An interesting an busy day lay ahead of me. I wanted to buy some snackage for my family, maybe head back to Wong Wa street to see if one shop was open and also to see if I could find a cafe that’s rated as one of the top places for dim sum in HK, then collect my new and adjusted suits and hea to the airport.
Fortunately I was awake when the phone went. I’d considered trying to attend a Masonic meeting over here, but being a bank holiday weekend there was nothing on. My contact had actually help me find the deal I got on the G5 (not much, but I found there’s no negotiation over airsoft stuff in HK), and now was giving me a shout to see if I wanted to meet him, have a wander round the Masonic hall and maybe grab a spot of lunch. It would be rude not to so I agreed and wandered over to Admiralty for just past 11. Ashok is an elderly (though hides it well) amiable man who was playing the guide. We met at the station and caught a bus up to outside the hall (it’s right by the first Peak Tram spot, but that way you have to queue with tourists for the top). The hall itself is actually quite splendid I noted had a decent bar and dining area, both in size and setting. Both of these are open all day and we actually had lunch there, which was cheap compared to down the hill in Central/Admiralty. From there Askok took me on a tour as we wandered and talked. An entertaining afternoon, next time maybe I will manage to make a meeting.
So on to the tailor to collect bot suits, now done. I tried on the new jacket and it fits just nicely (the advantage of a tailored suit). Sandy, the owner/tailor, did quote me for a summer suit, but I just could not justify it. I then wandered back to change in to more suitable travel clothes and to repack the suitcase. My original plan was to swap my light summer trousers for my more normal, warmer, black ones, and to swap the t-shirt for a polo shirt. Only thing was that the weather had become a lot sticker so I just changed the top. On it was, then, to the airtport.
The Airport Express works well with one exception. You do still have to wander through the transit system with all your bags. Sure you can remote checkin your suitcase, if unlike me you have nothing that needs extra checks, but that’s still at Hong Kong station, which is an underground hike from Central. Still I got there with little fuss, just sore arms/shoulders from my bags.
I arrived at the airport some 35 minutes early so wandered, and eventually found the airport lounge by bank account gives me access to (Premium Plaza). This was out of the way, but quiet and comfortable. Not long later I had to head back and got a surprise. The BA checkin was due to open at 19:30 for a 23:15 flight. There was already a large queue and the desk had not yet opened. I ducked through to speak to one of the girls to ask about the security check I required. Not long after the bagage checkin started (about 10 minutes late) she wandered over to me and pulled me to the side. The summoned airport securty (as expected) and they confirmed I had an airsoft gun and then contacted the police. A few minutes later 4 armed policemen arrved to usher me to a secure area out of sight of the other passengers, It was actually a rather pleasant experience, everyone was friendly and helpful and I got the impression (though they were trying to give nothing away) that two of the four might also have been airsoft players. In fact my only issues during the whole process was my bag, before putting the gun in it, was over-weight. Not sure how as the only extras from arriving were one more 3-piece suit and some light snackage for work, RPG and family. A repack was in order anyhow and the BA checkin girl used the airsoft gun to help me get everything away without an extra cost (though the snackage and a couple of books are now in a separate free hold bag, which I’ve got to try and remember about at Heathrow).
I’m now in the Premium Plaza lounge departures side. It’s larger, but not as cosy/comfortable as the other one, but still provides food, snackage and drinks to help me kill the two hours before bording. The one problem I have is the free Internet access is locked down to just email and web so the games I play on the iPad will not work.