A cold night in Hong Kong

We travelled to Hong Kong today, and we’re making the most of our time in the Special Administrative Region by lying in bed under the covers, wearing all our clothes. What has gone so wrong with my life that I’m making such strange decisions?

We’re cooped up inside because we couldn’t get a baby sitter for tonight or tomorrow, and we’re wearing all our clothes because it’s utterly freezing in the hotel room. We turned the thermostat up to the highest it goes, we flicked the switch on the air con controls to “Off” and the continual blast of arctic air from the air vents hasn’t abated in the slightest. We tried calling up the front desk of the hotel, and the remedy they had was that somebody came up and put another blanket on the bed. I know that the sun is warm and the air con is icy cold in Hong Kong, but this is beyond ridiculous.

We’re also dead tired – a consequence of getting a 10 am flight this morning that had us clambering out of bed at 6:30 and then failing to get any sleep on the plane. That also had me making blunders with bringing paperwork (or not) for Destroyer, which made the immigration staff at Changi look at me all cross until I could proffer other bits of documentation to them. Ah well, we still boarded the flight, everything seems to be going as planned.

For the first time ever, when we arrived in the middle of Hong Kong on the Airport Express, there were no taxis at the taxi rank. Usually it takes about five minutes to get off the train and into a cab, but this afternoon there were long lines, and no movement at all. Rather than try to corral La Serpiente and wait for half an hour for nothing to happen, we went upstairs into the shopping mall and had lunch at a French hamburger joint. Could that be the ultimate in my quest for culturally insensitive dining? Pizza in Tokyo had nothing on this.

(It was an amazing couple of burgers we had though – rich with caramelised onions and loaded with delicious cheese. My wife never finished a burger but she did today.)

So we ate from room service tonight. I had hoped to go out to see a friend’s one-man show, but I fell fast asleep while trying to get La Serpiente to bed this evening. She’d had a slightly trying day – not much sleep, a boring plane flight, and then when in the evening we took her to a playground in Hong Kong, a boy about her age and size tried to push her around on the climbing frame. Literally – he kept sticking his arm out and pushing against her forehead. She was fairly nonplussed by it all but I was left unsure about whether I should intervene or encourage her to retaliate, or just ask the other child to stop pushing my daughter in the face. I settled for semi-ineffectually hollering “hey” until the boy stopped pushing La Serpiente.

Let’s take some positives from this though – it’s nice and cool this evening, and we don’t have to do any washing up. Plus, an exhausted child goes to sleep really fast – fingers crossed she doesn’t reactivate at stupid o’clock tomorrow…

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