Friday, June 08, 2012

Lost in transit

I flew back to Hong Kong today with Tiger. That meant travelling through the Budget Terminal at Singapore. Calling it the Budget Terminal conjures up visions of a flyblown hell-hole full of grumpy low-cost-carrier travellers, but in fact it's a nondescript shed that's not too crowded, and although there's a paucity of high-end duty free shops, there's a decent bookstore and free internet. And in three months time Tiger are leaving the Budget Terminal behind, so then it will be back to the idiotically expensive handbag shops and the 'free' wi-fi which requires all sorts of passport details you can never remember. Ah well.

The flight was uneventful. I'd eaten half a kilo of Haribo gummy bears at the airport and was comatose by the time I boarded the plane, and surfed the downslope of a sugar overdose all the way to Hong Kong. The plane didn't smell of urine and wasn't struck by lightning, both significant improvements on my last journey with Tiger.

When I got to Hong Kong, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my ID card still worked to let me through the resident channel. I had no luggage, so it was straight to the airport express and into town, and then a train to Tin Hau, staright to our sister-in-law's place ... And then I found out that their door bell doesn't work, and since their door is down a hallway past a metal gate, I couldn't make any noise to alert them without disturbing the entire floor in their apartment building.

I would have called, but my phone doesn't believe roaming exists. Welcome to the 20th Century, and all that. I got on an unsecured wifi network and left a plaintive message on my sister-in-law's Facebook page, and then, boiling to death in the vestibule, went down to street level and swore to myself for twenty minutes, trying to figure out what to do, where I could go in a familiar city which lacked payphones.

Then, luck shined forth - my sister-in-law materialised, along with my brother-in-law and my niece, fresh from the swimming pool, wondering why I'd arrived so early. I must learn to coordinate travel arrangements better, I must I must I must.


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