Tuesday was spent in Hong Kong and I simply had no time to write the blog until now. After the last few days of lavish breakfasts it was quite surprising to see how ‘Boutique’ the breakfast was at Hotel Indigo. Can’t really complain too much though because I still eat the same thing I ate at all the other breakfasts. As I arrived so late the previous evening I only got to see my surroundings in the morning from the hotel room and it was very clear I had no view except of various construction sites. What does amaze me is how they use bamboo for scaffolding and how quickly they put it up. I watched across the road and they did one whole level in about 5 minutes.
I again had a client lunch and presentation. This took place in the Dynasty Club which has fantastic views of the harbour and city of HK. The picture is the view from the room we had lunch in. It was the best day I have ever experienced in HK from a weather perspective. The presentation again seemed to go well and there were a series of questions both immediately after I finished as well as at the table after lunch. The biggest problem I had was that the one guy I was sitting next to spoke with a thick Chinese accent and when he spoke he hardly moved his lips. I eventually gave up saying “sorry I never got that” and just nodded and smiled and said ‘yes, yes’ until I picked up on something I understood and then answered that. There were some very senior people at the lunch including the President of China Life which is the biggest life insurer in China and one of the biggest in the world. It was quite funny because immediately the most senior person of a particular company got up to leave, all the rest of them from that company also did whether they were finished or not.
After lunch we went to the office and I spent the afternoon working there. The views from the office are amazing because we are on the 67th floor. You have to take one lift up to 45th floor and then change on the observation level and take another one the remainder of the way because one lift cannot go safely that high. I am just glad there wasn’t a fire drill! The picture is the view from the office I was working in during the afternoon.
Early evening we met up with my boss (from Germany) who arrived that afternoon. Our local HK head then insisted we take the number 15 bus up the Peak. The bus cost HK$9.80 which is about R12.00 (roughly $1). It is a double decker bus and takes you right up the windy road to the top of the Peak which overlooks HK & Kowloon. The views are fantastic and the advantage of going up in the bus was evident because you could see over the island. We had dinner at a restaurant at the top with a large majority of the office staff from the UK office. They were offering a buffet which was very good value at about R400 per person. It included sushi and every type of seafood you could want (prawns, oysters, mussels, crab, lobster) – and that was just the cold section. Then there were about 10 different hot dishes and about 20 different deserts.
At 9pm I insisted that I get a taxi to the airport. My flight was at 11:45pm but I knew it would take at least an hour to get there. As it turned out it took even longer because there was an accident on the motorway which resulted in 3 lanes becoming 1 lane. Fortunately security and passport control did not take long and I managed to get to the lounge with 20 minutes before boarding so that I could have a shower and change out of my suit. As it turned out, we started boarding 30 minutes late because the crew arrived late (I assume because of the accident) but we did manage to make up the lost time and landed in Jhb (which is where I am now) on time.
I will send one more blog with my summary thoughts of Singapore/Malaysia and Hong Kong.