Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Hong Kong

I recently went to Hong Kong and had loads of adventure for a three days trip. After convincing the immigration officer I was able to get the visa. But as luck could have it my check in baggage which was backpack didn’t arrive. Now that was a panic situation as my interview clothes were in the backpack.

Tired and exhausted I reached my hotel only to realize I had to spend my time in the same clothes. Braveheart that I am, I ventured out in the heat in sweatshirt without a map. After asking hordes of people I manage to board a bus which would take me to Victoria Peak stop. I could not take pictures as my phone didn’t have batteries and I didn’t carry a camera as I was buying one in HK. After having enough fill of the scenery I ventured back home only to realize I didn’t know the exact direction and intend to use public transport. In the bus I asked my neighbor how do I get to the hotel and she gives me a shocked expression thinking I must be crazy to travel without a map. Some how I managed to reach the hotel with my baggage still lost. At about 11:30 in the night finally my bag arrived. Thrilled as my interview was next day.

Interview is not to be discussed as it was bad, this time when I check out I was armed with a map with guidance to reach the other hotel I was checking in. The Cantonese sign boards do not help so after half an hour of roaming in circles I finally found my hotel. Next stop was to buy a DSLR camera. I went searching far and wide for the camera, negotiated in a number of shops to find it was not feasible. Finally frustrated I went to a shop to be practically ripped. The shop keeper sold me a digital camera for the price of a DSLR. I realized my folly when I called home. By then the shop was closed as there was typhoon heading our way and it was 11:00 in the night.

After a restless night, at sharp 10:00 I reached the store to exchange the camera to only hear that they do not exchange. They asked me to come back at 3:00 in the noon which I promptly said no as I was flying back (that was a lie). Next thing I hear they don’t have that much cash so early in the morning. In the meanwhile 2 elderly gentlemen were also arguing as even they had some problem. They called a cop that was my advantage point. The cop asked me what happened and I repeated my sob story. The next minute I get my money back. Pleased with the morning success, I rushed to the camera store where I had bargained. Pleased with my purchase went to Disneyland only to be soaked in rain. Didn’t even see the fireworks ( sob).

Unhappy that I could not see many places, I resolved that before my flight I will visit the Buddha statue. My flight back home was at 3:00 in the noon so I was confident that I had loads of time. My fault I didn’t realize that I will have to carry 12 kgs (my check in baggage) to reach the statue. The important point is that there are about 250 stairs all the way. Half way through I was convinced I can join the army and would have developed biceps. Post the entire feat and seeing around it was already 1.30ish… the cable car ride takes half an hour, this like a true amateur backpacker I didn’t calculate.

After asking loads of taxis I finally got into one. I managed to reach the airport half an hour before take off which I think is good time. Only problem being I was a smart ass, when the ticket attendant told me that my baggage may reach India, I replied saying it didn’t reach the first time. Not the best answer considering she helped me. After running around in the airport as I missed the gate I finally boarded the flight pleased to b safely back home. I had to change my flight in Kuala Lumpur only to hear that the connecting flight had been delayed by an hour. Then at the Mumbai airport we obviously could not land immediately, punishment for being late you see. So I was back home only at about 1.30 in the night. Truly exhausted and ready to give my aching legs on loan.

There ends my breathless tale… will tell about the location next time ;)