Last post of the year in Hong Kong?

Quite possibly the last post I’ll make in 2007 from Hong Kong, as I’m due to fly back to the UK on Friday 21st. Of course, my flight arrives from Heathrow after the last flight to Belfast has departed, so I get to spend a night in Heathrow before getting the first flight to Belfast. I fly into George Best Airport, or as surely everyone in Northern Ireland calls it, the Harbour Airport. I said in my last post that it doesn’t feel at all like Christmas over here, with a lack of over the top decorations and annoying music. That was a day before I had to go to Causeway Bay… It’s definitely decorated for Christmas there, and the first thing you can hear in the MTR station is Jingle Bells coming over the speakers in the station. Ho Ho Ho. Still, with blue skies and temperatures in the early 20s it’s still a little very odd. To get into the Christmas mood, I have mentally engaged into the pre-Christmas wind down at work though. I thoroughly recommend it.

I have managed to do no Christmas shopping of my own so far. I’m not the best shopper in the world at the best of times (except possibly when buying gadgets for myself), but the prospect of having to fight through the crowds at the same time as trying to figure out what might make a good present for people is not my idea of fun at all. When it comes to shopping my preferred method is to know what I’m going to buy, know where I can get it, go to the shop, and buy it as soon as I see it. Of course, I could possibly save a bit of money buying elsewhere if I traipsed round ten shops, however in my mind the time saving of not traipsing round ten shops is far more valuable to me. I suspect some people would see my viewing the additional browsing as traipsing as fairly negative, when I should see it as a chance to browse for other gifts, and generally enjoy the experience. Sorry, I just can’t do that very well. I can always pick up a tip from Stu, and do my shopping at the airport – as it seems I’ll have a bit of time to kill.

Once again, the Irish Sea is proving to be an expensive stretch of water to cross. How a flight from Hong Kong to London can be ~£600 return, yet a flight from London to Belfast can be ~£230 return baffles me. Some of it is due to the various taxes that have been steathily rising over the years, but even so, it does still strike me as a rip off. I can’t see the excuse ‘Sorry Mum, I’m not coming over as I’m being green’ getting very far with the parents in the future. By being back in the UK, I am missing the office Christmas party. This has been scheduled for Christmas Eve, and families have been invited. I suspect it will be very much like the ‘leaving’ meal I attended a couple of months ago, but I’m curious to know how it goes. If as expected it involves horrendous amounts of shellfish (again) then I’m not too disappointed to be missing it from a food experience perspective though.

The reason the leaving was in punctuation quotes above is, it seems as though leaving doesn’t necessarily mean not working for the company any more. I’ve seen the guy whose leaving dinner it was in the office when I’ve been back in almost every week. Yesterday, we were part of a presentation team to a potential customer. So, I’m somewhat confused as to what leaving actually constitutes – he’s still in the email address book, on Instant Messenger etc. Ideas anyone? (No Hotel California lyrics please)

My diary for the rest of the week is looking busy enough. Tonight is my last hockey match of 2007 – if we (the C team) can win we’ll be fourth in the table (sadly we lost to the last touch of the game on Sunday), then out for some pre-Christmas hockey drinks. Tomorrow night is a social night out in Wan Chai, where one of the bars offers any drink for HK$20, so long as it’s a Standard Chartered note. We’ve all been saving any Standard Chartered note we can lay our hands on at the hockey club. Thursday night could possibly be a meal in a Japanese restaurant on Kowloon side – although nothing is as yet confirmed. I intend to get time at the Temple Street night market to buy some tatty quality gifts for Christmas though.

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2 Responses to “Last post of the year in Hong Kong?”

  1. johniebg Says:

    Good stuff. Why not become atheist – gives a very valid reason for not buying into that whole present rubbish. I only ever buy two presents and am always very pleased with them both.

    Shout if your about.

  2. Pete Connolly Says:

    Enjoy yourself Jon. I’m staying put this year in the UK, but maybe next month I’ll cross that incredibly expensive stretch of water. Luckily we’re near Southampton, so it’s only about £50 each to get over, rather than £200+. Plus I avoid Heathrow, which is a living hell as we all know.

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