I’m sitting here in my hotel room in Kowloon looking out over Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island, and I’m grateful for the narrow window of opportunity I was given to be able to exit the UK on Saturday. Looks like Heathrow flights will be affected tomorrow by recent activity at Eyjafjalla, and of course from Tuesday, the British Airways strike could well have affected my Qantas bookings, as Qantas do use BA staff on some co-badged flights. So I have managed to get here to Hong Kong in a very narrow window of operational flights.
I love Hong Kong. The place is a microcosm of contrasts. So much of it is like a dream. Majestic, steep, rocky mountains, covered in lush green foliage rise silently into the mist. Geometric apartment blocks dot the coast line, and only when you get close do you realise just how many thousands of people live in each block. At the docks, robotic container conveyors line the harbour like giant metal horses, stopping for a drink. And in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, vast causeways of walkways guide pedestrian traffic from immaculate arcade to immaculate arcade, the national sport of trade pervading every aspect of urban life.
But of course, for in-transit tourists, like me, it offers a comfortable bed and a moment to breathe in that heavy, humid air, while attempting to overcome jet lag en route to Australia. I’m very glad to be here and I want to thank everyone who sent positive vibes for my departure. Now for a simple Chinese meal, a long bath and a good rest before flying on to Melbourne later tomorrow.
(BTW if you’re ever looking for accommodation in Hong Kong and want a perfectly good 3+ star quality room in the best position in Kowloon, and at a reasonable rate, then you really can’t go past The Salisbury YMCA. It’s completely awesome. And no, they didn’t pay me to say this.)