Hong Kong 2021 – Day 8 & Return to London

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

It’s been a very long month! It really doesn’t feel like I’ve been in Hong Kong for that long. I’m hoping the quarantine situation will end next year (it better do!).

I didn’t want to wake up early, so I lied in as much as I could before I needed to go to the toilet. Heheh. It was my last day in Hong Kong, and I need to feel relaxed… I drank a coffee, but I didn’t want to leave the room to get breakfast, so I sat there waiting for lunch time to come.

I ordered a sweet soy sauce chicken and rice. My family kept saying I should order it… ¬_¬”

I also went to 7Eleven and bought snacks and a sandwich. I was going to leave the sandwich for later, but I think I was hungry, so I scoffed it down.

Time took forever that afternoon, but I checked out before 3pm, and then waited for an Airbus to arrive. One was supposed to come at 2.55pm and 3.15pm (as it said on the Moovit App), but neither bus came at that time. There must have been a reduced service as no-one is flying. It finally did come at 3.39pm, and throughout the whole journey, I believe I was the only person on the bus that was actually travelling out of HK.

As I didn’t do my PCR test before leaving, I had pre-booked a test at the airport – Prenetics provides a 2 hour waiting time service (or less) and costs HK$499 (cheaper than the UK!). The desk is pretty far. When you arrive, you need to go down one floor into Arrivals, and find the Prenetics desk in the A area. You check in with your QR code and whatever ID you placed onto the website (the person at the desk asked if I was a BNO – nope not a BNO), and the person at the desk will take you to their testing station.

Waited and waited. I even had a video call with my aunt and grandmother! LOL!! The airport seemed like a ghost town compared to Heathrow!!

My results came back in less than 2 hours! If you need to print off your results (which you should), you can go to Area D in Departure lounge, and there is a desk next to the Turkish Airlines desk where the person will ask you to link your WhatsApp to their PC. You need to send the files to someone in your chat, then the person at the desk will open and print it off. It’s HK$15 per sheet.

I had no idea when check in time was so I queued and waited forever. I saw a lot of HKers – were they students or people fleeing the country as BNO’s? Some people were also crying along the way… awww, I know that feeling! … When check in started, the person at the desk said I was in the wrong queue. I practically argued with the guy… but yep, it was my fault for being the wrong! Sorry airport staff!! Defo my fault… Eventually the staff member gave in seeing how the queue was on the other side (and probably angry at me – but he didn’t show it!). Thank you for standing up to my HK/British arrogance.

Finally checked in, I went to Border control, my passport was not being recognised, and one guy asked if I was using a BNO passport. “It’s not a BNO passport” I said… Sugar levels down, irritated mode on. I finally went through. It was my first time using the HKID card machine (I usually use the desk counter) – you just slip it in, it comes out, and the gates open if you’re all ok.

Time for security check too… I took out my three phones, ipad, laptop… lots of stuff… I think the security guard was thinking “Why on Earth does she have three phones?!”. One work, one personal, one HK phone. LOL! I was almost scott free, but they asked to check the front centre of one bag… There was a bottle of hand gel there! I forgot, sorry!

Now it was time to look for food. Boy, there weren’t many options anymore or by time I passed through Border Control, and flight staff are segregated from us passengers. The only food place that was opened was the Thai place. Boring… So I asked around, and there’s a little sandwhich shop at Gate 27. For an International Airport that’s so big, this is all they could offer during the evening 😦 Even the Hokkaido egg tarts looked so sad. Not even one convenience store was available…

I walked forever to my gate area – just to sit down and eat. It feels like such a sad ending to my journey.

I sat around charging my phone, texting friends and family. It was a dull moment. Can you spot me in this picture?

Finally boarding time! When I boarded, I realised my flight is really, really full! Why are there so many Chinese students (the ones from the Mainland). Well, it’s Freshers Week for most universities in the UK, and I’m guessing most of these students were travelling to get to their classes in time. Blimey. My uni days are over. Miss Money also explained to me later that there’s no direct flight from China to the UK and vice versa. Oooh.

I sat next to a lady who was quite fidgety throughout the flight. Thankfully I was able to sleep an hour each time. I only went to the toilet once during the whole flight, when I usually go several times. The lady started chatting to me in English towards the end of the flight. She probably noticed I was more English as I was reading the mini TV screen in English. The lady was a retired Math teacher from China, but settled in the UK with her husband who is an Englishman who was previously a scientist turnt English teacher in China… I wonder if English people really become fed up, and just go teaching English wherever they can. (One friend from China offered me a job to teach English to primary school kids last year… I didn’t take the job offer – I have no patience with school kids).

Dinner was ok… nice and hot. Wasn’t sure about the potato salad, it tasted a bit raw to me.

Many hours passed, I think we started flying over Scandinavia at this point…

Breakfast was rubbish – sandwich was kind of sad. I’ve paid so much for a flight, but get half-decent food – and that’s from both flights!! I smirked when a flight attendant said to a passenger when he/she asked for a latte, “This isn’t Starbucks”. 🤣 Obviously not. We would have got some decent food and drinks if it were.

I hope British Airways improve their meal plans once covid is over.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021

We landed just before 5am, so happy to have reached London! Trying to spot my home from one of these pictures. I can see the Thames, London Eye, The O2 Arena… lots and lots of lights on so early in the morning… Does the world really need so many lights on at this time of the day? No wonder there’s so many activists. We need to stop using so much electricity.

We were treated like school kids before disembarking the plane. We had to get off from one section by one section. I didn’t mind really, as I didn’t live as far as where most of these people were going (probably).

The irritating part about Heathrow Terminal 5 is the long distance walk from the exit of the plane to Passport Control. Could they not have created a train service for this part (like they do in HK). I think I walked at least half an hour. So tired!

I queued in the UK passport section – Blimey, there weren’t many UK citizens on that flight. In the past, there would be a massive queue in the UK section compared to the foreign passport section. E-gates weren’t in use during that morning. Oh well.

Afterwards, buggage claim took forever! Everyone had at least more than one luggage piece. Me, I only had one!! And it took 1.5 hours for my suitcase to appear. ¬____¬” Not happy people!

In the end, I opted to go home via a black cab. I wanted to take the Heathrow Express and take a cab afterwards, but nope, I took a black cab all the way home. There was a long queue of black cabs, and I’m sure they all needed the money!

My cab driver said I didn’t need to wear my mask anymore, but to be on the safe side, I decided to wear mine as my flight was full. Got home safe and sound. Avoided the M4 traffic that morning (as the taxi driver said), AND thankfully no M25 protests that morning. Wooo.

I thanked the cab driver, went home, and slept most of the morning. I thought I wouldn’t sleep as I slept a bit on the plane, but I think I’ve got older and weaker.

Boots DAY 2 PCR Test done on 30th September. Results came back on 3rd October as NEGATIVE!! I read recently in October that someone who quarantined in HK after 21 days showed covid symptoms 5 days after being released. Well… what can I say… One case out of many, many people… I think I was just one of the lucky ones!

I’ve had my booster jab recently – another 3 days of arm pain. 😭😭😭

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts or just passed by to view the pictures, and hope anyone planning to go, or go back to HK soon should really plan ahead, and keep checking the HK covid info website.

So far, HK have stuck to their current rules since August 2021, and it hasn’t changed much since I’ve come back to the UK.

And I’m so glad I missed all those typhoons that passed through HK last week. PHEW!

End of my HK Journey. 🤓

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