10/26/15 Hong Kong

36-1/2 hours of traveling; from the time we left home to the time we got to our cabin onboard the ship.  All is well…and the adventure starts!  I will preface this story with a quick note…anyone who knows us knows that my husband Ed and I are together, pretty much 24-7. Where there is one, you will surely see the other.

Now before I tell this story, I will stage the scene for you.  We flew to Hong Kong on a 777 plane with the seat configuration being: 3 seats, an aisle; 3 seats, an aisle; and 3 seats.  Ed and I were seated in Row 46, very near the front of economy and had the center set of 3 seats with an empty seat between us…me on the left aisle and Ed on the right. So when we got on and off the plane, we each entered and exited into our respective aisles.

Ok, now the flight has landed in Hong Kong and it is time to exit.  Ed gathers our two duffle carry-on’s from the overhead bin on his side and I gather my carry on’s consisting of my brief case with computers, my purse and our jackets. Ed says to me, “we’ll meet at the exit!”  Alright, I exit into my aisle and Ed into his.  I look back once I hit the first class section and I see he is just a bit behind me in the opposite aisle. Now here is where it becomes a bit tricky. I did not know it at the time, but there are two jetway exits from the plane; they both end up around the corner from each other, about 15 feet apart and both converge into one exit ramp into the terminal.  Left aisle people go out one, right aisle people go out the other.

Now as I exit, my thought process goes like this. I step off the plane itself and think, surely he did not mean this exit, he probably meant the one at the end of the jetway (at this point not knowing there were two exits off the plane). So I get to the end of the jetway and wait…no Ed. I walk a bit further and realize there are two exits so I stand between both, to be sure I don’t miss him.  I wait and wait…still no Ed. Now off come the wheel chair people and passengers with strollers…still no Ed.  I think to myself, maybe he meant the exit into the terminal, so I walk down the ramp into the airport terminal…still no Ed.  I go out into the terminal and see groups of people everywhere, but still no sign of him.  I know he would never leave the terminal without me. Heck, it’s a rare occasion that we go to Walmart without each other!

Now I am getting upset, so I attempt to walk back up the ramp to get back on the plane and a tiny Chinese airport attendant says, “Lady you can’t go back there”. Now she speaks very little English and I speak absolutely no Chinese.  I try to explain that I cannot find my husband and she says, he is probably not off yet. I say, “you don’t understand he was sitting next to me”.  This is going nowhere.  I think to myself, maybe he went to the restroom before getting off; or maybe he met someone he knew and was talking (really, we are in Hong Kong…how would he know someone). Then I think. maybe he had a heart attack or something and the emergency people would be rushing on any minute; or maybe a couple of masked espionage agents put a sack over his head and stuffed him in the trunk of a black sedan (just kidding on that one…I just watched the movie, Taken 3 during the flight). Now I see the pilot coming down the ramp with the rest of the flight crew.  I recall that he had a British accent and figured he would understand me, so I stop him and explain that my husband and I were to meet at the exit and I cannot find him, and could he please have the gate attendant go back to the plane and check.  So he does and she comes back and says, “Lady, there is no one left on the plane”.

I have no other choice but to begin walking toward customs, immigration and baggage claim.  It was now 4:30 in the morning and the airport was deserted.  I am not kidding, I felt like I was in an episode of Twilight Zone. The lights inside the terminal were dimmed; I was on these moving walkways that were no longer moving; there was absolutely no one around, just a couple of uniformed Chinese men, talking  themselves, at these booths marked “Temperature Control Check Point”, and the booths lined both sides of the corridor.  What the heck was that all about?  I am telling you, it was the strangest thing. So, I keep walking and walking trying to figure out what to do since I have both our passports with me and Ed has my only pair of black dress pants with him… (kidding about the pants. Yes, he did have them, but clothes were the farthest thing from my mind!).

Finally, I go down an escalator and head toward passport control and into a crowd of hundreds of people.  There at the entrance is Ed, waving to me.  Now there are at least 500 people in front of us in the passport control line.  I will leave the next few minutes of narrative from the story and just say, I guess it was a miscommunication!!!

The silver lining here is…our luggage was off the plane and waiting for us on the carousel once we arrived at baggage claim.  We met and talked with some lovely people over the next few hours as we all waited for our transfer to the ship.  It really took the edge of whole

ordeal that took place earlier in the morning.  Actually, it may seem funny now, but it certainly was horrifying while I was experiencing it.  We learned a lesson from this…from now on, we both exit from the same aisle!!!

ordeal that took place earlier in the morning.  Actually, it may seem funny now, but it certainly was horrifying while I was experiencing it.  We learned a lesson from this…from now on, we both exit from the same aisle!!!

FYI- I now know the significance of the Temperature Control Checkpoints at the airport.  It must be something that is performed in Asian countries. We will be visiting the Philippines on Wednesday and we all had to go through a temperature check this morning and fill out a quarantine questioner before being allowed into the country. I wondered why a number of Asians on the flight to Hong Kong put on surgical masks before exiting the plane…I found it odd why the masks then, since they were the same ones who sneezed and coughed throughout the entire flight.  Must have something to do with it.