02 December 2008

Leaving Hong Kong

I'm logging on from Hong Kong's airport departure area, having checked in and cleared immigration. I'm at the gate, which has yet to see my Seoul-bound Asiana flight come in.

Some photos as I made my way (reminders of Sarah, of course):

I'm awaiting the Airport Express at Kowloon Station. This sign shows that these airlines have check-in counters that are nearer to the front of the train. Interesting Chinese names for various airlines, most of which, despite being proper names, are translated into Chinese equivalents.

Yes, Sarah's airline is listed here. United's Chinese name here translates into "Union Airline Company." The "American" label is often added to the front, in following with Chinese-style airline conventions, and to differentiate United from a similarly-named domestic airline in China.

I'm in the departure area. Mostly the traffic here is Cathay Pacific, which calls Hong Kong home. A good number of Dragonair flights are also around; Dragonair is Cathay's subsidiary in charge of Cathay's flights into mainland China. However, in this photo, I am seeing two EVA Air widebodies, operated by Taiwan's Evergreen Group; Taiwanese airlines operate lots of flights to Hong Kong, and Taipei is only just over an hour away. While EVA Air couldn't name itself Evergreen Airlines due to a US-based cargo airline of the same name already in existence, its Chinese name is indeed Evergreen.

And of course, in the far distance, I can see Sarah's airline. That 747 in the older paint scheme will operate as United 862 to San Francisco later today. And according to my dinner scene here in Hong Kong, Sarah should be working that flight today. Glad to feel her presence right here, though in reality, I never saw a single redhead around in Hong Kong. Granted, there are lots of Westerners in Hong Kong, far more than in Seoul, and they come in lots of different hair colors. But nevertheless, I never saw a single redhead. Sarah will surely stand out here due to her height and her hair color, even though mainland Chinese women, particularly those from the north, are also known to occasionally get even taller than Sarah.

Interestingly, here in Hong Kong, United shares check-in counters with Korean Air, the one airline that I'll never fly on. And there is a Korean Air 747 right next to my gate. (And my Asiana plane, also a 747, is coming in right now.)

Once I return to Seoul, I won't be doing much until I return to the US, as I am utterly fed up with the government there. At least I'll have plenty of time to do some writing - including finishing up the dinner scene.

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