Today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘b’.
Bizarre: Waiting in the departure lounge at Heathrow, and my name is called over the PA system. Can I contact a member of staff? So I wander over to check-in, and am told that, due to a ‘weight distribution problem’, I’m going to have to change seats. What the hell is that about? I may be a few pounds overweight, but surely not to the point where the Boeing engineers need to be called in…
Bastards: Air France managed to lose my luggage, so I have no clothes to wear over the next two weeks, aside from what I’m standing in. Luckily, this is Hong Kong, where a man can nip out at 11pm on a Sunday night and purchase several pairs of Jockey-brand 5% spandex boxer briefs for a very reasonable price.
Broken: Why don’t they do something about the air-conditioning here? I mean, it works just fine, filling every shop and lobby with lovely gusts of sub-arctic air, but it drips. Everywhere. On every street. It’s a genuine hazard for pedestrians, avoiding the seeping coolant. Incidentally, the aircon unit in my room comes with four settings: low, medium, high and ‘chaos’. I’m too scared to try the latter.
Big: At six-foot-one, I am a giant here.
Building: There’s building sites and cranes everywhere. They’re either knocking up a ferry terminal or a skyscraper wherever you look. My question is this: why don’t they fix the bastard air-conditioning problem while they’re at it?
So what’s it like, this Hong Kong? Well, it stinks. Of MSG and exhaust fumes. It’s overcrowded – some parts of Kowloon are the most densely packed on Earth. It’s noisy. It’s humid. And it’s great. It has that wonderful mix of pandemonium and tumult that the best cities have, only much louder and with extra neon. I feel right at home.
Which is just as well, ’cause I’m off tomorrow. I’m catching the three o’clock express train (if a journey taking 24 hours can be considered an express) to Beijing.
Another ‘b’, see?