Sunday, 23-11-2015. Day 95.
I've got a bad feeling about this ...
It's fair to say that our visit to Hong Kong wasn't quite the visit we wanted to have. We really liked what we saw of the city (but it wasn't all that much), and we weren't ready to leave. But we were world travelers, and it was time to travel. So we packed up the bags and headed out to the airport.
We were taking our first non-direct flight to Tokyo with a connecting flight in Shanghai, China with a layover of two hours and 15 minutes (yes, there are direct flights; but we're on a budget here). Because we had to change planes, I was a little worried about our bags not making the trip with us—fortunately we'd gotten our Picharpak Workshop L-Tags (the best luggage tags ever) from my friend Jason.
And the logistics of taking a connecting flight through a country (known as a transit) was a small concern as well, but when we checking in at the Hong Kong airport, the station agent assured us it was a smooth, quick procedure.
Leaving Hong Kong
When you enter Hong Kong, you're given a small piece of paper, about 6 cm by 5 cm, as a visa. Unlike other countries that use a stamp or a sticker to place their visas in your passport, Hong Kong's is merely slipped in between the pages, not unlike a bookmark.
There are four of us, so we had four different little pieces of paper to keep track of. We lived in fear of losing one of them as we wandered about the city. The fear was somewhat irrational, yes, but the process for replacing this piece of paper looked rather bureaucratic, and we'd sort of had our fill of bureaucracy for the week.
Fortunately, we were able to keep all four of visas and our exit declaration documents together and passing through immigration was no big deal. The security checkpoint, though, never gets easier—we'd been through 13 so far.
But once we were through all that, we located a flight board ... and found our plane was an hour late, a little something the station agent could have mentioned. But the layover was still an hour and 15 minutes, so we still had plenty of time. We weren't worried—except me. I was even more worried about or bags arriving in Tokyo with us now.
But on the upside, this delay gave us some time to have a little lunch. We ate some ramen at the airport, and I got to try the first Asahi Automatic Draught Beer Dispenser in Hong Kong (located conveniently next to the ramen restaurant), so I had that going for me.
I had to get rid of those remaining Hong Kong dollars somehow.
Anyway, satiated and satisfied, we made our way to the gate. By the time we boarded, our departure had been moved even later. And, after the obligatory period of time in which we endured the sitting-on-the-tarmac cliché, we ended up not taking off until 3:15 p.m., which was later than we were scheduled to land in Shanghai. With the captain's assurance of a two hour flight-time, that left us only 10 minutes to transit to our connecting flight.
Was that even possible? We would see, but even if we made it, I was pretty sure our bags would be traveling a different route ...
- Taxis taken: 1
- Ramen eaten: 3
- Automatic beers quaffed: 1
- Planes flown: TBD ...