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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indonesia Part Ten: Bali to Hong Kong to Maryland

In Part Nine, Todd and I attended a Balinese cremation ceremony, and then I was totally bitten by a monkey.

The day after the monkey bite was the day that we were scheduled to go home.  Our flight was leaving Bali in the afternoon, so we spent the morning relaxing and reading at the pool.  We were suddenly very upset to be leaving, when only a day or two earlier I was ready to be out of there.  If I could have stayed in Bali longer, I totally would have.
Hong Kong

The hotel hired a driver to take us to the airport, which was about a 90 minute drive.  We learned that school gets out in Bali at about 1pm, and the school kids walk home from school in the road.  Hundreds of them, blocking traffic.

At the airport, we learned that we had a 3 hour flight delay.  This depressed me because I could have spent longer at the pool.  We also learned that we would not get our luggage back during our layover in Hong Kong.  So, suddenly we were in the airport trying to pull out clothing and supplies for the night and trying to squeeze them into our already tight carryons.  We were in shorts for the Bali-Hong Kong part of our journey, but we'd have to be dressed for January in Maryland when we left Hong Kong.

The trip to Hong Kong was fairly uneventful, except that there was a guy in first class who wandered around the plane for the entire 5 hours carrying a cup of wine and sloshing it everywhere.  He was clearly drunk and continued stumbling over people and acting like a crazy person.  Then, there we were in Hong Kong.

I had planned the Hong Kong section of our journey carefully.  I decided to save money and not hire a cab or car, but to take the Hong Kong Express train that runs from the airport to downtown.  Yes, there were hotels closer to the airport, but we decided that we wanted to SEE Hong Kong, even if it was just a glimpse out of the window of our hotel.

We found the train easily, got our pre-paid tickets, and headed all high-speed like to downtown Hong Kong, about a 20 minute ride.  Once we reached our station, we got out and went to get on the free Shuttle bus that runs between the hotels.

No bus.

Sadly, it was 11:15pm and the bus only runs until 11:00.  We were told by the people at the information desk that under no circumstances would we be able to walk to our hotel.  We would have to take a cab.  Ordinarily, this would not be an issue, but cabs in Hong Kong only take Hong Kong dollars.  Thankfully, I had bought a drink in the Hong Kong airport on our way to Indonesia.  I'd used US Dollars, and gotten Hong Kong dollars back in change.  It turns out that we had enough money to get us round trip to our hotel!  Awesome!  So, we took what was one of the most frightening 5 minute cab rides ever to the JW Marriott Hong Kong.

The hotel was super shwanky, even more shwanky than the JW Marriott in Jakarta.  We got to our room and proceeded to wander around the room noticing things we hadn't seen in ages.  Wow, a television!!  Ooo, potato chips!  Look, the bathroom is indoors!  We watched the news in order to get caught up - it was afternoon in the US and the protests in Egypt were going on.  We had every news station imaginable from any country, so I switched from the BBC to Fox News to MSNBC to CNN to Al Jazeera at random.  Our room overlooked Hong Kong's Harbor, and quite frankly, I just wanted to sit up all night and watch the lights outside.  We did eventually sleep, though.

Morning came, and we decided to try out the breakfast buffet that was being offered in the hotel.  Now, since we've gotten home, I've tried to describe the awesomeness of the breakfast that we had in Hong Kong, and I just sound silly (Well, they had eggs, and pancakes, and waffles...)  It sounds not so special unless you've just spent 3 weeks in Indonesia.  The buffet had everything you could possibly imagine on it, and we ate like royalty.  YUM to you, JW Marriott Hong Kong.  I have had day dreams about that breakfast for the last 4 months.
Geocaching in Hong Kong

Next came Geocaching.  We managed to find one geocache near our hotel, and we left a travel bug there.  However, once we were done this, it was starting to be about time to head back to the airport, so in the end we saw almost nothing of Hong Kong.  I desperately want to go back and see more of the city, but I don't know when that will happen.

Back at the airport, we bought some candy and souvenirs, then dealt with the ridiculous amount of security that is involved in getting on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to the US.  It was 11 hours to San Francisco, and I ended up spending it next to this guy who clearly had a cold.  He denied it, but he clearly had one.  I'm a germophobe, so I spent the entire flight worrying about getting sick, and I was pleased when he drank so much that he passed out.

Suddenly, we found ourselves in San Francisco!  Finally, I could use my cell phone again, so I called my family and said hello.  I was dreading getting back on a flight, but in the end I was so tired that I slept most of the way from San Francisco to Dulles.

Home again, home again, and it was cold.  Our journey was over, and we were back home -- and totally unable to sleep.  It was 2am Eastern when we finally decided to go to bed -- we sat up and watched all of the episodes of The Office that we'd missed while we were away before going to sleep.

The End...

Well, kind of the end.  Coming up, I'll write a little epilogue where I describe the aftermath of my monkey bite.  Oh yes, the actual monkey bite was just the beginning.  There might be one more post, as well, where I just wrap up this whole trip into one big shiny package.  If you've read my Indonesia blog posts from start to finish, I so appreciate your attention.  This trip was a huge deal for us and I am so excited to share it with you.  

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Kandi said...

I've enjoyed hearing about your trip. I have never been and likely never will be to Indonesia so it was very interesting. I also enjoyed all your beautiful photos!

stowebound said...

I really enjoy reading all of your posts, but have thoroughly been absorbed in this trip. Well, except for the monkey bite.

lindsay said...

Monkey bites! Indoor bathrooms! LOL. Also cool that you geocached (and actually found one). I hope I can one day plan a trip this cool!

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