Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The redeye to Hong Kong

My flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong was a lot longer than I had expected, but per usual, I made the best out of it. I still cannot get over how big a Boeing 747 really is. Whenever I was bored on the 14 something hour flight across the Pacific, I would get up and walk around the airplane. Just fascinating. I've noticed a difference between airlines based in the United States compared to an Asian airline like Cathay Pacific; everything seemed much more organized, professional, friendly, and taken seriously, but in a good way. I noted how the 18 flight attendants went through aisle by aisle to check literally every single passenger's seatbelt, and if you had dozed off and forgotten to buckle it, you were greeted with a warm, super friendly reminder, rather than an angry impatient banter scolding.
I had a window seat on the long haul. I'm not sure why but there is something quite pristine about being 38,000 feet in the air at night soaring across a dark sky. The only thing visible was the beaming moon. A question I had a friend of mine ask in an email if I actually got any sleep? Ahh, not really. The bottom of the seat I was in, slid forward about a foot but the seatback itself stayed vertically upright, meaning it was nearly impossible for my 6'1 self to rest 100% comfortably. But I did manage to grab a six-hour nap, you could call it, and man, let me tell you how hard it is to take your contacts out in an airplane lavatory during turbulence.
The in-flight dinner, snack, and breakfast I got were delicious. There was even like an 8-inch television monitor in every seatback, allowing me to watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and two movies: Machete a ridiculously gory and violent yet entertaining film thanks to Danny Trejo, and Splice, which sucked. I was shocked by how much rough turbulence we uncounted on our way west to Hong Kong. It was as if every thirty minutes, the flight crew would scramble and go into panic mode as the big double-decker 747-400 got tossed around like a bouncy ball in the wind. But it added a bit of adventure to the flight which I didn't mind.
Cue the music! I couldn't help but turn on my iPod and play the theme song to Rush Hour, one of my favorite classics to get me pumped as we landed in Hong Kong super early in the morning. I was exhausted and jetlagged like mad, but disembarking and walking into the terminal, I was smiling because for the first time in my life I had been across the world to Asia, something I had always wanted to do. I kept reflecting on this nostalgia and awe, being half-way around the world traveling by myself at this young of an age. I felt more independent. Hong Kong's airport was beyond impressive in terms of architecture, and I was just wowed at how grand in size it was. The airport security, however? Terrible. My next flight boards to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam soon.