Friday, January 13, 2012


Maybe it was the four and three quarter hours of sleep this morning. Or the way the lift stopped working - it happily came to my floor and let me get in, but after the doors shut and I pressed the G button, it simply sat there, docile yet immobile, and whatever I did, whichever buttons I pressed, it remained where it was.

At least the doors opened up again to let me out, so I could hump 16.5 kilograms of suitcase down 12 flights of stairs. Maybe that was the source of my stress. (It got worse when I got downstairs to find the lift down there as well - was it just teasing me?)

Or perhaps it was the taxi-dissolving drizzle, that weird early morning rain that makes every taxi in Hong Kong vanish just when you need it. It wasn't so bad today: I got a taxi outside the nearest frozen yoghurt shop, and though he didn't charge me extra for my luggage, he did deposit me outside the IFC offices, not the airport express, which meant another hundred yards of pulling my bags along.

Maybe it was the inexplicably slow check in at the counter. Delta shares a counter with Tiger, Air Canada, and at least three other carriers. The two guys three ahead of me in the queue took twenty minutes to check in, for no fathomable reason. The clock was ticking; 90 minutes before departure, the counter would close. It was 6:25 before I got to the desk, and the flight was at 8. And all this time, an announcement on the PA told us that the train in the station was not to be boarded, raising the worry that I wasn't going to the airport regardless, because none of the trains were either.
But there was something wrong with my reservation too, apparently, or with the plane, because after an ominous pause, a phone call and lots more tapping, my seat inexplicably changed for the flight to Narita. At least I had a seat.

I walked to the lifts down to the trains, and checked my emails. There was an email from Delta sent at 6:04 this morning. It was to say the flight was rescheduled for 7:45. That waas the first thing that stopped adding to my stress: I'm just glad I didn't see that before I joined the queue for check-in and started worrying that I wasn't going to get processed in time.

The train still goes: I still fly. In seventeen hours or so, I'll be in warm, sunny, January Seattle.


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