When I lived in Hong Kong, I found myself in the midst of some surreal moments. Maybe not surreal for everyone, but definitely out of the ordinary for me.
It all came back to me last year when I returned to Hong Kong for the first time in 14 years. (It was my husband Tom’s first time in Hong Kong and Asia itself.) A friend asked us to take a suitcase of clothes back to Chicago for her. Thanks to the uber-convenient airport check-in system, we were able to leave her bag at the train station a couple days before our flight out. The station also happened to have airline check-in counters.
As long as we were there, I told Tom it would be a good time to look into a (paid) upgrade for our return flight. (Neither of us was looking forward to the 16-hour flight home.) So we queued like everyone else at the Cathay counter. But when it came to our turn, the two staff members took our money but weren’t quite sure how to process the upgrade.
So they asked me to come behind the desk to upgrade myself (and Tom, of course)! It didn’t take very long for an unsuspecting customer to approach and ask me a question (in Cantonese, of course). Tom and my friends laughed hysterically as the confused customer tried to make sense of what was going all while I kept trying to put the upgrade through.
Finally another staff member guided that customer to another desk and I soon received verification for my upgrades.
In high school I dreamed of working for an airline, which finally came true for those 30 minutes in Hong Kong.