Tue 08.05.12 – Wed 09.05.12:
I never let a late night get in the way of an early start, and Tuesday in HK would be no different. Up with the lark and bounding over to the offices of Wah Kwong Shipping In order to meet with Tim Huxley, the man who could help me get to Sri Lanka before the month is out. He had no ships of his own leaving HK any time soon, but he kindly gave me contacts of people who might be able to help. I raced back to Michael’s and made some phone calls and shot out some emails. There were two ships leaving at the end of the week that could conceivably get me to Sri Lanka. They looked like a good bet (even though this was mondo short notice), so again I held off getting my visa for China. I then gave myself some time to recover from the night before: I wouldn’t be doing anything too crazy tonight. Instead I did that interview I promised to do yesterday:
Michael’s other CouchSurfer, Maryanne, was due to fly home to Singapore today, so we said our goodbyes and I said I’d see her at Raffles for a couple of Singapore Slings next week. Whether I get a ship or go overland, there’s a 1 in 1 chance I’ll end up in the Land of the Merlion before this Odyssey is through.
The next day I spent waiting for a yes or no to come through from the shipping company. I don’t think I’ve pressed ‘refresh’ so much in my life. I really can’t stress how much of a real-life Chose Your Own Adventure book this is turning into. Turn left and I’ll be in Sri Lanka this time next week. Turn right and I’ll be muddling through Thailand, four overnight buses in a row, on the way to Singapore with no definite plan of how to proceed.
Unfortunately, no email arrived, so by 5pm it was obvious that I would have to get myself a Chinese visa and dart down to SE Asia overland.
By the way, if you’re wondering why I don’t just go back over the Himalayas to India and take the ferry to Sri Lanka, it’s because a) more visa trauma – I’d need a permit for Tibet and a visa for India and b) it cost a bloody fortune the first time, I don’t fancy doing it again. If you’re wondering why I don’t just go through Burma, it’s because the border between Burma means more visa woes and in any case the border with India is closed.
Tonight it was Open Mic night at the Hong Kong Brew House. Three minutes to crack a joke or two and in return you get a free pint of beer. Free pint of beer? I was there, man. Although if you watch my (rather hyperactive, even for me, STAND STILL you big ginger nonce) performance you’d be forgiven for thinking that they were handing out free ecstasy on the way in.