After a lifetime of hearing about Hong Kong from my mother and relatives, I’m finally here!
It started on Saturday, when we left Frankfurt on a direct,11-hour flight leaving at 22:00.
Here’s part of my travel routing: packing up my wheelchair for flight. Since it is stored with the cargo and just generally handled by many strangers in transit, I never quite know what will come out at the final destination. Thanks to Gail’s meticulous packing, it arrived unharmed!
I even had time to video chat with some relatives and Jarkie, thanks to free wifi in the “Fraport” after a month of limited internet data. She told me that my hair was like “Murry Curry’s” (as in, the Nobel Prize winner; what a southerner!;) ). Some people leave flights still looking radiant; seems like I can’t even board them that way!
We arrived in the HK and were greeted by my aunt at the massive airport (there’s even a cinema!). She lives with my Pau Pau (maternal grandmother) in an apartment of a campus dorm where she serves as the faculty-in-residence. I hadn’t seen Pau Pau since she moved back to HK 3 years ago, and it was even better than I expected to be in each other’s company again. Their home is so spacious by any standards, let alone HK’s, with beautiful views, and we feel so blessed to be here!
On the first night, we went to eat at the Chinese restaurant on campus that serves dim sum every day at lunch time! :O A-mazing! (see caption above)
Yesterday, we rode a bus line from one end, a large mall, to the other, the waterfront at Sai Kung.
Today, we went downtown for a buffet lunch and stopped to take in the Avenue of the Stars.
My father and I, both visiting for the first time, are taken in by the vibrancy and composition of the city. I’m really looking forward to my mother’s arrival in a few weeks to see what she has to say about her memories and current impressions.
One of the biggest hassles of traveling with a wheelchair is that it requires a lot of extra planning. It really saps the fun out of a getaway or adds to the stress of an already frantic time when you have to worry about accessibility; the alternative is being left stranded somewhere, though, so that’s not an option, either.
The travel issue of the moment is this: how am I getting from the airport at the outskirts of the city to my apartment downtown?! Last time we were in Budapest, we used a van transport service, but we found out last night that they are no longer in operation! The office provided us with another number to use … so far our e-mail and phone calls to them have gone unanswered. There are plenty of means of transportation in general (taxi, bus, subway, or shuttle), but none that will easily accommodate my 300+ pound wheelchair. I’m sure it’ll work out somehow, but this is one of those unpleasant parts of travel logistics.