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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stormy Weather

The Arrival

"Welcome to Hong Kong, Madam!" he said cheerfully.

"Thank you", I replied, glad that he could speak reasonably good English.

"Be aware Madam, they have issued No 8 storm signal!" he added.

"Uh? No 8 storm signal?", I asked, puzzled.

"Yes.. you know the typhoon that hit Philipines, that killed thousands of people? It may be coming here to Hong Kong."

Hurraaaahhhh ..... I said to myself.

"But don't worry Madam, the wind now not so strong. Low, low. Last time in Philipines, high, high. If you need any transport, just ask the hotel to arrange for you. Don't take taxi."

"I see, ok, thank you".

I think he meant well. But what a way to welcome and break the ice with a visitor!


The Settling In

"Hello housekeeping?"

"Yes, how may I 'hep' you, Madam?"

"Do you by any chance have a compass that I can borrow?"

"I beg your pardon, Madam?"

"A compass?"

"Err... sorry Madam, I don't understand you. Can you repeat please?"

"A compass. Do you have a compass?"

"You mean Condom?"

"NOOOO!! No! No! Not condom! C o m p a s s !"


" Yes, compass? You know compass? The thing that shows the direction of North South, East West?"

"Err... sorry Madam, I don't understand. Can you speak Mandarin?"

"Uh uh. I can't speak Mandarin."

"Should I send someone to your room to help you?"

"No, it's okay. I will call the reception desk. Thank you for your help"

"I'm very sorry Madam, I cannot help."

"It's ok, thank you."

Hmmm.... nice going. I have the prayer schedule, the direction of the qiblat, but no compass. Of course I don't have a condom either. Won't be needing that as much as I need the compass.

I called the reception desk shortly after and sort of got some basic help to start with.

As it is, the window is directly facing West and the wall on the right hand side is North. I have to estimate 286 degrees from North. Hmm.... I know it may not be spot on but I have to be 'yakin'. Semoga diterimaNYA.

Oh well.... at least there's a reason for me to hop outside later this evening (weather permitting) to the shops across the street to look for a simple gadget that I shouldn't have left home without.