As our plane touched down in Hong Kong, we noticed that it seemed unusually windy outside, but we didn’t think much of it for the moment. We’d been delayed leaving Shanghai, without much explanation offered, and we were tired and ready to get off the plane. I sent a text to my lovely friend Sarah who we were going to be staying with to let her know that we’d landed. We were planning to take the train into central Hong Kong to meet up with Sarah and her husband Joey (who it was wonderful to meet!), when Sarah texted back, “There may be a typhoon declared in the next hour which means it may be easier to get a cab from the airport.” Hmmm, now we understood the delay and the wind.
Sure enough, a signal 8 typhoon (a middle of the road typhoon, we learned–not the least severe but not the most severe, either) was declared, and we exited the airport into intense humidity and wind. We were pleasantly surprised to find a very short taxi line and within a few minutes we were on our way to Sarah and Joey’s flat. The roads were completely deserted and our taxi driver flew over the highway. I think he was anxious to drop us off and head home himself. Forty-five minutes later Sarah and Joey welcomed us into the coziness of their flat with some peanut butter and jelly toast (it never tasted better) and we caught up for a bit before it was time to head to bed. We were so happy to be there!
We woke up the next morning to blue skies and sunshine–the typhoon had passed and the air was clear. From Sarah and Joey’s flat we enjoyed spectacular views of Hong Kong and the surrounding islands–we snapped some pictures from sunset at their place.
It was SO nice to kick back and relax after a month on the road, and over the next few days John and I loved being able to sleep in and then stumble into the kitchen still in our PJs for coffee and breakfast. We were also very happy to use the washing machine and get all of our clothes washed–they really, really needed it after a week of HOT days in China!
But we didn’t just stay at the flat–we got out and about to enjoy city life in Hong Kong and see what it’s like for our expat friends to make their lives there. Together with Sarah and Joey, we had drinks at Sevva with a great close-up view of Central’s nightly light show, made the requisite visit to Shelley Street, ate yummy food of all kinds–Indonesian, European cheese, dim sum, Vietnamese, and some comforting and delicious home-cooking–and headed out for some shopping and wandering.
We also made a sweaty hike up to the Peak to enjoy the views. Sarah snapped a picture of John and me right as we arrived at the summit–you can see I was trying to dodge John’s sweaty hug! It was a little hazy, but the views were still great.
We also enjoyed being the first passengers in Sarah and Joey’s new car–driving through Hong Kong’s streets felt kind of like a roller coaster with all of the ups and downs and twists and turns and we had fun laughing from the back seat as they learned to navigate the crazy roads. Being with Sarah and Joey and staying at their place felt like being at home, which was really comforting, and we enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you, Sarah and Joey!
(Above photo courtesy of Sarah’s Facebook page, since shamefully we didn’t get any pictures of all of us together!)