All posts filed under: Transportation

Ignorance is bliss

I recently made a mistake of giving Tsuen Wan Line (Red Line) one last chance to redeem itself. It was past 10:00 pm and I was avoiding a longer route as I am pregnant (Yes, another diplobrat is on the way!), so we boarded at Tsim Sha Tsui Station. Prequel As known to most travelers, the MTRs of Singapore have a characteristic smell embedded in its air conditioner filters. Well, I would take that anytime than having someone let out gas inside a train cabin full of people, which is what you are guaranteed to experience at least once every three rides in the Red Line. There was even this one guy seated to my right, on earphones and oblivious to the world, who deliberately lifted his left thigh to let out gas with such freedom. I just had to stand up and move away while Mr. Diplomat can’t help but laugh as I always fall victim to such creatures. It comes out naturally, you might say. Indeed! However, it is at the same time …

Tax free, baby!

Today will be our first time to travel tax free, that is, on any airline and to almost any destination, which comes with our status as per the International Organizations and Diplomatic Privileges Ordinance. The same thing goes for any host country that recognizes the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and for the home country as well. This is in contrast to our expatriation and repatriation, which are not just tax free but entirely free. What else is tax free if you’re a diplomat? Your accommodation is tax free. Your income is tax free. What? Your car is also tax free?! Well, it is, but you won’t really be needing one in Hong Kong as public transportation here is very efficient (another deterrent for us is the fact that they drive on the left side of the road here, which is the opposite of what we have back home). In such cases, you can get a car (even order a left hand-drive one) 6 months before your repatriation, so you also get to ship it …

Crabby cabbie

After 10 cab rides, 5 cabbie rejections, 2 grunting cabbies and 1 very expensive 10-minute ride from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, I’ve given up on taking a cab here. I’ve tried picking up the local accent on how to say where I was going, as well as showing the cabbie a GPS route on how to get there. Nothing seems to work. In between, I was half hoping that I would get into one with its own GPS like in Singapore. Since when did taking a cab become a chore? If you’re a tourist who do not speak the local language, here are your best bets for having a successful cab ride. 1. Make sure that your destination is a tourist spot. 2. Otherwise, get off at the tourist spot nearest your destination. Ninety percent of the people living in Hong Kong rely on public transport, very efficient indeed, but for the meantime, I will skip the cabs and do as most locals do: take the MTR and walk!