Thursday, September 18, 2008

One day in HongKong

The flight out from Manila was terrifyingly early, the reason being I had to be downtown HongKong by 9am. There were more people than I expected at the airport at this hour, locals heading places, tourists going home, workers heading to who knows where. Mostly filipinos on their way back to the many jobs they have in other places.

I had forgotten the 'exit tax' process here, a brazen excuse like in several other places to levy an extra tax on people traveling through - and of course provide extra sources of patronage for local government officials.

The flight out was the usual - i slept. Arriving early in HongKong was an event in itself - swept through pass control with the politest of smiles from the various authorities, bags delivered in about 30 seconds and speedily onto the train that effortlessly takes you to the heart of the city.

Doesn't matter how many times I'm in Asia, I enjoy the mix of history, culture, civility, vibrancy and focus on making today's lifestyle less of a hassle and more of a rewarding part of whatever it is you are doing that day.

The day was for work, which is never the purpose of this blog. However one things I have t mention in passing - lunch was at the HongKong Yacht club, which juts out into Victoria Harbor and gives you a brilliant view of both the Island and Kowloon.

From here, my host told me, many people gathered to see the scenes they shot for the latest Batman movie - the part where he grabs the Chinese bad guy and is pulled out of a building by skyhook from a passing plane. There, above the newly built stadium, was the tower. Evidently the director had the plane pass so closely to the skyscrapers that everyone was convinced it was going to crash - which is why they were all at the Yacht Club watching (several of the buildings' owners being members of the Club).

Work over, it was back to the airport and another flight back to Manila. Arriving late, I really didn't do much - wandered to a bar in Malate, had a couple of drinks, crashed out.

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