Kia ora all, I’ve just had the longest day of my life. 40 minutes sleep during the 12 hour flight to Hong Kong , then putting my watch back 5 hours just to make it drag on longer. I was in shock by the time I picked my bags up. Yes Air NZ bless them wouldn’t send my bags all the way through to Germany for some real lame reason. Um, ‘I’m just new at this.’ But luckily I found a place to stash it for the day. Immigration was a no show. I walked through the green door and I was almost out on the street. Even the cops here are friendly. They carry 3 guns. I’m not kidding. Two hand guns on each hip and machine gun in their hands। They also got these things that look like they’d electrocute your arse and radios big enough to knock you out। I guess thats in case the guns and shock treatment doesn’t work। They smile and say hello। I decided to find may way into the city but got confused about exactly where to go। I did remember hearing Kowloon was a great place to look around and shop but when I got there it was all uptown. Gucci, Prada,. Versace. And it was this huge mall with no people. It took me ages to figure that was because it as too early and no shops were actually open. So I went outside hoping to get out on to the streets. Not even! I could not go anywhere. I could see the
huge skyscrapers of downtown Hong Kong across the harbour and went to go and take a photo and a security guard came up and told me it was closed. . . ? I didn’t know exacty what he meant. The view was closed? Every exit out of Kowloon station was closed too. Man I was confused. So I figured I needed to get back on the train and head to central. Doh, like I said I was really lagged.
So downtown was way better than uptown। It had fake Gucci, Versace and Prada!
Food everywhere, a lot of it was still alive.
I certainly attracted attention walking around the back streets which surprised me. I thought they’d be used to tourist. But they stared at at me. Mind you, tourist really stand out of the crowd. Maybe I was just another one of them। Probably wondering where I was from, when I had my shades on I guess I could be confused for a local, except the lips and nose. But hey, people aren’t that obvservant.
The judgement you make in those first few seconds pretty much sticks.
I made it back to the airport with hours to spare. I don’t think I’ve ever been so early for a flight. Security took my toothpaste off me. She said it was 110 grams and the limit was 100. I said it was rediculous, she said it was the rules. I said,’But I’ve used it, there is way less than 100grams in the tube.’ She paused, knew I was right but could not let me win that one. She said how could she tell if there was less than 100 grams. I said I’d used it 3 times at 5 grams a time. She almost smiled and said it had 110 written on it so she was going to confiscate it. Great, no shower for 48 hours is bad enough, but not being able to brush teeth is worse than that.
Hong Kong to Germany 13 hours. 4 hours sleep
The Lufthansa planes are the most uncomfortable. This one rattled, shook and made such a loud noise at take off that one person screamed. He looked real embarrassed about it too (-:
Worst planes but the best hostesses. They were awesome and nothing was a problem. Not that I asked for anything. But everyone else did. I was next to 3 Italian women. They were real funny, at first. Then I got scared and was afraid to go to sleep.
5am Munich, pouring outside and nothing was open.
And although I was in transit I still had to go through customs. He was a prick who shouted at me as if I was the lowest piece of crap on Earth. He thought a Film Festival in Poland was rediculous and wanted to see my ticket saying when I was leaving. Huh? I said it was packed in my bags. He asked where my bags were. I said I was in transit and I wasn’t picking them up. He knew this. He slammed my passport and boarding pass down and looked away. I didn’t know if I was allowed to go and waited. And waited some more. I didn’t want to give him an excuse to shout at me again. I didn’t have to. He looked at me and shouted ‘Next!’ I wondered what else he and the toothpaste stealer had common. Maybe they could have kids and start a new regime.
Munich airport is flash. Even the decor in toilets looked too expensive to have in a house. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from the Germans. Great design. The jewelery looked like a million bucks, as opposed to Michael Hill and the airport food looked edible. I decided to risk buying a coffee. I asked for a double shot latte. When she said it was 7 Euros (13 NZ $) I nearly choked, although I have been warned by everyone that our dollar means nothing I still didn’t expect that was right. And it wasn’t. Instead of a double shot they bought me two lattes. They were both bad and by the time I got on my plane to Wrocklav I was wired and lethargic at the same time. I decided that was my breakfast and lunch for the day.
It was a small plane and there were some Brazilians who were going to the Festival. I didn’t know this until we got off. My guide’s name is Agnieszka. She is great and talks real fast. She had to leave me to organise other guest. I was wasted and needed to shower but my room wasn’t ready. Agnieszka was embarrassed about that. . . ashamed is a better way to describe it. I just thought that is the way it is. My body clock said 6pm but it was only 10.
What to do?
I did what I did in Hong Kong. Walked around checking the place out, for hours! I thought people stared at me in Hong Kong. They actually only had casual glances compared to here. They stare, and then stare some more. They don’t look away after a few seconds. I did because. I can’t stare at people even if I tried. I could feel their eyes in th back of head.
The streets and houses are beautiful. So different. But I haven’t been to eastern Europe before. It really is cool. I was starving by the afternoon but wanted to wait until night before I had dinner. I wanted to try the dumplings but went for a salad instead of a full on meal.
Beer tastes awesome and seems really strong. It’s probably mid-twenties. Not hot, really comfortable.
Why is Mac Donalds a blessing when you’re in a foriegn country? because you know it has a toilet. Thats where I went in Hong Kong and every other place in the World I’ve been.
Well here they’ve thought of that. You have to have a MacDonalds reciept to use the toilet. They have this woman outside checking. Man, she was scary and wasn’t going to try it with her. She should take up a job with customs. I’d say it would pay better.
My hotel is flash! A quick moe (sleep) and long shower. I asked for an iron. They said that room sefvice iron my shirts. . what the. . ?
I got them to give me one anyway.
Looking the way I do (Maori fulla) paid off when I went to the Museum for the opening of the Fellini exhibition lastnight. I was standing out of the crowd again (as opposed to my normal ‘outstanding’) when Leon Narby, then the ambassador for NZ and two other kiwis approached me and introduced themselves. Me and Leon hung out for the rest of the night. The food was amazing and dumplings really are what people say. Yum. Like small pies. Imagine that at staff morning teas. Different types of meat, some with vegetables in them as well. I went back for more. We talked to some real hardcase locals. They asked about housing in NZ. I said get in now while the going is cheap. Their money is Zloties ( I don’t know how to spell) and is probably 2.50 to our dollar.
Out on the street they were projecting images from Fellini’s work on to the buildings while an opera singer sang songs from his films. Then at 11 the band from Brazil played. It was cool.
I got to bed at 2 and woke at 6. This is nuts. I’m going to find breakfast.