Day 178: Seasoned Travellators Strike Again

I was feeling forlorn in the Hong Kong airport today. Mostly, I was still fuming at Singapore. The city is lovely, don't get me wrong (I promise, Diana, love it there) but the stupid Cathay Pacific people were mean*** and they tempered my overall feelings for the place until I get some sleep or some money or both.

I'm currently carrying Claire and my stuff, meaning I have WAY too much (though as we have said before we are models of streamlined packing efficiency). I knew I was loaded down. I expected to get charged some amount of money as this is How Things Work.

However, excess baggage in this neck of the woods cost about 18 USD per KILOGRAM. This hurt me. They were asking me to pay nearly 200 USD extra for my baggage. This is more than my ticket. I pointed this out and tried to convince them that I could have just bought a seat for the bag for less; also highlighted that I am a generally slight person who could have simply weighed ten extra kg and they couldn't have charged me. I felt in a court of law I would have won. They sort of blinked at me.

I tried to charm them. They apologized, but did nothing. I got annoyed. They apologized; still nothing. I got mad; they agreed to give me three kg's off. I got madder.

Finally, they looked me up and down and told me that my clothes probably weren't worth that amount per kilogram and I could always buy new ones. I felt judged. Probably becuase I was. I got all revved up to be angry, but then got sad instead as they judgment they were making was undoubtedly correct.

I managed to stumble in a poor and ugly stupor over to the nearest free internet terminal to email Clara about my rage. SHE would sympathize, and then we could rail against this injustice tonight together.

No we can't. As we talked about unfairness, money, and parisian and cosmo-featured men, we realized something. I was in Hong Kong, and Claire was packing in Paris.

Maybe...just MAYBE she was not going to arrive in Beijing before me as we had planned.

Yet again, we realized that we can't keep track of what month it is, we certainly don't know what day it is, and we should really be much better at itineraries by now but we're really shockingly clueless. For weeks we have been referencing Claire's early arrival, only to discover the day of that she is in fact coming in more than a day after me. Why neither of us noticed this by now, I have no idea.

As my little german friend told me the other day "you and Claire really don't ever know where you're going or what you're doing ever do you?"

I was offended at the time (still a little self-righteous actually); but like the good people of Cathay Pacific he had a sad sad true point.

See you soon, Clara. Our hostel is lovely. And by lovely, I mean it has WiFi that works. And that's about all I'll say about it right now.

ps--I realize this is not a culturally relevant post. I am in a new country, and should have Interesting and Exotic things to say. But I have spent all day on airplanes, and am just going to go to bed. This is the mundane side of travel. The side of unexpected expenses, bad hair, and apparently non-cathay-approved clothing.

***side note hours later...Cathay Pacific is actually wonderful. They provide face AND hand lotion in the bathroom, lots of movie and TV options (Friends and Will and Grace for the first time in MONTHS. I may have laughed too loudly) and apparently unlimited free alcohol as the man in 57H kindly proved.

Oh, and here is more from Rory and Boyfriend Bruno.


Another twentysomething said...

Awww! Well I'm glad there's kind of a happy ending to this story. And snaps to you for keeping your cool with the Cathay people. My instinct is usually to argue my point well in an almost-bitchy tone (Ok, its probably bitchy) but you tried to be charming, and that leaves everyone feeling a little less like a steam whitsle.

lily said...

so did you end up throwing away your clothes? that seems like a pretty sketch suggestion on the part of cx. welcome to hong kong!

Anonymous said...

Cathay Pacific isn't Singaporean, doofus, it's based in Hong Kong! Blame the Chinese. :-p

kristen said...

Hi All,

Nice stuff you got going here!!! Definitely bookmarking your site!!
You know..i came across this company on the web the other day and it should thrill travel enthusiasts.. there is this site called Globester..and it offers some amazing fares for international tickets!!
The link is :

very nice site you have here too.. will visit again…and do visit that site.. trust’s awesome stuff!!


Real Time Web Analytics