Tuesday, 4 July 2017

on y va. Frequent flyer without miles. Vancouver-Victoria-Seattle-Hong Kong

Vancouver 4 am. 

I'm still in Vancouver mode:  Why am I torturing myself by getting up THIS EARLY?   After all, yesterday was an exhausting day, so why would I get up after only 4 hours of sleep?

It's called packing ;-)

At the bus stop I feel regret for leaving Grandma alone for a month.  She's not doing so great and I feel afraid that she won't be around for that much longer.  But I felt exactly the same way 4 years ago when I left on my epic first Tour de France and realize that I would have missed seeing a large part of the world if I had stayed home with Grandma then.

At YVR I have to check in for my WestJet flight to Victoria.  Half-the self-check-in machines are Out Of Order and the other half tells me that I just inserted an Invalid Travel Document.

 Namely my new German passport that scanned fine in all the rest of the world.  A lovely WestJet woman trying to help me is just as puzzled as I am but in the end she has to send me to the Passenger Assistance line-up.  6 counters with 2 occupied.   Will they EVER learn?  When I finally get to the counter, my Invalid Travel Document scans without problems and I get 3 boarding passes for all of today's 3 flights.  Now I just have to make sure that my seat for the 13 hour flight to HK is an aisle seat ;-)

But alas, they can't tell me here; I'll have to wait until Seattle ;-(

YVR was voted the BEST North-American Airport for 8 years in a row.  Anyone else suspect this was RIGGED ? LOL

My WestJet ride.  A Bombardier plane.

And here is an example of an IDIOT.  Trying to squeeze his OVERSIZE bag into the tiny luggage hold while blocking people behind him.

The coolest ground worker ;-)

Tsawwassen: A tale of 2 ferries

And somewhere in the course of taking these 3 pictures, I relocate my short August bike trip from the BC interior to the San Juan Islands

Victoria airport hasn't changed much since I met my pseudo-uncle here about 25 years ago.  Why did he come to Victoria?  He worked for a German bank and was selling money to the BC government.  If you don't have a balanced budget, your money has to come from somewhere, LOL.

At the airport WhiteSpot I choose a Candied Salmon & Goat Cheese scramble on Toast.  

Yummy, I must say.  Definitely good for an airport restaurant!

After some stumbling, I manage to complete an online shopping and delivery order using Save-on-foods, so that Grandma will get fresh milk and tomatoes in the middle of the month.  I tried doing the same thing from Germany, but the web-site only seems accessible from Canada.

My ride on the left.  A jet today instead of a prop plane

Time in Seattle is a little tight (especially after they stop EVERYONE from proceeding through the airport after a 'security incidence', read: they let someone through without checking their passport), but since I have to go through immigration anyway, I take the extra 10 minutes to head out for a couple of cigarettes.
fellow outcasts

Delta: same colours as Air Canada, but infinitely better food ;-)
 On a 13 hour flight, it is easy to watch 3 different movies.  This time I don't.  I watch the same movie 3 times.

Oasis Supersonic. A documentary.  Go back to the year 1995.  A British band shoots from nowhere to super-stardom in a mere 2.5 years.  I almost forgot about them.

PLAY THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO NOW as background music ;-)

 I almost forgot that Seamus dragged me to their concert at the Pacific Coliseum and that Liam Gallagher walked out after 3 songs because people threw coins at him and that was that for the concert.  

This was during the last millenium.  20 years ago.  This was before 9-11 and before Afghanistan and before Irak.  This was before people invented and started watching reality TV.  This was in the times BEFORE the internet !  

And watching this documentary again and again and again I realize that it was a great time to be alive !  How do I determine that?   Half the songs make me cry !  Because we see things they'll never see ;-)

I've never seen Hong Kong airport this busy:

But the immigration line-up is surprisingly fast, so that:

 21:30  I step out into open for my first cigarette.  It is dark, humid, and 28 degrees Celsius. I LOVE it !!!  I've missed this SO MUCH ;-)
 This is also the time when I have to wrap my brain around the fact that my Freedom Mobile Cellphone no longer roams in Hong Kong.  It did in February !   Wind Mobile was bought by Rogers and renamed to Freedom Mobile.   Freedom?  That's not Fake News, that is FAKE REALITY.   Is this yet another sign that Canada is accepting the Trump doctrine that the rest of the world is not important?  Happy 150th, you SUCKERS.  Go Canada Go !

Yes, the Airport Express has charging outlets ;-)
 After arriving at Hong Kong Station, I continue my recent tradition of NOT taking a taxi, but I walk over to Central Station.
IFC 2 mall

From here I take the Ding-Ding to withing 200 meters of my hotel.

Not my ding ding; not my pic

22:45 HK time, 7:45 am Vancouver time.  I'm in my hotel.  That was almost 28 hours but I'm here.
CAD$ 115 for a harbour-view room on the 31st floor.  And Vancouverites call Hong Kong expensive?

And I feel ecstatic.   I feel alive again.  Because this city also embodies the same spirit that was the reason that I watched the Oasis documentary 3 bloody times.   Here is an excerpt of the lyrics of Live Forever that may shed some insight on that:

Maybe I don't really wanna know
How your garden grows
'Cause I just wanna fly
Lately did you ever feel the pain
In the morning rain
As it soaks you to the bone

Maybe I just wanna fly
Want to live I don't wanna die
Maybe I just wanna breathe
Maybe I just don't believe
Maybe you're the same as me
We see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever

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