Day 22: Hong Kong Landings & Troubles

No photos for a while but I wanted to make an update post.  I landed in Hong Kong on the 7th of July.  Travelling here from Holland made me feel like I lost a day, which I kind of did.

Anyway, start my voyage to Hong Kong from Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam Airport) and then caught my connecting flight in Paris (Charles de Gaulle).  Border checks in Europe are a breeze, so fast, but Paris security check is such a freaking hassle.  So for my carry on, I have one backpack, that literally holds all my valuables, like my laptop, camera, lens, mics, filters, batteries, etc.  And they literally made me unpack my entire bag.  You don’t understand how nervous I was.  I had like $3000 worth of gear laid out for the world to see.  Granted I’m in an airport and I doubt anyone wants to get tackled by security, but still.  What if someone stole my lenses, I’d cry.

During my one hour flight to Paris, it had the worst smell ever, and the most annoying Spanish kid I’ve ever met.  Some guy at the beginning of the flight decided to throw up, so we had vomit smell the entire way.  Also, there was this kid beside me who wouldn’t shut up and had a laugh that was so annoying.  Once I landed in Paris, I literally only had time to go through security and catch my flight.  This was when I had lay out all my equipment.  I had to run to catch my flight.  When I got there they were already half way through boarding the plane.  Then began the 11 hour flight to Hong Kong. I really hate planes. I know I’m taking a lot of them, but I still can’t stand being in one.  I got so nauseous during my flight.  I had a headache so massive.  I could barely sleep.  My nerves were absolutely racked.  I ended up watching a couple of movies.  I watched Rien à Déclarer, Ringo, and a Korean one.  The rest of the time was either eating something, or listening to music on my phone.

Finally after 11 hours I landed in Hong Kong.  I forgot how long the border checks are here.  Visitors check is like literally a 30 minute wait time.  For residents its like 1 second.  They just swipe their thumb.  Once I got through I started stressing! I couldn’t find my luggage! I went to the luggage enquiries desk and asked and what do you know, my luggage is stuck in Paris.  The guy made me fill out some forms and told me that I’d have to wait the next day for my luggage to arrive.  He also said they’d deliver it to me which is a nice gesture but only if my luggage really does arrive tomorrow.

Anyway, I headed out with just my backpack. So at least I have a laptop and my cellphone.  I bought SIM card at the local convenient store and called my cousin.  I’ll be staying here until I find something better.  His place is a lot better than what I expected and his area is really quiet during the day and night.  It’s in Kowloon too, so not too far from everything.  Until the evening, we chilled at his place, and asked each other random questions that you’d normally ask someone when you first meet them.  Yeah, this cousin I’ve never met before, but my uncle insisted that I stay with him.  Had lunch with him at a local restaurant.  I’m not entire sure, but it was like the best meal I’ve ever had.  I think it’s because I’ve been dying for Asian food.  I haven’t had any in like a month.  French fries really don’t cut it after 20 days of having it.  Later in the evening I went out for a sushi dinner with a friend, whom I haven’t seen in a couple years, and went shopping for a few things I would need since I didn’t have my luggage.  Bought some toiletries, camera bag, some clothes, enough to get me by for a day.

That now brings us to today.  Today I will sit at home and wait for my luggage.  I called the airport earlier this morning and they said it would take somewhere around 3 hours.  If it’s not here within 3 hours, I will either rage, or starve to death.  I guess I could call McDonald’s and ask them to deliver me some.

Day 1: Plane, Train, Starbucks, and Paris

This post is really for two days worth, but I was travelling most of the day on the 16th so really today is “Day 1”.  I promised a video everyday but it’s a lot more work than I expected lol I’ll still post a video ever so often, but it’ll be a lot less frequent than these blogs.  I do have some clips I want to show off from my arrival but I’ll post that a bit later.

Anyway! I actually made it safe into Paris. But before I got here it was quite the ride.  I did some real FAIL planning.  I only gave myself a month to plan really, and I thought, “Amsterdam is in the middle of everything, that’s a good idea.”  Then half way through my planning I rent my apartment in Paris the day I arrive.  So I had to take a train from Amsterdam to Paris.  But, that isn’t the FAIL part.  The fail part is where, my plane does a connecting flight in PARIS, then goes to Amsterdam.  If I didn’t plan my trip going to Amsterdam first, I wouldn’t have had to chase it all the way there.  FAILPLANNING.  But, at least I got to see Brussels and Luxembourg while passing them on the train.

My plane rides were the usual, uncomfortable, no rest, feel sick because I get too nervous on planes, kind of ride.  The only real upside to them was that the plane food wasn’t half bad this time.  Air France was actually pretty good about it.  What I really didn’t like other than my displeasure with my nerves was, there was no personal TV or plug outlet where I was sitting.

Starbucks in Amsterdam

While waiting for my train in Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport), I was pretty thirsty.  I ended up getting Starbucks.  I know, not cool.  But what was ever more UNCOOL, is that they didn’t have LACTOSE free milk.  So, I settled for Soy.  But, the poor girl was so confused.  Or I looked totally retarded for saying lactose free.  Starbucks is mad expensive in Europe.  Think Canadian prices but switch the dollar sign to Euro sign.  That’s about how much it costs here.

Right now, the weather is pretty crummy here in Paris.  I did find my “host” who I’m renting the apartment from, though.  Yes, I’m living in some random apartment in the suburbs of Paris.  I’m in a town called Bagnolet.  TBH, it’s what we Canadians would consider ghetto.  But, there’s kids playing in the streets and stuff so I’m assuming is fairly safe here.

It’s actually not all that inconvenient to get to my area either.  Hop on the 76 and it’s right at the last stop.  I’ll probably hop on the 76 tomorrow to head to La Louvre, assuming it isn’t raining tomorrow.  If it is, I’ll probably stay indoors and VLOG.  I’m prepared for tomorrow too though.  I headed out earlier in the afternoon to get my area a bit better.  I wandered around the area aimlessly (stayed away from bad looking alleys).  I eventually ended up at a mall near Gallieni Metro.  At the mall I picked up a SIM card for 15€ and got some groceries from Auchan.  Actually, this store is more like a Wal-Mart.  It has everything. Picked up something to drink, a lot of bread like croissants and baguettes, salad and fruits.

Most of my evening today was spent looking at maps and figuring out what I wanted to do.  If you ever travel to Paris, land on either a Sunday or Monday to make the most of a week pass for trains and buses!  Do this because the week pass or Navigo Découverte is only valid from Monday to Sunday.  You can buy passes that suit your needs more, like the Visite Paris passes but they’re much more costly.  So, not until Monday will I be able to really go around the city an explore like the pass says!

Later in the week I’ll do a video on what my place is like.  For now I’m gonna go relax and chill out for a bit.