I’m at Hong Kong Airport on a flight bound to London Heathrow, where I’ll be sampling Virgin Atlantic in premium economy. I’ve done so already, but I’m planning to do something interesting on this flight, so I’ve been looking forward to it for quite a bit.
Unfortunately, tonight didn’t start off well – at all. I’ve been embarrassed at an airport a few times – but I’ve never come across something stupid at this level.
I’ll try to explain – I’m not sure whether I should be hanging my head in shame whenever I pass by Hong Kong Airport customs, or whether I should be laughing at myself. Either way, I hope my embarrassment kindles your laughter.
Let’s start off with a slight bit of context – I was at the W Hotel for dinner with my parents and my aunt, and they decided to send me off. I had my computer with me packed up so I could bring it along with me to London, and for some reason, it was overheating. I didn’t think much of it at the time, as my computer is having some overheating issues lately. So I just restarted my computer and quickly I was on my way.
I was traveling through customs and I accidentally dropped my watch. My parents were sweet enough to send me off today, and they were frantically pointing at the floor. By the time I noticed the watch, an airport staff member had picked it up. I don’t actually know my watch brand, but he had to ask me for security reasons (in case I was just trying to pick up a free watch). I guessed Casio, and – bless the Lord – I was correct. I was on my way shortly.
As usual, you have to remove all electronics from your bag at customs, so I did so. I saw the guy manning the machine make a face as my computer exited the counter, and I looked in horror – oh my, there was a huge, brown smear on my computer.
It turns out that I’d bought myself a bar of chocolate sometime ago, and had completely forgotten about it, so it was in my bag as my computer was overheating. So it wasn’t just my computer that was stained, but some papers that I packed myself for the trip. My calculator. The insides of my bag. Everything.
I quickly got to work and knelt by gate 20 (one of the closest gates to the immigration area), and started getting out some wet tissue wipes that I had packed for myself. I started taking everything out of my bag and spreading them over a few seats that I had found, and I started to wipe. Frantically. I didn’t have water on me, so I don’t think I did such a thorough job.
Longtime readers will remember a reaction that I received from an airport lounge employee a while ago when taking pictures at the Cathay Pacific Arrivals lounge at Hong Kong Airport. Trust me, they certainly couldn’t compare with some of the looks I got when wiping chocolate off my backpack contents. I can’t help but agree that someone wiping brown smears off multiple items at the same time is one of the weirder sights you would be able to catch out there.
I’m not sure if I remembered to give the seats a wipe after I cleaned everything up, so I’m currently sitting at a gate far from where it happened, beating myself up over it.
Ultimately I shared this with y’all so you could get a laugh out of it, but I guess the morale is to make sure you’re familiar with every single thing that’s in your bag. I hope the smell dissipates, as aged chocolate doesn’t smell as pleasant as it sounds.