Journey’s End

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , ,

Our last full day in Hong Kong…and last day together full stop.

Fuk tat shit, yo! I also loved “Mong Kok” but I think that’s only funny if you’re Dundonian…

I’ve never met Lindsay’s friend, Joceline, but I have seen the eight thousand postcards they’ve sent to each other over the years. Now, whenever I see a postcard, I always think of our good friend, Joceline. (Note, however, that we’d been in China for at least two weeks by this point, and still she left it ’til the last possible moment to write these.)

As this was to be our last day together, it seemed only appropriate that we should spend it shoppin’ and cruisin’ in Times Square: considered the first “vertical mall” in Hong Kong. They even had a Marks & Spencer! (It was also a filming location in the Tomb Raider sequel, where it featured as a biological weapon production plant disguised as a mall.)

There was some ecology promotion going on inside. They gave us free, re-usable chopsticks!

Also: an art exhibit with animals made from recycled tyres.

Tyres! The collection – called Mutant Mythos – is by Korean artist, Yong Ho Ji; and includes animals, humans, and combinations of the two. Ji calls the sculptures his ‘mutants’, referring both to their hybrid forms and the mutation of media that their creation requires.

Do not adjust your television set.

These sculptures were so trippy. They were not, however, made from tyres.

Wool monster! Not part of the exhibit – just a particularly wonderful window display.

SML! This place was amazing: you could – as the name suggests – order all of the meals in small, medium or large. It also had an open-air patio – 10 storeys high – where one could sit outside and enjoy the summer sun.

Translation: I had the hots for Dinson; our lovely waiter.

Caesar salad, glass of rosé, cute waiter, rooftop terrace, Rinji 2G. What more could a boy want?

Frantic postcard-writing continues in earnest I believe this was Lisa‘s.

After some further shopping, Lindsay and I parted ways just long enough for her to get her nails did. I took this picture for the sole purpose of reminding me which building to go back to. I actually arrived back a little too early and we ended up watching Japanese dramas dubbed into Chinese in the salon while her last coat was drying.

I can’t tell if this is “GOD” or “GO D” but just to be safe, I tagged Joy on Facebook.

Aaaaand we’re back to the local delicacies. I don’t think bivalves have never looked less appealing.

Which is still nothing – nothing – compared to this:

Silly China: geoduck is a pokémon!

Also: what in the holy name of fuck? Can someone confirm that these are actually “from Canada”? ‘Cause Lindsay’s from Canada and she was as horrified as I was.

Also on the menu:

…giant earwig-looking things!

…kittens!

I am, of course, totally kidding: this was a pet shop next door. (Let’s face it: if they had been on the menu, I’d have about 10 more cats right now.)

For our last meal, Lindsay insisted we try one local, authentic, hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant; and since I’d been pretty fussy up until that point, I conceded. I can also honestly say that this was the most disgusting thing I ate the entire we were in China. Linds insisted I was just being picky, which is why the video I have of her trying this meal and promptly spitting it out is one of my all-time favourites. ♥

Her food – on the other hand – wasn’t nearly as bad. And at least I had Chinese X-Factor to keep me amused.

Our final night in her cousin’s beautiful house. It took us so long to re-pack that we basically gave up on the idea of sleeping. Instead we spent the next few hours in bed filming ridiculous movies to re-cap the insanity of our final weeks together. Given that I’m currently posting the events of August 2010 in May 2011, you can probably expect to see those sometime next year.

Since Lindsay’s flight was at 9am, we had to be at the airport for 7, which in turn meant that we had to be at Hong Kong Station before the trains even started running. What we discovered, however, is that they offer a service whereby you can check in for your flight at the train station; dropping off your luggage before you board the train which they then transport to the airport for you.

Which begs the real question: um, Tokyo – why don’t you have this exact same system in place? Everyone knows Narita Airport is in fucking Chiba!

Those are some thoroughly well-used passports right there. And – as you can see from the dates – pretty much half of them occurred during that last week with all the border-hopping we did in Hong Kong.

We’d spent the last two weeks in each other’s company, and far longer than that living just two doors apart. And as the train pulled into the airport, I wondered how I could even begin to say goodbye to the one person I’d seen and harassed and drunk-dialled and loved every day for the last two years.

And, of course, the answer is that I couldn’t. I truly thought the hardest part about leaving Japan would be leaving Japan, but as Lindsay waved goodbye at the airport, I didn’t feel like felt like I was leaving something behind: I felt like I was losing something.

Helloooooo, locking myself in a toilet cubicle and crying at the airport for the second time in as many weeks.

My next-most pressing concern: the fact that I’d arrived at the airport for Lindsay’s flight at 7am when my own left at 10:25 that evening. In the interim, however, I managed to flirt with the super-gay guy at the check-in desk and snag myself emergency exit seats (leg room!) on a later but shorter flight which went straight to Dubai without transferring in Bangkok.

Whiiiiiich meant that I was now at the airport at 7am Monday for a flight that left at 12:35am Tuesday. Win? For the next 17 hours, I relied on sporadic internet and charger access (as well as my trusty PSP) to keep me entertained until take-off. (The movie on-screen, by the way, is Surveillance, which I highly recommend.) I would itemise the painful minutiae of those hours, but I believe my tweets capture the zeitgeist of that day better than anything else:

4 hours ’til check-in, 32 minutes of battery remaining. I don’t like those odds.
16 Aug

00:35 flights should be illegal; wondering whether a shorter flight and more leg room truly justifies the seemingly interminable wait in the interim.
16 Aug

Harassed the staff over their ill-functioning “charging station”; last hour before boarding is no longer a limbo-state of ‘net-less death.
16 Aug

20 minutes ’til boarding, 40 minutes ’til True Blood finishes downloading. Noooooo!
16 Aug

やった!\o/ …and just in time.
16 Aug

Air hostess complimented my “One day we’ll live in Paris” t-shirt. Like Belinda Carlisle, we dream the same dream, we want the same thing, o-oo-ooh.
17 Aug

I am – for what is likely to be the first and only time in my life – in Dubai! And, by extension, illegal. :\
17 Aug

And finally, blissfully, the homeward stretch. In summary: Akita to Glasgow via Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Macau, Hong Kong and Dubai. If I ever see the inside of an airport again, it’ll be too fucking soon.

(…soooooo when should I start booking flights to Canada?)

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