We arrived late into Hong Kong airport so there was the usual mad rush for the transfer gates in order for people to reach their new plane. That didn’t apply to me. I had a wait of almost five hours so our 50 minutes late arrival was quite welcomed. I mean, I either sit in the terminal or sit on the plane.
Mind you, my heart sank when I received a notification from Cathay Pacific to the effect that my flight was delayed. I opened the email attached to the message and focused on the information. It seemed my flight was to be delayed 15 minutes. That was not as bad as I was envisaging. The odd thing was that the delay would mean we’d be arriving in Brisbane earlier than scheduled.
I was almost wishing it would be delayed even longer.
My flight wasn’t even on the indicator boards so I just hung around the shops, buying bourbon for Mitchie and an Alice model for me, until it appeared at the very bottom. Of course it didn’t have a Gate number yet so I wandered down to Starbucks and had a coffee while I waited.
Eventually the indicator ticked over and I was directed to Gate 2. Gate 2 is about 29 miles away from where I was at the time so I set off knowing I only had three hours to get there.
Reaching Gate 2, I sat down next to a rather odd, elderly Chinese man who was doing Facetime with a chap who appeared to be his son. I have no idea what they were talking about because it was all in Chinese. Though, had I understood Chinese, I could have written everything it was about because they were so loud. Actually the son was only excessively loud because the phone was on full blast.
Not that a man talking to his son was particularly odd. What was odd was how, shortly after hanging up, the father decided to watch a pop video of some sort. The singer was a young woman (it could have been K-Pop it was so bubbly and cutsey) and the song belonged in the earplugs of a 10 year old. The man was happily singing along with it.
It was at about this time that the big screen by the gate declared that the next plane leaving from it was headed for Shanghai. I checked my ticket and I was definitely going to Brisbane. I stood up and headed for the nearest indicator board. My gate had been changed to Gate 31. This was more or less back where I’d started.
I trudged the seemingly endless 29 miles back to Gate 31 having only two and a half hours to reach it. Eventually I dropped into a limited mobility seat next to a businessman who appeared to be perfectly mobile, and massaged my tired limbs. And there I sat, entertained by a big hairy tattooed man who looked like a retired bikie who may have been a bit deaf given he was listening to something on his phone that could have been Storage Wars or Love Island or one of those weird TV shows I’ve never heard of, loud enough for everyone as far away as Gate 2 to listen in with him.
Eventually my plane started boarding (no special treatment for me this time though I was first in the Premium Economy queue) and I took my seat for the final leg of my trip.
Many hours later we landed at Brisbane airport and I managed to miss the final shuttle bus to the Domestic terminal as usual. Well, the same as last year anyway. So I hopped into a taxi and the very pleasant driver dropped me at the Ibis hotel having travelled all around the world in order to get there. He explained that the roads were not very friendly in terms of reaching the Domestic from the International terminal. I wondered if this was a Queensland thing but he insisted it was for security.
Arriving at the Ibis, I checked in and headed for my room and a very welcome shower before collapsing onto the bed. Sleep claimed me very quickly.