Count

12/09/2009

The Scene at Hong Kong Airport

I never understood the urgency of getting off a plane. Crazy people making not-so-subtle grunts and sighs while they think another passenger is taking too much time to clear the aisle of luggage. Relax! You're here, and you'll be out in no time!

But such is the scene when every plane parks at the terminal. Everybody has their hands on the seat belt, and once "ding" happens, all jump up and rush to haul their bags onto the aisle and anxiously waits for the line to start moving. They want to say "get out of my way" but are restrained by the natural politeness of their Chineseness.

And then there's the mad dash to the immigration office. Old people and slow movers be damned, cus no one is getting in their way. Elbows fly on the conveyor belt and those who stop moving are given a stare down (from their back, but still).

Finally... which line to join. You quickly observe all eight lines. Avoid children. Avoid old people. Avoid the immigrant. You could stick another 10 traits of people who will hold up the line at immigration. Or follow this one: get the line with the most suits, cus they always know what they are doing. And another stare down from the back happens when a migrant worker slows down the line - actually, the whole line will collectively stare... maybe it's for the immigration officer.

Anyway, after all that hassle... it's 5 seconds at the immigration station, where I calmly put my finger print on a scanner and it says "Please Enter". 10 seconds got me to the baggage conveyor belt, where my overweight bags are already there. 2 minutes to load up and whisk pass customs. 30 minutes later, the airport express got me to Central station. 10 more minutes, a taxi brought me home comfortably. In less than an hour, I got from seat 34F to home.

So why all bumping and grinding at the airport? Well, because it's Hong Kong! Efficiency. Big city rudeness. At least the move from NY to HK improved one aspect of my life.

2 comments:

The Pretender said...

Efficiency is one of those things I really miss here. I do all of those things you mentioned (staring, sighing) on the subway here every day.

Sharon said...

Sadly or not, we all observe the same thing when we were coming back for holidays or when we first moved back to HK... but after a year or so, we all became the same. Try walking on the footbridge from Chater House to the IFC during lunch time on a week day... it's yet another experience... =)