I wake up to…. nothing? No blaring TV collapsing the walls? Just the sound of rain outside the window? Well that’s fantastic! Oh right, we switched over to an Eight Elephants room yesterday.
We hop out of bed and get ready to leave for Hong Kong. I file a complete report back to Dr Birdrito on the Pandito’s local operations and our findings in Taiwan. (Further details of this information is of course restricted to only those with DFN Level 10 Seguridad Authorization.)
Shower up and pack the remainder of my stuff into the tortuga. We meet Agent Getz on the terrace of Dreaming Dragon, it’s pouring buckets out here. He’s pulling a Gene Kelly, singing Edelweiss and twirling in the rain. We hoof it to the subway and take the long track out to the airport stop and then a bus to the terminal.
The Taipei airport is amazingly clean. And there seems to be lots of different themed areas throughout. One whole section had a postal theme to it. There was also a Hello Kitty section where you could check into one of several of Eva Airlines Hello Kitty flights. Tha Queebs gets sooooo excited when she sees this and runs inside to look. Apparently, there are whole planes decked out in Hello Kitty themes. Tha Queebs says that sometimes you are just randomly booked on one. Sadly, we were not.
There was also this Hello Kitty…. Breastfeeding Room? I think if you’re totally obsessed with Hello Kitty like the Taiwanese are this may not seem all that bizarre. Aww Baby Kitty!
We settle into our flight, it’s just a short 2 hour hop over to Hong Kong. No drinks this time? I knock back another solid chunk of Palahniuk’s Beautiful You instead. Let me tell you about travelling in flannel: Don’t do it! Kinda stiff and way too hot.
Landing in HK feels like your gonna land right on the water, we got remarkably close. Some pics from the plane (window seat woot!)
As soon as we land Tha Queebs is on the phone with our local informant, Bao (who is also her sister). The throng of people is moving quickly, darting along on their priorities. I scan the area for threats as well as the contact that I’m supposed to meet here. Hmmm, where could he be? There’s always that feeling like your exposed in an airport crowd. Too many entrances and exits, and that hair raising sensation like there’s always someone watching.
A quick check of the exchange rate shows 1 USD = 7.7 HKD. So 100 HKD is a 13 dollar bill. Got it.
Round the corner and there’s Bao. She looks great. Dainty and refined like I remember her from past missions. We exchange smiles and hugs and a quick introduction with Agent Getz whom she’s never met. She quickly briefs us on our objectives here in Hong Kong and then her and Tha Queebs shoot off to the little girls room. I realize that this will work out perfectly as neither has any idea that my contact is also here in the airport somewhere. This will be a great surprise, now where is…. “Whoa! What are you doing here!??” I hear Queenie yell…
The surprise worked and we’re all laughing, “Ohhh, I can’t believe it!!” Bao and McBurger get introduced. He has pressing new information from The Agency, a good contingent of whom are here now for this Hong Kong chapter. The Adventure Detectives in full force!
Bao leads us out of the airport to the subway. Oddly we have to walk through a mall of fancy shops to get there. Drop our bags, settle in on the metro and it shoots out away from the airport along the coast.
I slap MacKay on the back and we start catching up on things. I haven’t seen the guy since the PARTy when I left Santiago, Chile but it feels like I just saw the fucker yesterday. He pulls a few things out of his bag and hands them to me, “You forgot these”. He gives me some magnets from when we were in Tequila, Mexico and my Zapatista key chains from San Cristobal de las Casa. Man, I totally forgot about those.
While on the metro I overhear some kids chatting with British accents, reminding me that this was once a colony and while we’re still in Asia I should expect a more western version of it than in Taiwan. These suspicions are confirmed as soon as we exit the subway into… another mall?
Bao efficiently guides us through the crowds to the exit and from there it’s a small walk to her safe house in Tsing Yi. We take the elevator up and she leads us to a metal gated door. She pops it open and we’re safe in her cozy little spot. It’s really really tiny actually (Bao claims it’s bigger than average). But it’s off the grid and no one would expect us to be here so it will work just fine. There’s a nice view
Tha Queebs and Bao – Sister Agents!
While Bao fills in Tha Queebs on their mission here, the rest of the adventure detectives head back down the elevator to look for some provisions. We give the security guard the nod on the way out and notice that he’s got elevator feeds streaming to his booth. We can probably make use of those later.
We get to a nearby convenience store and McBurger peruses some strange liquors.
We grab a bottle of…something.. and hit the next store for a selection of beers and then head back to the safe house. The beer we get is called Skol. It claims to be one of the top 5 Canadian beers but I’ve never heard of it before.
Walking passed a vent on the street and mid stumble, Agent Getz describes the smells as “Poop mixed with laundry”. This will randomly hit your nose every other street. It is mildly better than the shocking wall of stench vents in Taiwan (that caused a minor episode for Agent Getz the week before).
Everything is right hand drive and those same ‘Look Right’ signs that they have in England are here in Hong Kong. There are also barely any scooters around.
We get back to Bao’s and formulate a plan for the evening over some beers:
Hello Kitty Dim Sum, Temple Street Night Market, and the highest bar in the world!
The bottle we picked up is called Ku Pien Yao Chiew and it ends up being some sort of…. Meat Wine or something. There’s Longan meat in it? Upon further investigation it’s not actual meat. This turns into the usual manly ‘who can stomach it’ competition. We struggle through a few slugs but it’s really not worth it. Wash it out with one of the top 5 Canadian beers no one’s ever heard of and hit the road to Hello Kitty dim sum.