sept. 24-27, 2014
So, my intentions were to check out the ------- in Vancouver. I started out the day with a trip from Roanoke to Detroit, knowing I would have to connect in Seattle. Once on board, the crew reminded everyone that this plane would continue on to Hong Kong…which got my little mind thinking.
I did a little research on TravelNet and found that I would indeed have plenty of time to get to Hong Kong and that there were still lots of Business Elite seats open. My favorite! So, I scrapped the Vancouver idea and headed for the Orient.
At this point, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Blind optimism was probably my best bet for the 15 hour flight that lay head. Once I settled into my Business Elite “pod” on the 777, the eating extravaganza began.
We had, in the following, gut-busting order:
2. Beet and goat cheese salad and Chinese mushroom soup
3. Seared beef tenderloin with loaded mashed potatoes and baby mixed vegetables
5. Tomato basil egg strata with chicken apple sausage, mushrooms and grilled tomato.
The minibus was quite the adventure in and of itself and wound around and around a mountain picking up and dropping off locals before reaching the top. The Peak held a mall with multiple restaurants and shops, as well as an observation deck (closed for a private party, of course). After taking a few pictures with the photo-op ready fake Tram, I bought a ticket to the top of the observation deck and went up for a bird’s eye view with hundreds of my closest friends for some selfies.
The line for the tram back down was enormous but moved quickly, and we were back at the bottom in a matter of minutes. Actually, the Tram ride itself was a bit disappointing.
Heading back to the airport may have, actually, been the most exciting part of the trip. As I walked through the streets, thousands of people were lined up behind police barricades chanting with others had microphones and posters. I had no idea what was going on, but when I got home, I realized that they were just the beginning of a protest that quickly escalated to tear gas and riots. It’s a bit of a stretch but I feel like I was a teeny tiny part of something very exciting and it was exciting to see history in the making.
In the morning, the non-rev anxiety game began. HKG is one of the many international airports that does not allow non-revs to go through security until they have been assigned a seat. This means that everyone standing by has to cluster around the counter waiting for their name to be called, and then sprint through security and to the gate. I didn't have to deal with this for the first flight, which would have connected in NRT and then on to Seattle. When this didn't happen, the anxiety really kicked in and I found myself on the direct HKG-SEA flight. In coach. I know I'm spoiled, and lucky to have a seat at all. Still, economy on a long-haul international flight is surprisingly fun! We were well taken care of and I had an aisle seat next to a teeny little Chinese girl who slept most of the time.
The food was surprisingly good, too! It was no first class, but alcohol was free and the dinner (served at 10:30am, so really, lunch) was significant. Ironically, every time we were able to choose between American or Chinese meals, I chose Chinese and my seatmate chose American.