Thursday, February 21, 2008
Now coming to you from Hong Kong!
This posting comes to you from the Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong, courtesy of Cathay Pacific. How did I get here? And what day is it, anyway?!
I was scheduled to leave Amsterdam at 10:40 am Wednesday on a flight to Melbourne via London and Hong Kong (briefly!). But I was thrown off the London flight because the baggage system at Heathrow Terminal Four was broken and they had no means to deal with bags for transfer flights. So anyone flying via Heathrow had to be re-routed. I was put onto a Cathay Pacific flight direct to HK, departing at 13:10 pm. Not bad - much better to fly direct, and it would give me plenty of time to browse the airport bookshops and find a good book for the flight.
Two good books stuffed into my carry-on bags later, I turned up at the gate, went through security, and waited to board. And waited, and waited, and waited.... eventually we were informed that a member of the cockpit crew hadn't turned up and they needed to find someone else. The flight was rescheduled for 19:00. Lunch vouchers were handed out. Fifteen euros sounds like a lot, but it doesn't go that far at Schiphol Airport: one salad, one fruit smoothie, a capuccino, and a small bottle of water. I read one of my new books and walked around a lot - at least Schiphol is a lot bigger than Nairobi airport! But I was feeling slightly homesick for the Java House Cafe with it's select atmosphere of aid workers and journalists heading off to dangerous places....
By the time dinner was served and we were well on our way to Hong Kong I was exhausted and slept unexpectedly well almost all night, arriving reasonably refreshed. Ground staff in HK are very efficient and we soon had new boarding passes, through immigration, and into the Regal Hotel all without stepping outside. Now for a good hot shower, rest, Chinese dinner, and on to the next flight. Arriving after midday in Melbourne, via Sydney a day late - not a problem! It makes adjusting to the jet lag a bit easier, and a 22 hour flight broken into two segments with a seven hour break in between much more bearable.
Posted by Nicky Reiss at 7:13 pm