Monday, May 07, 2007

VERY LUN JUN

Lun Jun is Cantonese for 'clumsy' - it's also a pretty apt description of my day yesterday. I stayed with my friend and his wife in a really lovely apartment in Kowloon West (just over the Kowloon MTR station.) Since I was flying from Shenzhen to Hongqiao (Shanghai) airport at 2pm, I had booked an early bus from Price Edward to the Shenzhen airport leaving at 9pm.

I was thinking I'd get there early and buy a couple drinks - so the cab dropped me off at the Metropark Hotel . . . and I'd guess that I've taken about 2000 cabs rides in Hong Kong (almost 7 years of living there plus all the visits) . . .and this was the first time that any cab driver had given me his business card (as I was getting out of the car).

So I get out - and they immediately rush me on the next bus bound for the border - with this new bus changing system at Lok Ma Chau - so I didn't have time to get a drink. I just watched my video iPod all the way up towards Shenzhen (epsiodes of the Office) . . . and when we get to the border, I realize I don't have my little black Eagle Creek case. Luckily I come to my senses and run down the bus driver to get my suitcase off, but I'm still in a load of trouble. Dai Wok, as they say in Cantonese. Seriously - this is what's in that missing little folder:

  1. Passport - United States of America
  2. Passport Contains - Residence permit - People's Republic of China
  3. Hong Kong Identification Card (temporary)
  4. One plane ticket from Shenzhen to Shanghai/Hongqiao departing at 2pm
  5. One plane ticket from Shanghai/Pudong to San Francisco for July for a wedding
  6. Some 570-some RMB (around $60 US)
  7. The following membership cards:
    1. Six Continents Hotels
    2. California Alumni Association
    3. Golden Circle for Shangri-La's Priviliged Guests
    4. REI Membership
    5. Starwood Preferred Guest
    6. Hilton HHonors (Gold VIP)
    7. nwa WorldPerks
    8. Dragonair - The Elite (I believe this is now extinct)
    9. Continental Airlines OnePass
    10. Hyatt Gold Passport
    11. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
    12. Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club

So I would have been in a little bit of trouble. So I grab the business card out of my wallet and start dialing. Voice mail. Voice mail. Voice mail. Voice mail. I get a text message: You have less than $10 HKD remaining on your card (oh crap!). Panic begins to set in - I decide to get on the yellow free bus from Lok Ma Chau border crossing to the bus terminal - and to try to at least get back down to Kowloon/Hong Kong - where I could solve a lot of problems more easily than in the middle of the New Territories. Continue to hit redial. Continue to get voice mail, but catch bus back to Sheung Shui KCR station. Once I get there, I look for a Hutchinson Telecom office, but don't see one - reason that there's undoubtedly one in Shatin, so decide to get on the KCR and head south - and while on the train, fish the business card out of my wallet and *wait a second, I've been dialing the wrong number!*

Awesome. So I call - the cabbie picks up - knows IMMEDIATELY who I am - and arranges to meet me at the Chinese University in the New Territories - and after returning my precious stuff, I tip him $500 HK (about 70US), but oh, my, sooooo lucky he gave me his business card that morning.

Wow. So after that, I get back to Shanghai eventually and go out for dinner with some friends from Cal and Shanghai. As I'm getting out of the cab, I hear my cell phone ring, so I reach for it, it's not in my pocket, and the cab is taking off. Oh crap! You have my cell phone! Cabbie puts on the gas and tears around the corner. I run, see a friend, borrow the cell, call . . .call . . .call . . .after 3 rings. The fricking cab driver turns it off.

Dammit. So all in all, I suppose karmically I was going to lose something yesterday and it might as well have been my cell phone instead of my other thing.

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