HONG KONG — After a 14-hour flight from JFK, the blue-green waters off the coast of Hong Kong barely came into view through the atmospheric haze.
“Is it smoggy?” my neighbor asked. “Haze I can deal with. It’s the smog I can do without.”
The mountains that dot the island landscape emerged through the gray skies past the jumbo jet’s wings, and you could already feel the tropical humidity.
Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby.
The Cathay Pacific flight, which was absolutely perfect in amenities, service and comfort, took us north from New York and over the Arctic, where for a few strange hours it was night. Daybreak over Mongolia was cool, even if it was from 33,000 feet.
Fourteen hours is a long time to be seated, but the self-service snack stations, on-demand TV and movie channels and ergonomic seats with lumbar support made it a pleasure.
Why aren’t airlines in the States ever this nice?
I won’t get to see much more than the airport this time around, almost a pity after recalling a friend’s gastronomic adventures here some time ago. I also imagined how different the city must seem from the time my dad shipped over here en route to a tour of duty in Vietnam.
But that will have to wait for another time.