Posts Tagged ‘flight’

Welcome back to Hong Kong

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Today the universe walked up to me and said “Welcome back to Hong Kong!  Oh and I hope you don’t mind but this is going to be a shitty day for you.”

It actually all started when I got to Los Angeles (where Chili’s is much more expensive) and walked over to the International Terminal.  The Tom Bradley International Terminal really needs to be bulldozed.  I’m pretty sure the airport we went through in Mexico was newer and nicer than this place.  But I digress.  So I wade through the throng of people trying to get checked in (thank the gods I got all my boarding passes in STL) and located the departures board.  Flight CX883 to Hong Kong: Delayed.  And yet it showed the correct departure time.  Huh?

I meandered through security and found my gate.  No mention of any delays there and again listing the proper time.  Maybe it was just a screwup considering I can see the plane sitting outside.  Nope.  Eventually a guy came to the desk and announced that due to heavy head winds, we would be forced to stop in Taipei, Taiwan to refuel and that we wouldn’t be arriving until almost three hours late in Hong Kong.  That didn’t really add up since the plane was already there hours early.  Even so, the boarding started over an hour late for some unknown reason.  If we would have boarded at the right time, we would only have been an hour and 20 minutes late.  But no.

So now I’ve been to Taiwan.  We weren’t allowed to leave the plane so I’m not sure that counts but….  and they weren’t kidding about that wind.  I thought it was high when the display showed 80 mph headwinds.  Later near South Korea though that shot up to almost 200 mph winds fighting against us.

Basically this all means  that I wouldn’t make the appointment to pick up the dogs from the sitter.  Luckily though the people are really nice and made a second delivery trip to Central just for me.  And oh were the dogs happy to see me!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I took the bus from the airport to where we live and lugged my two 50 pound suitcases to our local route bus.  I get in our building and check the mail just thinking about how desperately I need a shower after all that time on the plane.  And then I see the notice saying that all water supplies to the buildings in the area are shut down today for work.  I get up to the apartment to verify and only air comes through the kitchen faucet.  Shit.  No shower, no brushing my teeth, no flushing toilets.  Wonderful.

So then I power up the modem and router to call Muse.  Of course since the phone was unplugged for two weeks, the battery was completely dead.  So I had to call with my HK mobile.  And as I was figuring this out, I powered on my computer.  It immediately started making odd clicking noises like a cable had been too close to a fan blade.  The cats were still all over me at this point trying to get my attention.  That is until an insanely loud snapping noise came from inside my PC and the fumes of burnt components wafted my way.  This wasn’t just a simple transistor pop that sent the kitties running and me falling backwards, but the sound you would hear if you snapped a healthy four inch thick tree in two.  I’ve had a lot of things blow up or melt in a PC before but I have never heard that kind of noise.

And oddly enough, even though something exploded, it still works.  I have no idea.

I powered on Muse’s PC and found that her monitor won’t power on.  I think it might be a bad plug on the power strip but I haven’t taken the time to verify.  I hope that’s all it is.

I called Muse to tell her I was home safe and to bitch about all these things.  She is appropriately sympathetic and offers “Well at least you don’t have to go to work today.”  To which I responded “The way today is going, it’s just a matter of time till they call me.”

I took what could loosely be described as a 45 minute “nap” before going to get the dogs from Central.  As I was getting poop bags and muzzle collars together, my mobile rings.  It’s work.  The Internet circuit in Hong Kong is down.  I let the guy know that I’m not officially working yet and that my PC is less than reliable at the moment.  Plus I’m on my way out the door to get the dogs which frankly is more important.  I head out and hit the ATM to get some cash to pay the dog sitters.  My ATM card is not working.  I try again. Same result.  WTF? I don’t have enough time to go in and request a new card at this point since I need to grab something to eat and run to the ferry.

So I got something quick at McDonalds and went to the pier.  And my ferry card doesn’t work either.  They confiscate my card and give me a few temporary cards and tell me to pick up a replacement tomorrow.  *SIGH*

Luckily the dogs arrive intact and I get them on and off the ferry with few issues.  We had to walk back to the apartment from the pier since dogs aren’t allowed on the buses so I had plenty of time to cool down.  Luckily the water was back on by the time I got back inside.  It took about fifteen minutes of running the water to get it to stop sputtering and powering out brown liquid.  Ugghhh….

And so here I am, typing on what I can only assume is a PC on it’s last legs with an orange cat rammed in my face and trying to help me type.  The dogs are crashed.  I still need to brush my teeth, but I am clean now.

I need a drink….

Window Seat

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Even though he isn’t a high salary executive, Joe is what most people would consider a world traveller. He works long hours for his company and spends a fourth of his time each week flying from one city to another. He likes his work and his company and doesn’t even mind the constant travel so much. He does have one complaint though. Although he always gets a window seat, he never has a view.

Every single flight, day or night, Dallas or Tokyo, his window always looks out over the wing of the airplane. He doesn’t know if its just bad luck or someone in the airline was just picking on him, but it never fails to happen. Its especially grating when the captain makes an announcement to look out his side of the plane to see the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower or some other scenic treat that everyone else gets to “oooh” and “ahhh” over.

Today Joe is flying from Singapore to Hong Kong. He is sitting in his requested window seat and he stares out the window at the grey wing obscuring his view of the water. He bitterly wonders what he did to deserve this curse and wishes that just once he could get a clear view of the scenery below. He pushes the button to lean back his seat and tries to nap for the remainder of the trip.

Joe wakes suddenly to the unexpected sound of metal grinding on metal which is immediately followed by the cries and screams of many of the passengers of the plane. Joe looks out his window and sees the wing and the sky as usual. He notices that it looks like the wing is not only flexing up and down like normal but forward and backward as well. A flight attendant is walking down the aisle trying to calm people down and asking them to be quiet. No one seems to believe her as the tearing sounds come again.

Joe never screamed or panicked. It was with mixed emotions that Joe greeted the sight of the wing crumpling and tearing and eventually ripping from the side of the plane. Even though he knew that they would all die, he had a spectacular view of the sea and the islands below from his window seat.