Friend and even foe of Dan’s will know by now that he has an extreme soft spot for a particular long running Australian soap opera. Those of you who attended our wedding may have even recognised the words to a particular theme song included in the speech so thoughtfully given by his best man. With the great return to the southern hemisphere looming, before you could say “flaming galah” a trip to Summer Bay was straight to the top of Dan’s Must Do on the Way Home list.
Bags packed, baby bundled up and Mercedes to the airport arranged (thanks Mike!) it was time to finally bid adieu to our home of the few years and return to downunder bits of the world. To say we had mixed feelings was an understatement – Hong Kong is an amazing city and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time there, but NZ was calling louder than normal due to our littlest caribou hunter. It was a month of goodbyes, tears and plans to do crazy stuff in the future with the amazing friends we were leaving behind but finally the time had arrived to leave.
Only Qantas had other plans. After a successful check-in, boarding time came, then went, and a delay was announced. Information would be forthcoming soon, we were promised. Given our lengthy description of our ill-fated but in-the-end-okay trip to Xi’an last year, we’ll spare you the details of the hours spent waiting, queueing, pacing with baby, sighing etc and cut straight to the bit where we found our flight cancelled. And then straight to the next bit where found ourselves on a coach to a hotel provided by Qantas for the night. And then straight to the super bizarre coincidence that found us at said hotel TWO BLOCKS away from our old apartment. Those of you who know Hong Kong will realise that North Point is precisely nowhere near the airport and understand just how crazy this seemed. The hotel even overlooks Dan’s now former place of employment. Our old boss was married there. We were back in the hood and it was seeming that Hong Kong just didn’t want us to leave.
An extremely late night arrival to the hotel, baby allowed us to shortcut the check-in line and hot-foot is straight up to our 40th floor club suite. Schwing. Views the likes of which us mere mortals renting in Hong Kong could never, ever afford, a bed big enough to play cricket in and the fact that all meals until our rescheduled flight the next evening were all on Qantas actually suited us fine. It was the Staycation we never had…but would Hong Kong, or even North Point, ever free us from its clutches?
Eventually we did find ourselves ensconsed on a Qantas flight on a plane blissfully free of mechanical faults and winging our way towards Sydney and all the delights within. A taxi to our hotel led us straight to…the heart of China Town. For real. Universe, are you f***ing with us, or what? After ditching our bags in C-Town, and determined to snap our of our Asian vortex, we did the most Australian thing we could and BBQd in a thunderstorm with our Ghanian-Zambian friends. Hmm…getting closer?! Regression, exhaustion and an inability to walk very far, dinner that first night in Sydney was brisket noodles and HK style Milk Tea while overlooking Darling Harbour. A Chinese laundry was found. We felt right at home.
The next day we were up and at ’em with renewed vigour and a bounce in our steps. The day begun with proper flat whites (hell YES, we’re back) served at a much more respectable pace than any HK coffee establishment. A tasty brunch preceeded a walk around the beautiful CBD and then it was time…
Finally, we had accomplished the most Aussie of Aussie days. Great coffee, gorgeous beaches, a meat pie, a walk on the real life Home and Away set and a cross harbour ferry. Olive even managed to slip in a quick read of New Idea.
Thank you Chophouse and thank you for Day Two for bashing the HK right outta us for the day.