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Wednesday, December 05, 2007


A couple of years ago I arrived in Hong Kong. Following instructions from the hostel I'd booked, I lugged my suitcase to a shop at the airport to break a note to get some change. I then used a payphone to dial the hostel for further instructions. They told me which bus to get on. I pulled my giant suitcase to the wrong end of the airport... and back again.

Two men pushed in front of me on the bus.

Arriving at Mong Kok (no, really), I called the hostel again, and after ten minutes waiting in the dark, someone came to meet me. After getting in a lift with the worrying notice, "When there is a fire, please do not use the lift" (when there is a fire? Not if?) I was shown to a room roughly the size of a postage stamp and a Chinese man slept on a campbed outside my door. I had to do an unfortunate mime in order to obtain toilet roll. I went out straight away and tried pig's cheek from a street-corner food market.

Yesterday, travelling for work, arriving in Singapore, things were rather different. My baggage was first off the carousel, having been marked as "priority". A driver with my name on a placard met me at the airport, took all my luggage and went to fetch the Mercedes to pick me up in. I was greeted at the hotel by about four hundred different staff members and shown to a lovely hotel room. I ordered nachos from room service. There is no-one asleep outside of my door.

Yet somehow it feels less of an adventure. More than twelve hours later, I've not yet been bothered to leave the hotel. Ah well, it's not a holiday I suppose.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you've hit on it there laura. The more luxary you have, the less there is to moan about. And a moan is the staple of any british travel anecdote!
i think the luxary sounds lovely, but it's meant to make things easier i guess not interesting. Then again, there is a balance, so don't feel that you've got to ride around on a donkey next time you travel. Bj