Friday, January 29, 2010

Everything that's not supposed to happen

Home, sweet home

Ah, Hong Kong! What a city! Not that I had any time to experience it, but still! The temperature was just lovely. I walked around in a dress and a cardigan, not feeling the slightest cold. And what a bunch of fashionable, good-looking people that live in Hong Kong?! Both westerners and Asians, men as women. The only thing I found weird was speaking English to the taxi drivers and getting a bit of a “huh?!” response every time I tried to speak Mandarin to someone. I would love to live in Hong Kong one day though, it’s a wonderful place.

(And one thing’s for sure, I’m definitely coming back for a “no-work, all-holiday-Hong Kong-trip” sometime in the near future. That’s a city that’s just way too much fun to not experience properly!)

Although my days in Hong Kong were golden, the fun ended when I caught the Hong Kong express (super convenient) to the airport. It started off with my flight being 3 hours delayed. So, instead of landing at a reasonable, 8pm at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, I landed just before 11pm. That was after a rather shaky flight, as the compulsory turbulence managed to hit the plane so sudden and so violently that several air stewardesses fell over. People seemed rather taken (including me, I was vivid) until we got a small box of Häagen-dazs ice cream to compensate for any unpleasant experience, and afterwards it was all smiles and laughter (It should not be “If you truly love her –treat her Häagen-dazs” but “If you want to make them happy –give them Häagen-dazs”).

Once we landed, I moved from the shaky plane to a taxi. Unfortunately, my taxi driver engaged in a game called “driving-as-fast-as-I-can.” At one point, we almost hit another car, which resulted in me yelling:

-What are you doing? You don’t have to drive that fast you know?!

He simply replied with:

-I know I don’t have to, but I want to.

….and drove even faster. Like so many times before, I was clinging on to my backseat, eyes closed, feeling a mix of tired and terrified.

Getting home to my fridge-cold flat was not fun, but at least I was still alive, so no complaints.

And then everything went quite smooth (I managed to brush my teeth and go to bed without a new close-to-death-experience) until I woke up extremely early (and insanely tired) on Thu morning, determined to get to work extra early in order to catch up.

Just as I was about to hit the shower, fresh coffee brewing in my coffee machine, all the lights went out. My flat turned completely black (it was just after 6am and still dark outside). Furious, I slipped on a pair of PJs (gosh, I should throw those out, shouldn’t I?), UGG boots (ugly but useful), and a jumper and rushed downstairs (amazing that I didn’t manage to leave my keys inside, locking myself outside would have been the icing of the cake), yelling at everyone I saw that I needed some help because I’d had a power cut.

Still as angry (and a bit cold) I stormed back to my flat and sat at my table, armed with a flashlight, feeling angry, upset and stressed.

For 20 minutes I sat like that, feeling more stressed for every minute that went by. I even considered having an ice-cold shower, but the thought of stepping out of a cold shower and into an even colder flat made my skin prickle. When no one had arrived after 20 minutes I lost it, and ran downstairs again, this time begging someone to come upstairs and help me, tears in my eyes:

-Please, please, can you hurry up! I need to get to work!

This did it, and 2 minutes later a sleepy but friendly man joined me in the elevator, looking at me curiously (I bet it was my PJ pants).

It took him about 15 minutes to change the fuse and try things out, and for that he wanted 20 rmb. I paid without blinking, feeling like I’d just been granted a second chance to live once the power came back and the aircon started blasting out warm air. I ended up feeling rather grateful the rest of that day, despite me not having time to wash my hair. Never underestimate those little things in life! (and never turn on 2 aircons, 1 heater and 1 microwave at once in my crib).


Mark said...

Actually, I'm shocked that you don't sit in the front seat in the taxi - that seems so standard there, it's actually odd now to have to hop into the back seat of a taxi....

Oh, and can't you change your own fuse?

Anonymous said...

My dearest Jonna,

My deepest symapthies for your disastrous morning...

Ah, who am I kidding?

Gorget the fake sympathy.

Jonna- your day was horrible and I and am LAUGHING MY HEAD OFF!!!


*wipes tears from eyes*



Jonna Wibelius said...

Mark -u r right, I should sit in the front. I do it most times, but lately I've been slack. My bad.

As for the fuse... if I would know how to change it -I would have done it myself. I don't go near these things, however, and especially not at 6.30 am in China!

Adrian -hehe, well glad that someone had a good time! To tell u the truth, I kind of laughed about it all when I later told a work mate. And so did she. :)

TG said...

Jonna, you should definitely visit Hong Kong again, best is soon, because the cooler weather is so awesome there. Summers are too hot to bear. Then you should see the Big Buddha, you'll not regret it. And Mongkok, the various temples.. I had the 3 days Octopuss card and took as many trains as possible :) I'd definitely live in Hong Kong, but I'm moving to Taipei soon :)

Anonymous said...

hey, i really enjoy your blog! i'm an American thinking about moving to taiwan but am worried that i'll be too tall for the guys there. i'm 177cm. you said you were tall in your blog, i was wondering just how tall? and what has been your experience?

Jonna Wibelius said...

MKL -will do, Taipei is also on my destination-wish-list. Most places in China are actually too hot to visit during summer, so prefer to travel during the winter. Dalian during summer is sps to be nice though.

Anonymous -I'm 175 and nowadays I am always in high heels. You will be fine!

WoAi said...

I lived in HK for 3 years before moving to mainland China. It is like heaven on earth compared to the mainland in so many ways, people are way more polite, they line up for taxis and at the bank, it's cleaner, people don't spit or push, you can get so many things you can't in China. But it's also so small that after a while you feel like you have been living in the same 1 square kilometre for too long. So I love to visit but I'm done living there.

As for electricity, I learned the lesson years ago when one morning I was making breakfast for 3 colleagues who were going to come over for breakfast then we were all going to the airport for a conference. Right in the middle of cooking (yes, oven, microwave, kettle, heater) everything went dark.

Actually if you speak to the maintenance guy you can probably get him to switch the fuse for a thicker one and then you can have everything on at the same time. It will cost you about 5 rmb though.

Dr. Heckle said...

I've never been to Hong Kong, but I am in Manila, Philippines right now on business. I don't know how you can live in a foreign country... One week away and I'm craving all of the comforts of home!

mantse said...

so happy you enjoy your trip at my hometown, Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it