I woke up on Tuesday morning, ready for the long journey ahead of me. I knew it was going to be tiring, but I was excited anyway. The last two months in South Africa had dragged along and I don’t mean any hate by this, but it was a bit boring. Also, I had been at home for the South African winter and wanted to feel some heat again (I hate winter). I headed to Cape Town International Airport and, after enjoying my last Wimpy coffee (I’m a sucker for those), I boarded my flight to Dubai.
I flew with Emirates to Hong Kong with a short layover in Dubai. I had a very pleasant experience on both flights and somehow couldn’t stop watching the Chinese movies while I was onboard. Apperently, in every Chinese rom-com, someone is going to get hit by a car or be in a car crash. But I have to admit that I really liked them despite that common factor. There was a certain innocence to them that I feel most Western rom-coms don’t have anymore.
We landed in Dubai shortly after midnight and the sheer enormity of the airport had my jaw hitting the floor almost as soon as I caught a glimpse of it through my airplane window. But I also felt a new sense of adventure, and as I was gaping at the neverending twinkling lights and mega skyscrapers (Burj Khalifa, anyone?) while listening to the Arabic instructions telling us how to disembark off the plane, I realised that I definitely wanted to travel to the Middle East in the future. I also realised that if I didn’t board the plane to Hong Kong soon enough, that I might stow away in the city and start learning Arabic. (Yes, I am a nerd.)
Luckily, I only had three hours to explore the airport, so I washed my face (after almost screaming when I saw my red eyes and feeling sorry for everyone who had to look at me) and bought myself a smoothie called the “Green Tornado” which contained kale, spinach, cucumber, wheatgrass, ginger, banana and something else that sounded good for me. It didn’t taste bad, but I’m pretty sure that if I had spilt this on the floor at home, that I would have to mop it up instead of relying on the dog to lick it up. Sorry, I am neither a big fan of cucumber nor ginger.
We took off for Hong Kong in the early morning hours and as I became engrossed in yet another Chinese drama, I could feel the stares of the Chinese man sitting across the aisle from me and wondering why in the world a girl like me would be watching Beijing New York – spoiler: the character gets hit by a car. I decided to ignore the stares and just enjoy my movie. By the time we landed in Hong Kong, I was exhausted and did not look forward to the tiring journey of crossing the border into the mainland. It was 34 degrees (Celcius) outside and the fact that I was wearing tracksuit pants with an oversized t-shirt, was not helping me combat the heat and humidity at all. I was squeezed into a taxi and became extremely claustrophobic as it took the vehicle over an hour to move 50m between the Hong Kong and Chinese border, while the man sitting next to me in the taxi decided to dose off and start a snoring/snorting competition with some fictious competitor in his sleep.
I jumped out of the taxi as soon as we crossed the border, arriving at Shenzhen Bay, and was immediately met with other taxi drivers coming up to me and yelling “Taxi? Taxi? You wanna taxi?” I was meeting up with Gigi and Sunflower and was going to take the bus with them back to the apartment, so I was in no need of a taxi. Unfortunately, my phone decided to stop working at this point and I scrambled around, looking for my company, while declining persistent taxi drivers. Finally, Sunflower managed to find me among the hundreds of people and we had a lovely refreshing drink of milk tea before getting on the bus and heading home.
After a refreshing shower, watching the sun set and delicious dinner, a wave of exhaustion hit me and I fell into an extremely deep sleep. It was a journey that started early Tuesday morning and only ended on Wednesday evening. I was extremely thankful to just be able to relax and sleep for the next couple of days!