April 2, 2010 § 1 Comment
7AM alarm goes off
7:30 actually wake up
8:25 go to bus stop half an hour earlier than usual
9AM arrive in the office to help Paris, our creative director, with the equipment/clothing for today’s photoshoot, which is extra important because neither the fashion editor nor editor’s assistant will be there
4PM I always leave early on Wednesdays because I usually have class in the afternoon
5:30 play tennis back on campus
What actually happened is a long and harrowing tale that might require a pint or two to tell if I actually drank beer.
9:08 “Laura?” Nadia cautiously says as I open my eyes to sunlight. “I think you overslept.” OHGODFMLSHITTTTTTTTT “Uh-oh” is all I utter before jumping out of bed to call Paris, who seems slightly peeved but is polite as usual. He leaves the office without me, naturally, and I clean up as quickly as possible.
9:23 I decide to take a taxi to work instead of waiting for the bus. It costs 12 times as much, but money is the last thing on my mind as I sit in the backseat trying to ward off a panic attack. Awful scenarios race through my mind. Should I stay late as an apology? But then I would have to abandon tennis plans. But I was the one who made the tennis court reservation, which means I’d have to pay the cancellation fee. I settle for texting my tennis buddies to warn them about possible nixing of the schedule. The taxi ride costs $62HK.
9:44 Paris has left a steam press and two bags of clothing for me to bring to Tsuen Wan, an obscure location across the harbor where I have never been. No worries; he says his taxi driver had no problem recognizing the address, so I head downstairs to the taxi stand right outside our building. Not only do I not speak Cantonese [& therefore can’t even try to explain where this unknown address is], none of them are willing to cross the harbor. I have to walk two blocks [carrying all the stuff] to the “common taxi stand,” where the driver also doesn’t recognize the address. At least he’s willing to try.
10:30 I am so relieved to arrive at the correct place that I forget to ask for a receipt from the taxi driver to claim the charge. THIS MEANS THAT I HAVE TO ABSORB THE $225 TAXI FEE. F M L SO HARD AFTER I REALIZE THIS.
10:42 The flat we’re using is brand new and absolutely beautiful. Our model of the day, celebrated HK jewelry designer Michelle Ong, won’t arrive until the afternoon. Paris is there with the two photographers, and he sends me upstairs to the bathroom to steam press the dresses. Was I supposed to research how to use one of these things before going to work? It was literally the first time I ever held one. I figure out how to use it eventually, and pray that the expensive clothing can’t get ruined by the hot water I’m somehow streaking all over.
11:38 I haven’t eaten anything all day, and my insides are still unsettled from the morning’s stress. I drink half of the chocolate soymilk I brought from home [I can never finish an entire carton for some reason]. I called the HKU sports center to inquire about the tennis courts. Unfortunately, the facking HKU system, like everything else in HK, doesn’t allow for any flexibility. Check-ins must be made in person [can’t reserve for someone else], and any cancellations less than 24 hours in advance incur a fee of $50. Could I possibly waste any more money today?!? I put off the decision for now.
11:54 Michelle’s team is arriving soon, and Paris sends me off to procure “sandwiches” for lunch. How is it that we were in the one place in HK where it is impossible to find western restaurants apart from McDonald’s and Pizza Hut? Even the security guards and concierge can’t help. The task fails before it even begins. Despite this, I bravely clutch the $1000 bill that Paris hands me and head off to the “downtown” area.
12:03 They were right. There is literally nothing. I wander around for 90 minutes; what wouldn’t I do for a Super Wal-Mart at this point?? I consider buying some bread & lunch meat from Park&Shop but eventually pick up some sandwiches from 7-11 and salad + tuna pizza roll things from Pizza Hut, the most portable food I can find.
2:15 Everybody is famished, but rich thin people don’t eat food meant for commoners. “It’s worse than plane food,” Michelle’s assistant Shaz keeps repeating to her boss. WELL YEAH IF YOU KEEP SAYING IT IS. I’m a college student! We eat anything!
2:33 I’m still too unsettled to ingest anything, so I guzzle a can of 7-Up and make friends with the makeup artist, a man twice my age [but is dressed like someone in his 20s]. I overhear Michelle talking with Paris & Shaz about her mainland customers, who are “rough” and just paw their jewelry out of their purses without any appreciation for details. I finally realize that yes, Hong Kong people indeed look down on other Chinese people as if we’re barbarians.
3:51 The photoshoot is going well [and Michelle is beautiful], so Paris allows me to leave early along with the steam press and dresses we already used. Huray! I can finally play tennis after a month of inactivity!
7:12 After duking it out on the court for an hour with Amy, I decide to tag along with her to the HKU tennis team practice at the other tennis courts, which are a 45-minute walk away [she is also just visiting them for the first time]. As we walk out of the canteen, we pass the guy that I met at tennis club two months ago that I thought was really good-looking, and he actually recognizes me this time [I ran into him at the grocery store too but I wasn’t disgustingly sweaty so I had to remind him who I was]. Naturally, he’s dressed to play and has his racket in hand. Sadly, I haven’t been able to stalk him out on Facebook — how am I supposed to work with a name like “Lock”? “Loq“? “Loque“? I have no idea.
7:22 While waiting at the bus stop with a bunch of other guys dressed in their hall track jackets, “Lock” also arrives but doesn’t see me. Tennis team practice is at 7:30. I swear these guys are all going there. I’m feeling intimidated, especially because I’ve seen “Lock” play before and my amateur skills really can’t compare. Literally 30 buses pass us before the correct one, #10, comes. ALL OF THE GUYS at the bus stop, including “Lock,” who came after we did, pile onto the mini-bus. Amy and I are left to languish, though he finally sees me though the window as the bus leaves, and I wave forlornly.
7:43 Twenty minutes later, another #10 minibus arrives. Lo & behold, “Lock” is already at the tennis courts. “Oh,” he says to me in Mandarin. “I didn’t know you were coming.” He sounds partly surprised and partly apologetic [maybe for stealing my BUS?]. Anyway, Amy and I end up only playing each other because the team is really good [just won the championship again], and I feel much better about life after the strenuous exercise.
9:30 We wait outside for an unprecedented 30 minutes for a #10 minibus, but it never comes. Instead, we get on the #58 [never took it before] in an attempt to follow a fellow student. We also follow him off the bus and down the street until it starts to look familiar … All in all, an appropriate way to end the most troublesome day of the semester so far.