With our first flight being delayed by 2.5 hours, we were sure that we wouldn’t be able to catch the connecting flight from Shanghai to Hongkong. The flight from Sydney to Hongkong was about 9 hour long. Mantam happily watched 3 movies back to back. I tried to catch some sleep, watched one movie and read for a while. On the other hand, poor Abbas was extremely sleepy but was so conscious that he would start snoring loudly if he fell asleep. He tried to stay awake all along. Once we got off from the flight, we were directed to many different counters for baggage checkout. As our connecting flight had already left and it was close to midnight, the Airlines booked us in flight next morning. We had to stay in Shanghai overnight. The airlines had booked a hotel room and arranged a bus to ferry us and other passengers who were in the same boat as us. But we did not have the visa and it took hell lot of a time to convince the immigration authorities who were eyeing us suspiciously that we had to get the visa just for that night. It took more than a couple of hours to get out of the airport and we reached the hotel past midnight. We were terribly hungry and we did not even have any dry snacks with us. Abbas tried asking the receptionist if we could order some food but we couldn’t understand what he was saying. One Chinese lady volunteered to interpret and got two big cup noodles for us. After getting inside the room, we freshened up and quickly got the noodles ready. I cannot forget the way Mantam ate that day. They had never eaten the food cooked by me with so much passion. They said it was the yummiest food ever.
We went to bed at around 1 AM. We got to sleep for about 4 hours as we had to board the bus at 6 AM. Our flight was to take off at 9:30 and hence we had a quick breakfast at the airport. We reached Hongkong by noon. We were very impressed with everything in Hongkong except for the crowd. The way things work were so systematic. When we got out of the airport and walked towards the taxi stand, we were handed out a pamphlet which had standard taxi rates for each area. The taxis were colour coded to indicate which part of the city they usually ply. We sat in a taxi which was simply amazing. It was driven by an old gentleman. The interior of the taxi was done in a very unique way that it seemed like his home. He had everything that he needed to live in there (except for a toilet) As we drove towards our hotel, we were awestruck with skyscrapers that adorned the city. We also found it strange to see people not adhering to the speed limit, changing lanes without indicators.
We reached the hotel. From outside it looks like an old shabby building and also seemed suspicious from it’s appearance. But the interior was contradictory, much to our relief. The space inside was almost equivalent to our bathroom 😀 We did not realize how small it was when we booked it via airbnb. The funniest bit was when Mannu entered the toilet and asked where is the shower area? Even we were clueless and then found a sprinkler fitted next to the geyser and right on top of the commode. So, one had to take shower by standing adjacent to the commode and all the water would fall on top of it. We just comforted each other by thinking we are not gonna spend much time inside the room anyway. We just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.
We were to meet Nilu in the evening…