I went to the airport way early just in case anything worth being paranoid about (check in issues, immigration issues, every other possible thing that could go wrong) happened. Nothing did, which meant that I was in my terminal about 2 hours before I needed to be. However, this turned out to be awesome. Apparently, Incheon International Airport has been voted the best airport in the world for the 9th year in a row, and it's easy to see why. I was able to find a comfy couch and lounge for a while till I needed to head to my gate. Not a bad way to start a vacation!

...Okay, maybe saying that a comfy couch is why an airport should be voted the best in the world is a stretch. But golly, the couch sure didn't hurt the quality rating in my book.


I flew Cathay Pacific round trip. Not bad. Saw Transcendence on the flight. It was relief to realize that if zombies don't take over the world, technology will. I kid.

The flight was uneventful, and as I landed in Hong Kong, I saw an incredible thunderstorm in the distance. There were no pictures, so you'll have to use your imagination. When we meet, we'll have to compare notes and I'll let you know how close our descriptions match up. If they're close, it probably means that we have the same spirit animal.

After deplaning and grabbing my luggage, I made a tragic (and by tragic I mean insignificant-in-the-long-run-but-I-mean-come-on) discovery...Hong Kong doesn't put stamps in your passport! Instead, they give you this flimsiness:

Okay, so really not a big deal, but it is kind of weird, especially if you like the idea of collecting passport stamps.

It was about quarter to midnight when I got on the bus to get to my hostel. The airport is on a rural (especially when compared to Hong Kong) island, so we were riding in darkness for about 30 minutes when all of a sudden, BOOM. The city popped up. More pics of the city to come in a later post.

I got to my hostel, which was on the second floor of a building in the Causeway Bay neighborhood, completely exhausted. I noticed a lot of people still up in the lobby playing Jenga, and they seemed...young. "Is this what it feels like to get older?!" I thought. Mini-crisis aside, I checked in and got to my room on the 9th floor. Here's what my bed looked like (in daytime hours):

Bottom bunk is mine.
I shared this hostel room with eight other people, though people were in and out at various times.

Anyhow, I crashed, which is what I'm about to do now. To be continued...

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