Monday, 6 February 2017

The other side of the Dragon ( Expat tales 2.0)

Today is the day.   I arrive at the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong 5 minutes before opening time
People are lined up in the elevator hall.  Great.

I notice a sign

Yes, the Visa Centre is located somewhere completely different. Not just around the block but in a different part of town.   Brilliant.

There is NO line-up at the Visa Centre but the nice guy behind the glass window tells me that processing of my application would take at least 4 WEEKs.
'nough said?
I head back to my hotel to contemplate my situation.  

My application for an ESTA to travel to the US is approved after a processing time of less than 2 hours. 

2 hours vs 4 weeks !  That says it all.

Booking a flight to Seattle for tomorrow takes another 10 minutes.

The view from my window
So I'm flying to Seattle tomorrow !

See, once one has traveled a lot and has noticed how easy it is to travel around the world, it becomes REALLY HARD to put up with Bullshit.

On the other hand, if I was Tanya, the fabulous receptionist of my hotel from Macedonia, who is not allowed to fly to the US, I would have been stuck in Hong Kong for at least 4 weeks.  A quick survey: Whose credit card has enough room to pay upward of $100 per night for a hotel AND a new flight AND food for a month?   

It's Monday around noon and my plane leaves in 24 hours.  There must be something I could do ;-)

The bus stop that at the beginning of the Dragon's Back trail yesterday was not at sea level but about halfway between the latter and the top of the hill.  And I had noticed stairs going downhill from the road. And there were people climbing up those stairs  Could there be a beach at the bottom of those stairs?  

Within 40 minutes I am at exactly that spot and start walking down steep stairs (!). It's stairs all the way down and I try NOT to think about the way back up.

But it's easy not to think about that when I see the scenery down here.
Being used to tropical climate now, I quickly take off my shoes to dip my toes into the water.  BAD idea !  The water is FREEZING!  Hard to imagine that I sensed the temperature as luke warm the last two times I went into Hong Kong waters.  But that was in May !

I'm not the only one huffing and puffing up those stairs again, so seeing someone 50 meters above me stop and pee in the bushes is a welcome excuse to stop my climbing efforts.  Eventually I make it up there again and back to my hotel.
I've noticed these gangs of Lion Dancers being carted around town already in Siem Reap. To see them here again in front of a building makes me think that people pay them to bring good luck to the building for the next year ;-)  
No wonder so many young guys participate in this otherwise exhausting activity.

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