The flight over was hell! For starters, the drugs the Dr. gave me to mellow out and sleep were crap. Oh, they made me tired, but I still couldn’t sleep so I was merely more exhausted.
The first and last of the three connections weren’t that bad. I have had a sinus infection that was moving to my lungs when I had to fly to Tampa. Flying sick is not recommended, and it is taking forever to get over it. Not to mention that half the people I know have had terrible colds that have lasted 2 or more weeks. Usually when you fly, your sinus and ears get really stuffy. On the flight to Chicago, all was good except for the coughing from the dry air. My cough was just starting to go away before I left.
The flight to Hong Kong started in a huge freaking plane. A 747 that sat 10 people in a row. I did have a terrible seat at first and then yesterday I was able to change the seat to a window seat so I was sooo relieved. Well…whatever I did, didn’t take, so I got stuck in the middle of the middle. I sat next to a college student taking a class trip to Hong Kong, he was pleasant and offered moderate chit chat. I did turn him on to ZeFrank.
My other neighbor was a different story, this guy was a crabby, silent traveler who showed discontempt at every turn. Yeah, discontempt…my new word for a combination of discontent and contempt. He was a pain in the ass to everyone. For example, every time the flight attendant would come by with drinks, he would order Orange Juice, water and a cup of coffee, ¾ full. So, the attendant would ask if he wanted it black….no he would say, so she said, cream, he said no, then she asked if he wanted sugar, no, just a cups of coffee ¾ full. Isn’t coffee without cream and sugar called Black?
I had to get up a few times since the flight was almost 16 hours and every time I did, I got that look, you know, the one your mother gives you when you start goofing off in church. Mind you, I didn’t get up but once every few hours. I think he mother gave him that look a little too much as a child.
Getting off the plane in Hong Kong was an adventure. I have never really felt lost in an airport since I do a fair amount of traveling, but I did here. The airport smelled musty, hot and foreign even though it was newer and air conditioned. It was kind of like a ride at Disneyland, but not the same smell that brings back good memories, (like Pirates of the Caribbean) Just the kind that makes you want to breath a little less. To find my way, I just followed the crowds until I could find signs that made sense. The English portion of the signs were usually just one word, I felt I needed more adjectives. I would have liked a sign that said “Lost Americans follow Red Arrow”.
Once I got my ticket for the last leg of the flight, I found out that the flight was delayed. Joy! I was able to browse a couple of shops with fun stuff in them, but it was weird because all the currency was in Hong Kong Dollars. A cup of crappy coffee cost something like $31.00 HKD. It was really only $4.00 USD. I noticed that the public toilets had bidets in them. I don’t know but there is something creepy about a pubic bidet. I made a couple of new friends with other passengers who were from NC. One guy’s father ran call centers in Manila and he and another Filipino guy were kind enough to teach me some useful Tagalog. One thing they taught me to say was “I don’t want/don’t like” (ayaw ko), I guess it is what you say to street vendors who don’t leave you alone. Apparently, it works better than No.
The flight on Cathay Pacific to Manila was much nicer! The plane was nicer as well. There was leg room! Note to self….don’t like flying United overseas. They had a nice little meal that was neutral to American tastes and asian tastes. It was rice and chicken and veggies. Although, the chicken was thigh meat and very gamey. Not a favorite of mine. In my utensil pack there was a little spoon for my coffee and my first though was that they gave us our own coke spoon. It reminded me of the McDonald’s coffee stirrers of the 70’s, that people gold plated as coke spoons. Remember those from movies? I kept mine…I wonder if I could eBay it? Do they have listings for potential coke spoons?
The rest of the night was a blur. I couldn’t find my ride at the airport and my cell phone didn’t work. (it was supposed to) I didn’t know where I was staying…it was a bit scary. I finally found my ride and they took me to my hotel. Thank goodness the day is over! It entire journey only took 30 hours.