Not even halfway there

1 January 2011

Just arrived in Hong Kong airport. She’s a big bastard:

Total of 70 gates. To be fair I took this photo last year, but it’s still just as large and empty.

Arrived at 0410, (i.e. 10 past 4 in the morning) on New Year’s Day, so the place is as dead as Tutankhamen.

They use UK power plugs over here, and I feel like an idiot insofar that I walked around for a while to see which converter I needed.

NYE on a plane

Last year, my Dad, sister & I went to Europe via Hong Kong. Last year, we missed out on Christmas because of it (spent it in Melbourne sleeping in a hotel lobby after staying up for over 24 hours). This year, my Dad & I are travelling via Hong Kong. This year, we missed out on NYE. Sweet.

Well, almost…

It was kinda funny. The Captain turned on his PA:

Evening folks. By our clocks, it will be 12 o’clock in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Happy New Year, everybody.

It’d be a bit more… erm… festive if he hadn’t used monotone. There was quite a bit of clapping, but considering we had a full Airbus competitor to a jumbo 747, it was pretty poor. I’ve got a perfectly reasonable explanation though - 90% of passengers were Chinese travelling solely to Hong Kong.

The flight itself was literally a pain in the arse. This American who couldn’t bare to not talk about a photo-shoot she did in LA kept kicking my chair. She was kicking in the traditional sense, by making the chair wobble. She was also kicking in ways that I thought were not possible, by using her toes or something like that, making my back and arse feel like it was being jabbed with an unimaginably blunt knife. Perhaps she offered some reconciliation in the form of putting her feet right under my arm. It all came together and finally made sense with my observation of bright pink toenail polish.

Bathroom conundrums

When I was in the Hong Kong bathrooms last year, I was a bit surprised by the fact that there was a man constantly cleaning the bathrooms with a big mop.

As I was leaving, I was reading a plaque in the bathrooms showing what the bathroom number was, the cleaning company that cleans it and a portrait with name of that man who was cleaning it. I must have been reading it for about 20 seconds. As I turned around to leave, the cleaner was standing about 6 metres away where I last saw him, except he was smiling back at me proudly. I smiled back at him and walked out to get my bags.

It was pretty admirable of him, I thought at the time, to be so proud of his work. People always complain about work (me included). The fact that this guy struck the perfect balance between pride and reservation (i.e. not being proud like a CEO is proud of his job) for a relatively crap job makes me admirable still.