I love flying Singapore Airline across the Pacific. The services are great and the food is good. Unfortunately, the time sucks. The flight left SFO at 1am (Sunday) and arrived at Hong Kong 6a.m. (Monday) with a 15 time zone changes. My connection flight arrived at SFO before 7pm. Fortunately, an MTFer was kind enough to pick me up from the airport and we went for dinner. By the time I arrived Hong Kong, I awoke for over 30 hours already (I could not really sleep (other than a very short nap here and there on airplane) and I had to stay awake for another 15 hours to adjust to the time changes.
Although I could drop off my luggage in the hotel I booked, I would not get a room until later that day. In a desperate move, I went to my uncle's place since my mom was staying there the night before so I could change my clothes, brush my teeth and wash my face which after encountered the 85% humidity and 27°C temperature plus spending close to 24 hours in airports and airplanes.
Unfortunately, nobody was considerate enough to leave me alone and suggested to have dim sum. Since they are my seniors including my mom, I had to go along plus paying
So, after I finally felt clean after 30 hours, I had to go out and face the highly polluted air walking for almost a mile along one of the busiest street of Hong Kong to the restaurant. Oh! Did I forget to mention the 28°C temperature and 85% humidity again? It actually was higher because it's along the busiest street of Hong Kong with hundreds of buses releasing diesel exhaust into the air.
Finally I survived the dim sum brunch and got my wallet out for the meal. The waitress arrived with my bill with those folders you see everywhere. The weird thing was there were more folders underneath and she hold onto all of them. I had to bend my body in an angle if I wanted to check the bill. So I gave up and put down 2 hundred dollar notes for the $190 bill. ( 1 USD is approximately 7.5 HKD if you exchange it in a bank in Hong Kong) Like magic, she removed the top folder and there’s the exact change
I sent a distress signal to my cousin because I had no idea if I needed to leave more tips because they already added 10% service to the bill. I was not impressed but found out later this is the practice in all dim sum restaurants
Afterward, I went with my mom to another aunt’s place where she was staying to pick up more clothes as she would be staying in the hotel with me and my sister who would arrive later the day.
We took the wrong bus when returning to my uncle’s place to pick up my bags and had to walk thru a local market. My mom stopped to buy a undershirt but I put my feet down when she wanted to buy fruit to keep in the hotel. I told her we could buy them after we checked in. I had enough to trek around already
Good that I did that because the GM of the hotel had left a plate of various fruits in our room. Anyway, the exchange of emails with my friend in booking the room did not mention my preference of room and ended up I was assigned a smoking room. The guy from the reception said he could get me a non-smoking but because the hotel was fully booked (there were many trade exhibitions going on that week in Hong Kong), he could only find a room facing the street toward another ugly building across the street instead of Kowloon Park with the view in my avy. He even took us up to the room before we decided whether we wanted to keep the room. Since it’s early in the afternoon, the floor and the room did not smell of any smoke so we said OK. I found out later there are 11 floors of rooms but only 2 floors are for non-smoking
So again, next time you booked a hotel in Hong Kong, make sure you specify non-smoking room.
We went out for dinner and passed a restaurant that I frequented when I was in junior college (grade 12 and grade 13). I figured if the restaurant survived for this long, it would not be too bad and I WAS SOOOOO WRONG. Anyway, after the awful dinner, we returned to the hotel room waited for my sister. She called and wanted help in taking her bags from the bus stop. She had more than I did because she would fly to Shanghai and Beijing later. So I was DEAD TIRED and had to force myself to walk to the bus stop when she called in the bus that she just passed where we used to live. I arrived the bus stop and saw a bus passed thru without stopping and I started worried. Then I forgot I didn’t bring the cell phone with me
I told myself my sister probably was not on that bus. Another bus arrived, this time it stopped but still no my sister. I got annoyed and worried. Finally, the 3rd bus arrived with my sister. She told me she mistook another area for where we used to live. That area is much further away and she already got her verbal spanking from mom when she called her the mistake. So, I could not even vent how worry, mad, frustrated, blah blah blah.
This ends my very first day in Hong Kong in nearly 11 years.