San Francisco to Hong Kong
October 20th - 21st, 2002
All Photos © 2002 Ting and Randy Vogel

 Spider Web with Morning Dew
 Emerald Light filtering through the Mist
 Waiting to Check in at SFO
 Fuzzy & Sleepy Ting
 A Ceiling Like Ship's Hulls
 Ceiling Detail
 Ting at the Check-in Counter
 Suitcase Wrapping Done Here!
 Sign of the Times
flying pig movie
 Flying Pig Movie
 Pig on the Wing
 Bicycle Cops in the Airport?
 Da Plane
 A Closer Look
 Mosaic above the Boarding Gate
 She's Ready to Go!
 Pop & Mom are Ready to Disembark!
 Nice Sculpture
 Exit from the Baggage Claim Area
 Waiting for the Bags to Arrive
 Nice Aeroplane!
 Ting in front of the Peace Ribbon
 No Touting at any Time?
 Randy's Out Cold!

Like usual, we were up late packing and trying to get things taken care of before our departure, but this time around we were smart enough to schedule an afternoon flight so we could get some sleep.

Taking out the trash and recycling, Randy noticed that the light coming through the fog was particularly magical, so he ran and unpacked the camera for a few quick pictures.

The Bayporter driver was a few minutes late, and then to make things worse, the 'two' other passengers turned out to a group of five foreign businessmen, so we were kind of squished on our ride in to SFO.

Nonetheless, we got to the airport with plenty of time, and even though the check-in line was kind of long, we got through it in only ten or fifteen minutes. Randy really likes the new international terminal at SFO. It's very spacious and seldom seems crowded, even when there are lots of people milling about. The ceiling has kind of a funky, open-beam wave shape to it, and in places, colored glass or plastic has been affixed to the beams, so that splotches of colored light move about on the floor as the sun plays hide and seek with the fog outside.

Once we had our boarding passes, we set off to try and meet Mom and Pop Tse, who came in on a United Flight from Logan Airport in Boston. On the way to the domestic gates, we passed a toy store selling flying pigs (yeah!!), as well as the aptly named beauty salon, the San Francisco Hairport, and a packaging store, offering services such as suitcase wrapping (the better to keep things secure!) and mailing for forbidden items like scissors, stun guns and steak knives.

After making a wrong turn (by following a sign for the United 'Arrivals' club), we found the point where folks arriving from the proper gate should exit into the concourse, but after waiting ten or fifteen minutes, we decided that it was too late, as Mom & Pop's plane had landed about 30 minutes earlier, and there was no sign of them.

We headed back to the international concourse and breezed through the security checkpoint -- another benefit of flying in the afternoon is that the lines are much shorter! After a quick stop to pick up a box of See's Candies to take as a gift for the Kwans, who had helped us with some of the travel arrangements in Hong Kong, we made our way to the gate. Ting found Mom in the gate check-in line (looking a bit dubious as to whether she needed to check-in again) and promptly rescued her. It was wonderful to see them (we only get to see them about once a year)!

The plane ride eastward is always longer because of the head-wind. The trip was just a little over 14 hours. Between meals (which seemed to be every 4 hours), we watched movies, napped, and read books and magazines. Ting and Mom spent a chunk of time doing stretches in the back of the plane. Mom is extraordinarily flexible considering that she is in her sixties!

When we arrived in Hong Kong, we sought out the information desk to find where to take the bus into Kowloon. Since the signs were in English as well as Chinese, it was not too difficult to find the bus stop. Unfortunately, the bus map was outdated and we were let off a stop later than we were supposed to (construction had eliminated one of the bus stops). It would have not been such a big deal to walk back the few blocks except that it was raining. Ting stopped under a overhead bridge and asked a passersby for directions to the hotel and, as luck would have it, she knew exactly where it was! Even though it was only a little past 9 when we were checked into our rooms, Randy zonked out almost right away, so we decided to stay in for the night.