Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Night When We Ditched our Hotel Room in Hong Kong

We touched down at Hong Kong International Airport minutes before midnight. I was so happy after hearing the pilot's announcement that it was only 11 degrees outside. But because it took me an hour to figure out how to install the local SIM card on my phone, it wasn't until 1:30 when we finally got out of the airport. Thank God for Uber.

As the skyline of Hong Kong grew, my friends and I were looking forward to a good night's sleep. Before anything else, here's a backstory on how we got our hotel: A month before our trip, Kat found a hotel for the four of us. The price was only Php 23,000 for four nights, and it's centrally located along Nathan Road, Kowloon. The reviews from a booking website look legit, so I didn't bother.

The building was quite old, judging from the facade of our hotel. The lobby was on the 11th floor, and as the elevator ascended slowly, it made some funny sounds. Clug, clug, clug. Clang, clang, ding. The doors slowly opened, and we went through a tenement-like maze. The air smells musky, and the hallway screams like we were actors from a Wong Kar-Wai film. The room we booked wasn't a hotel but a typical Hong Kong guest house. We entered another set of rooms inside, and it felt like there was a roomception–a room, within a room, and within a room. I had a bad feeling about this, but I just kept it to myself. I was low-key panicking because what if there's a fire or an emergency? It will be hard to get out of the building.

When we entered the room, there were double beds cramped inside a small room. The small bathroom was in the middle of the room. To make things worse, the toilet and shower weren't separated. We could barely move around! But we told ourselves we won't stay there the whole time because we're always out. I was quiet, but little did I know Kat was looking for an alternative accommodation on her phone. While we settled our things, Imee was doing her business in the bathroom, with some Taylor Swift song playing in the background (because we can hear what you do inside), when she suddenly panicked.

"Oh my God, the toilet won't flush!"

Pandemonium was in the air. I could almost taste it.

That was the last straw. We all realized that we were in a dire situation. Minutes after, Kat found better accommodation in the Tsim Tsa Shui area.

"Ano guys, book na natin to?" she asked.

"Yes, just book it.", I said.

Moments later, Nievie said the same thing.

The final nail to the coffin was Imee. You see, she's your friend who believes that every cent counts and every expense should be accounted for. But because we were in a stressful toilety shitty situation, she agreed, and we booked our hotel. We barely slept the rest of the night. We were looking forward to ditching this garbage room and transferring to a better accommodation.

The next day, we checked out and returned the keys to the caretaker. She was surprised, but at the same time apologetic because she knew the reason why.

We weren't refunded, but we couldn't care less. Things could've been different if we were in our early 20s and traveling on a shoestring budget. But since we're already in our mid-30s, we don't want to sacrifice comfort, even if it means of spending additional dollars for it.

But I am proud that we handled the situation in a chill way. And every time we think about it, we would just all laugh. It was our first time ditching a hotel room and transferring to a better one without worrying about the additional charges incurred in our wallets.

Imee's so happy with our new hotel room

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