21.07.2010 - 21.07.2010
We woke up buzzing; today we fly to Hong Kong!! Something we’d planned for years and were both massively excited about.
As well as the obvious crashing and hijacking, there are a number of things you really don’t want to happen on a plane, like the wing you’re sitting next to getting struck by lighting, sending a huge bang and flash through the plane. This happened within 3 minutes of take off. I spent the next 20 minutes staring out the engine, willing it not to fall off or burst into flames. It worked.
Another thing you want to avoid are typhoons. The Pilot explained that we would be flying though one and actually used the words “may get a little extreme up here!”
The last two hours of the flight were ‘pants-fillingly’ extreme, massive turbulence picked up the plane, threw it down again then shook it a bit more. The plane would drop causing the seatbelt to suspend us in mid air until our gravity caught up and dropped us back into out seats. It was like being in a washing machine.
The third mid-air nightmare that came true was Hong-Pong-Fooey, the smelliest man in Asia sitting next to us, well Sarah. Fortunately Sarah handled it in her usual discrete style by saying, “Jesus Christ! Old Noodle Breath here is going to make me puke!”
“Noodle Breath can probably speak English”, I replied.
He looked at me awkwardly to confirm, then pretended to be asleep for the next four hours.
The turbulence continued as we came in to land, as the plane rolled side to side the wing tips seamed to be inches from the sea. I still don’t know if it was reassuring or more alarming to see the emergency services lining the runway as we landed.
A 45-minute bus journey delivered us to our Kowloon hotel, a 6ft x 8ft room, fully tiled walls floor and ceiling. It looked like a swimming pool locker room and had a funny echo thing going on, but it was clean enough and Peter, the owner, was very helpful in showing us how to turn the lights on, turn the fan on, turn the TV on, how the fridge door opened and how the key fitted in the door. I don’t know what we would have done without him.
With our heads in an exhausted haze we walked down to the waterfront to look over to Hong Kong Island, we couldn’t believe we were finally here. We were tired but happy.
We ate at a great little rice and noodle bar on the way back to the locker room then collapsed on our brown, orange and blue day-glow sheets and fell asleep.