Hong Kong

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?


  1. Welcome to the Orient.

    Air France are shockers. I once did 6 flights with them within 5 weeks. They lost my luggage on no less than three of those flights. They also managed to put a massive great dent in an indestuctible (and expensive) Samsonite case. A letter of complaint, something which you seem to have a certain knack with, did reimburse over half my ticket expenses. Just a thought.

    Enjoy the East.

  2. Air France Paris – Douala = no luggage.

    Actually, Air France Paris – Douala = luggage in Angola.


  3. had the same: Air France Paris – Douala = no luggage.

    am flying to beijing end of this month with BA…
    hope you’ll be back/post a lot in the meanwhile!

    have fun on the train!

  4. Who ate all the pies. Indeed, bloody bastards, don’t you hate it when they lose your luggage. Viva the special administrative region.

    Have a great trip.



  5. Don’t forget to eat something outlandish, and photgraph it first so you can blog it for us. (Not that I see you as my personal blogbitch foodventurer or anything. Oh no.)

    Have fun.

  6. air france to berlin… lost luggage on the way in, missed my connection on the way out. and their terminal collapsed two days before i got there. oh, and they were threatening to strike. can you strike if you don’t actually know how to do your job?

    air ‘chance’ indeed.

  7. This is why I save up all my pennies and fly with a nicer airline. I also dress very poshly when I go to the airport and when they see “Dr” on my passport they tend to bump me into posh class. I’m not sure why, but posh class bagage never seems to go AWOL.

    Famous last words.

    Of course, I’d never pay for snob class, but getting it free is nice. Oh, I do pay for it on trains though. It costs about £30 more and I can eat/pinch waaaaay more than £30s worth of free sandwiches, drinks and light refreshments.

  8. Hong Kong sounds like mayham on wheels, which I love visiting, as long as I don’t have to stay.

    And thank you for “knocking up a ferry terminal or a skyscraper”, which produces a unique visual in the neck of the woods.

  9. Six-foot-one.. was I on some steps when I met you?

    Well, have a good time in HK and BJ, the land of my
    happily mispent youth. Hope you had the chance to
    visit the Poor People’s opera in Iau Ma Tei.

  10. How can anyone resist a dial with a ‘Chaos’ setting? It’d drive me mad not knowing what would have happened…

  11. I reckon there was probably a secret fifth setting too: ‘ninja’.

  12. Hey Fraser! If you go back to Hong Kong to get your plane back, and have enough time, could you check the Zoo Records shop? Shop B31, Sino Centre. I would like to know how it is as I sell them records, but they don’t have a site or anything. Just curious. If you have time of course…
    Enjoy your holidays!

  13. Tallness + lost luggage = a mental image of you walking around for 2 weeks with trousers hitting you mid-calf or something. (and yes, it was a stretch for me to say ‘trousers’ but if I said ‘pants’ it would suddenly sound dirty.)

  14. Everyone who has lost their luggage, and you wouldnt believe how many there are, check trip advisor, cantact lisawend@hotmail.com. Seems airfrance knew about the strike and told no one

  15. I bought round trip tickets thru’ Zuji flying from UK to HK for my son during the coming school term break in X’mas.

    Belatedly I learn that my son could not return as scheduled and so I asked the Airline for a change to a later flight. I was informed that my “type” of tickets could not be changed nor cancelled, even when my son can’t catch the flight on time, he couldn’t board the next flight.

    I was not informed at the time of purchase that these tickets could not be changed.
    I asked the Airline staff whether it was because the tickets are at “discounted” offer and so was not entitled to any change. He replied me in the negative. The simple fact is they are not special offer tickets. Zuji even charged me for the service. The answer from Air France is simply just a BIG “NO”. He can’t offer me any alternative.

    This is simply ridiculous! So what can I do? Due to my son’s unexpected school project, my son can’t board the flight as planned. The Airline never even considers a refund at a discounted rate. Just NO , NO, NO to my requests. I was left with useless ticket.

    The BIG LESSON is “DON”T FLY AIR FRANCE” and don’t get AIR FRANCE’s tickets thru ZUJI.

    Air France could take back the tickets and resold at a higher price even, seeing that tickets neat X’mas would not in demand, without subjecting me and my son to such frustration!

  16. I lost my luggage TODAY.
    with Air france. on my way home.
    but i wanna know, did u ever resived your luggage after the trip?

  17. kas tas par meslu, kapec nav man majasdarba ang?u valoda? un kapec visi vervele ang?u valoda .