An outing with friends in Macau and Hong Kong
15th March 2005
Less than 24 hours after I left the comfort of 7C, my favourite seat in the upper deck of a Boeing 777, I found myself in the queue, jostling for seat on a LCC (low cost carrier) flight to Hong Kong. I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was not a dream as it was only two days ago that I had lunch with Sing Khow and Wee Ai in wintry London but am now on my way to Hong Kong to yam cha with Yin Chan.
We found reasonably good seats as Kim Fui joined the queue reserved for the elderly, family travelling with young children and pregnant ladies!! He dragged Sze Poh and me along and bravely told the stewards that we were one and two months’ pregnant respectively!! Looks like a promising start of a colourful holiday in Hong Kong. Of course, the seasoned tourist guide or better known as ‘tau yu’, Raymond, was also allocated a seat in the front row. He was busy receiving 'I miss you' SMS in Chinese before the take off.
As the pretty petite air stewardess closed the door of the aircraft, she threw a fleeting glance in the direction of the silver hair, Kim Fui and made a request: “In case of any emergency, those in the front row have to help her open the door”. Of course, Kim Fui was a willing participant and immediately claimed that it would be an easy task as he has vast experience in opening emergency doors. The rest just 'phooi' and 'choy' at him!
The flight was an enduring one for Sze Poh as she has to go for 4 hours without a fag. In spite of having a mini-skirted air stewardess sitting with legs straddled across in front of him, Raymond dozed off after reading two lines of the Star newspaper! He methodically saved it for Yin Chan who was eager to catch up with news of her homeland, Malaysia. At 50, catching 40 winks comes naturally regardless of who or what was in front of you. Meanwhile, I was also trying to have a sleep in order to recover from the jet lag and also to prevent myself from being a nuisance as I have this annoying habit of frequenting the loo when I am a few thousand feet above sea level.
We landed safely and proceeded through customs and immigration in Macau and then to Hong Kong. Eight hours after take off from KLIA, we were finally there, and were starving by the time we got into the Empire hotel in Hennessy Road. After checking in, we hit the streets to look for supper. It was not far from the hotel but we discovered we were in the vicinity of quite a few 7-11 stores and joints packed with Filipino GROs. We stuffed ourselves with soup noodles, beef tripes, huge wantons and crunchy noodles. With stomach filled, we could now recall the journey we had taken to see our friends, Yin Chan and Sam. My sister dropped me off at Central Station to take the ERL to KLIA. Hoon Peck’s friend dropped off those who came from Seremban. First the car ride and train (for me). Flight, HK$3.30 bus ride to the ferry terminal, a super first class ferry (cold supper provided and a pre-ride HK$28 Hagen Das ice cream thrown in) across from immigration and customs in Macau, then again in Hong Kong and finally a taxi to our hotel.
By the time we crawled into bed with stomach now full, it was past three in the morning. Although we were all on the same floor, the guys were given a room not too near us in case they had other agenda in mind! We were very tired but fortunately, a wakeup call from Yin Chan kept us on schedule. We caught a cab to one of the top dim sum restaurant, Maxim, where I was told that the wait to get in could be as long as 2 hours. Yin Chan and Sam were already waiting for us and we were delighted to see them. Sam left us after brunch as he was not well and Hoon Peck went back to the hotel to catch up on his sleep having been just back from Peking the day before and to continue his series of SMS.
Shopping was next. Time passed very quickly when you have so much fun like advising your friend on which pair of Clarks shoes fit best. For afternoon tea we had ‘milk tea’ with roasted pork and our third round of beef tripes.
Dinner that night was again with Sam and Yin Chan. The oysters were baked to perfection in their shells. After dinner, it was shopping time again in the night markets. Zip came out with a fantastic buy – a handbag that was haggled for by Fui after visiting 4 stores. We learnt that both he and Raymond were really great when it comes to shopping with loads of patience while we were trying on our different pairs of shoes. Hats off to the guys – they are brilliant companions. They were rewarded with supper and again, beef tripes were included in the menu!
Our third day, it was more shopping besides looking for the best roast goose in town. We really had a lot of fun, often mucking around with one another that even the waiters and waitress listened and joined in our conversations. Again, we met Sam and Yin Chan for dinner, this time at the area where they stayed which is prime land near the racecourse. After dinner, we visited their apartment and had tea and for Fui, some Chinese beer, his first in many days.
Back to the hotel and time to pack. Raymond was dead tired and had to rest. Zip and I had Fui for company in our room and our lively exchanges of confessions went on till four in the morning! We woke up in time to check out and went to look for some delicious congee. On the whole I must say, it was a great and enjoyable holiday.
On returning home, we missed each other's company and could not wait to go out again. The opportunity came two days later; when Paul Kit was in town for the annual Cheng Ming festival in Seremban. It was also a chance to announce to the rest of the gang that we had gone off on a freebie holiday to Hong Kong with compliments from Shanti, Sze Poh’s daughter who works with Air Asia. Many thanks to her. Stories on our escapades and our salt fish turned to swordfish experience was enjoyed by all. By the time we left Thana’s place, it was past three in the morning. Watch out Edward, Ghangzhou in December is next on the card.