First trip to Asia (part 2: flight)

Over the North Pole

We had the best luck traveling to Hong Kong. We just made the bus, then we just made the train to O’Hare, then we just made the tram to Terminal 5. Virginia wanted to try getting us into Premium Economy, thinking we might get a reduced cost to consider. Instead, they upgraded us for free! We were stunned and grateful, as apparently each agent was able to upgrade two people that day, and our agent asked her manager to use his two on us. For a fourteen-hour flight, we were able to lean back further and actually get 6-8 hours of sleep.

Also, flying over the North Pole means we went past a landmark important only to us and other Cabin Pressure fans. We actually got to see our flight map show us passing by Qikiqtarjuaq.


This could be Macau’s slogan. Or just the name of a collection of clubs and casinos.

When we decided to fly to Seoul through Hong Kong, we found ourselves with an overnight stay. Super wisely, we thought, “How about we stay up all night in Macau?” Then we started looking into it. So, so smart. We had to take a forty-five minute ferry from the airport to the peninsula, then a shuttle to our hotel/casino. What was honestly smart was the hotel pick — Virginia went with the Holiday Inn Cotai Central, which is a Holiday Inn only because another hotel pulled out of their deal during construction. So it’s the nicest Holiday Inn in the world.

Raspberry-pistachio cake. The two flavors were kept very much separate.

We got to our room on the thirty-fourth floor and immediately showered off the sixteen hours of travel. We changed and headed downstairs to commence Plan “Stay Up All Night.” We started with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, and added a raspberry-pistachio cake. I went looking for an ATM and walked past an attractive woman in black. On the way back from my unsuccessful search, she was still there and looked me up and down before nodding. I nodded back and walked off, finally realizing she was looking for a date mark.

We wandered around and window shopped for what might actually have been hours. Though we talked about it, we didn’t hit any dance clubs — one we couldn’t find, and the other turned out not appealing enough (and probably too loud) to go into. Instead, we did two rounds of dim sum at 2am and 4am with a bottle of wine to go with the second one. We were continually surprised to find no bars open overnight, only the dance clubs. It’s probably for the best — walking around and drinking tea likely kept us awake longer.

On our way to finding dim sum round #2, we passed by a young couple. He was sitting on his legs, too drunk and maybe too petulant to bother getting up despite being pulled on by his girlfriend. We remarked that she should just leave him there. We walked looking for a place that ended up looking closed, and as we walked back, we saw she had indeed stalked off, leaving him to pout.

Around 5:30am, we went back to the room and packed up for our ferry back to Hong Kong International Airport. Virginia managed to get us first-class seats for just a little more than regular class, but it made such a difference! We were fed, given tea, and made very comfortable. Plus, we got off first, which meant we made it through all the bureaucracy more quickly than we would have otherwise.


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