Gotta love travel days!
Especially when they start at 4:30 in the morning and even more so when you’ve got a cold.
Yup, it was time for another long travel day…
But, you know what? That’s part of traveling. There are days where you literally just spend the day traveling from point A to point B and this was one of them.
Anyway, I was up bright and early and, because I had packed up everything the night before, it didn’t take me long to be out the door this morning.
At just after 5am I was walking down the quiet street to catch the bus to the airport.
The bus took quicker than I thought and I ended up at the airport 2 1/2 hours before my flight was to leave at 9am.
I soon found out my flight was delayed a half hour so I was actually at the airport a full 3 hours early.
Normally I try to arrive only 2 hours early as I find that’s ample time to get through checkin and immigration.
Turns out I needed almost that entire three hours because of a combination of heightened security during the Olympics and people returning home this morning from said Olympics.
So, yeah, it was alot of lining up and alot of waiting.
Both the checkin and immigration took a full 40 minutes each so by 8:30 I was finally heading to my gate.
Here I was on the road for over 3 hours and I still hadn’t boarded my flight.
And, this in a nutshell, is why travel days are so long and exhausting.
Even if your flight is only a couple hours long, it can take you a good 8 hours sometimes to get from start to finish.
I did, however, have a heavenly moment as I came off the escalator to find an official Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic souvenir shop!
Finally! After that debacle of souvenir hunting yesterday, here was a little kiosk in the airport giving me everything I was looking for!
I ended up getting a pencil case (perfect for my work supplies) and a plush towel both with the Olympic characters adorning them.
Yay! Official Olympic souvenirs!
I’ve never been so happy to part with money…
Anyway, soon after I was boarding my flight and we were in the air just after 9:30.
Three hours later we were landing in Hong Kong.
Time for a quick change as the temperature here is 19C as opposed to the -3C in Seoul.
No more winter jacket. No more hoodie.
By 2pm I was out of the airport and heading downtown. I took the Airport Express train which gets you into town in just 24 minutes for 115hkd ($20).
Finding the hostel was actually pretty easy and by 3pm I was all checked in.
After checking in I opened my bags up and noticed the bottle of booze I bought in North Korea last week with the snake in it had somehow leaked.
Luckily it only leaked into the bag it was stored in and not into my actual backpack with all my clothes.
This did, however, present a mission for me this afternoon…
Save the snake!
I’m assuming the snake is still an intact snake because it was encased in alcohol. Now that the top half of the snake is exposed, I need to top up the bottle with alcohol so it’s nice and inebriated again.
My dorm mate also suggested I vacuum seal the bottle so it won’t leak anymore. He pointed me in the direction of a couple of department stores and I was off on my mission.
Naturally the first department store I chose to go to was closed for business.
Back on the subway…
The second store I visited got me exactly what I needed.
First, let me just say that Hong Kong, although part of China, is alot different from other parts of China I visited.
It’s more metropolitan, the people dress better, they look better, and they speak English.
So, yeah, going into the department store I was directed to the 5th floor and lo and behold – vacuum seal bags.
I bought some vodka at the 7-11 to top up my bottle with and after a little post-op surgery, the bottle all full again with a happy snake inside.
Well, as happy as any dead snake can be, I guess…
Of course the vacuum seal bag was way too big and it’s pretty much useless to me so the mission is only half done.
Let the mission continue tomorrow…
At this point it was nearing 5:00 and it suddenly dawned on me I hadn’t eaten anything since 6:00 this morning.
Time to eat!
I stopped by the Temple Street Market which is a huge collection of streets nearby that have stalls of food and all sorts of trinkets you can buy.
I passed on the trinkets and had some bbq pork with rice instead.
As for the rest of the night, well, it had been a long day so I just took it easy.
Unbelievably, tomorrow is my last full day for this trip as the next day I leave for the airport at 5:00 in the evening (better than 5:00 in the morning!)
So, yeah, the trip’s coming to an end.
Here’s to a great last day and a half…