Finally, in my room again in HK after a harrowing past 12 hours. After leaving Japan at half past 6, we arrived in Manila and went straight home, where I began unpacking our Japan luggage and repacking my bags for Hong Kong. In between that (and showers, of course), I changed the time on my phone back one hour (GMT +8 from +9), then went to bed at around 2am (set the alarm to 3:30am).
I had barely even slept when my dad was rousing me in a panic, shouting that I was going to miss my 5:40am flight. It was already 4am and I groggily realized that I had set my timezone wrong earlier (I had set it to freaking GMT +7!!!?).
So we all rushed to the car and headed for the airport. I realized that I couldn’t find my HK ID Card a minute later, so we went back home to retrieve it, but it was nowhere to be found. Nevermind, I had to check in already, so we sped to the airport. At the airport, I realized that my sister neglected to load my suitcase into the car. I ran to check in while my dad and sister went back home to get my suitcase and bring it to the airport.
At the check in counter (by some miracle, I made it), the airline staff wouldn’t release my boarding pass because he said my training visa was no longer valid as it had already been stamped. I was getting hysterical by this point, what with the loss of my HKID and the time pressure. Luckily, I have a return flight to Manila on December, so he let me have my boarding pass after I printed it at the ticketing office. The idiot wouldn’t even let me check in my damn baggage because he said I didn’t have baggage allowance. I had to insist that I had, and only after checking it for a second time did he realize that I was actually allowed 20kg (!).
After paying the travel tax in another counter (a ridiculous P1,620.00), I realized I had no more money left for the terminal fee. (I’m sure by this time you have already assumed that I am a total moron..). It’s a good thing my sister was able to hand me some cash along with the suitcase they went back home for.
So there I was, running like a madwoman to the boarding gate. Things went fine all the way until I arrived in Hong Kong (immigration allowed me in without my physical ID card! Yay!). I was even chatted up by some Filipino domestic helpers, who were asking me for help.
OFW 1: Excuse me miss
OFW 1: Can I ask a question?
Me: Ano yun? (What’s that?)
OFW 1: Ah! Filipina ka pala! Akala ko Chinese ka! (Oh you’re a Filipino! We thought you were Chinese)
OFW 1: Bagong OFW lang kasi kami dito eh. Saan ba yung pila para sa amin? (We’re new Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) here, you see.. would you know which line we’re supposed to take?
Me: Tama, dito lang hanggang makakuha na kayo ng ID card sa susunod (Right, just line up here until you apply for an ID Card next time)
OFW 1: (tells her other friend what I just said)
Me: So first time niyo dito.. (So it’s your first time here..)
OFW 1: Oo (yes)
Me: Nako, exciting naman (How exciting! hehe)
OFWs: (both of them laugh and smile)
Me: Paano niyo nakuha yung trabaho niyo? (So how did you get your job here?)
OFW 1: Direct hire lang, ni-refer ako ng sister-in-law ko (Direct hire, my sister-in-law referred me)
Me: (sympathetic) Ahh iniwan niyo pamilya niyo (Ohh, so you left your family back home..?)
OFW 1: (sheepishly) Kailangan eh.. (It had to be done..)
Me: Mmm (understanding facial expression and nod) .. Masaya dito, maraming Pinoy sa Hong Kong (You’ll be alright, it’ll be fun, there are a lot of Filipinos here in Hong Kong)
- then it was my turn to approach the immigration officer. I later helped them find the baggage claim area, then boarded the bus to TST.
In the bus:
Man: Excuse me miss, do you speak English?
Man: (hesitantly) Are… you a Filipino?
Me: (smiling) Oo (Yes)
Man: (laughing) I thought you were Chinese! (wtf is up with this day??)
Man: (holding out a paper that says Hung Hom MTR Station) Alam mo ba kung saan ito? (Do you know where this is?)
Me: Ah, oo, sa dulo ng linya. Last stop. Baba kayo sa dulo. (Ah, yes, it’s the end of the line. Get down at the end.)
(The man asks this question again in different ways around 3 times, and I keep answering the same thing in different ways)
We chatted a bit afterwards (he thought I had been in HK a long time already), and then I bade him and his family farewell when I got to my bus stop. I walked down the road and was shocked to see the entrance to the Jordan MTR station. My mind did not want to accept that I, like the bimbo that I was clearly becoming, got down at the wrong stop.
But I did.
So at the height of rush hour (8ish in the morning), I dragged my luggage around the MTR stations and squeezed into the train to Tsim Sha Tsui. Finally, I got out at my Exit (A2), and after a few minor mishaps, at last, I arrived at my building door. Which I couldn’t open. Administration had apparently replaced the old gate with a new electric gate that required a passcode, which I of course did not know. Just imagine me looking stupid trying to figure out that electronic security thing while trying to get in touch with my roommates.
But, breath of relief, I’m home now, and that’s what matters (along with getting an HKID replacement). Time for another shower and then head to work.
Lots of love,
*Photo taken at Hamarikyu Gardens (浜離宮恩賜庭園 Hama-rikyū Onshi Teien)
PS. Hong Kong is so strangely warm!