And off we go...
Washington Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
My passport issue was resolved around 4:45pm today when IAG called me and told me I could swing by to pick up my new RFID passport. (Fear. Check out the link for info on RFID enabled passports and how they affect you.) THANK GOD :) I was going to get sick I was so stressed over that.
We'll be arriving THURSDAY evening in town and will be checking into the Langham Hotel (unfortunately it's not the high-tech-cutting-edge-similarly-named Langham PLACE Hotel) in Kowloon. The plan is to get there, check in, and uh...sleep. Then...magically find cool stuff to do.
Primarily, I'd like to track down Elizabeth and her gallery - I've spoken to her over gchat, exchanged a few emails, and am really interested in interviewing her for a travel writing contest (one I saw here on travbuddy.com, actually). I also think she'd be interested in participating in some of the more international elements of an art project I'm helping out on (Rosemary Feit Covery's the 0 Project). The logistics, however, might not work out so well - so we'll see.
I had also been planning on finding any local Cure concert get togethers, but the old "holy crap, the Cure is playing!" seems to be mostly a thing of the past - back in those dry years between Wild Mood Swings and Bloodflowers. We'll cruise some of the local bars and see if we run into anyone anyway and catch a whiff of the camaraderie of past tours. If we do, I got ahold of an HD video camera just for this trip and would very much like to put together a small documentary of the concert - including fan interviews. Any takers?
On the same subject, I've heard Hong Kong is a place fond of its sports, hip hop, and metrosektual club scenes (DC Security people: can we say MrX/Tom Parker?) so I'm leery of just wandering around and hoping we'll run into something cool. Im obviously a fan of art and some level of alternate music, but really I'd settle for any old dive bar with smart, friendly people and good alchohol. Any suggestions? I've heard everything from the Wanch, to Club 71, to Chemical Suzy...no idea how good or bad any of those places are? Help?
Lastly, I hope to make some decent art on the flight there and hopefully while relaxing over a few drinks
(For those of you who don't know me, you can find some of my art Art and commentary about it Sintixerr)
It's 21 hours until our flight leaves from Washington, DC to New Jersey and then, ultimately, to Hong Kong - and I dont have a passport. At all. It is, instead, in the hands of a "passport expediting service" in DC who, for a horrible amount of money, will (in 12 to 48 hours) get US passports renewed and back to you.
You might be wondering why I, with plenty of time before a trip, would not think to check and see if my passport was valid? That's a fair question. The thing is, it WAS valid for the trip - and for three months after. What I failed to realize (or even think to check for) is that apparently "valid" doesn't really mean "valid". Apparently, passports must be good for 6 months -after- the scheduled return date to the country of origin (at least for Hong Kong (where Im traveling) and France (where I spot checked to see if it was only HK)). Mine was due to expire early November - not close to meeting the 6 month requirement.
So, here I sit.
Supposedly, I should be receiving a call between now and 6pm tonight from the company letting me know that I can pick up my shiny, newly valid passport. Until I get that call, though, Im going to be hyperventilating here at my desk.
The rest of the trip is shaping up decently. We were supposed to go see a friend of a friend on Lamma island who owns a gallery there, but she got a temp job (the audacity!) during the length of our stay and might not be available. Still, Im happy with the fact that Paivi and I managed to shove all of our stuff into carry-on bags (we havent checked bags since before 2001!), we got flight seats with laptop power, etc.
And there's always the Cure. We're getting a remarkable amount of support (to our faces) from friends who (to our faces) think it's pretty neat we're going to see them on the other side of the planet. Ive seen some traffic on the backend, though, that indicates that they all think it's somewhere between sad and crazy. But they really don't understand that it's one of the only "family holiday traditions" that Paivi and I have together and that it's more about our relationship than a groupie-esque need to see an aging band in person for the 12938th time.
I've read some recent interviews with Robert and he definitely seems upbeat about the new album coming out, the band's energy, and touring in general. That's really cool. The last (and only so far) time I've seen the new lineup (with Porl) was at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, but that's really not the optimal way to see them and by now I think they've had a lot more time to practice together. We'll see how it goes :)