The ups and downs of a Hong Kong 'commute'
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The ups and downs of a Hong Kong 'commute'

I was never a fan of banking conferences. I certainly enjoyed a day away from my screens, but I did not like being among a multitude of people bustling around in a tiny space. One of my friends endured one such quintessential Hong Kong experience on a recent visit.

The chap, who is based in London, was in town for a conference his firm was holding at the Conrad. He invited me over for breakfast and, as I’m always happy to dine on a bank’s dime, I willingly obliged.

I was slightly late when I arrived at the hotel’s café, so I expected him to be waiting for me but he was nowhere in sight.

I ordered a coffee and parked myself in an armchair by the window. Five minutes passed, 10 minutes, and then 20, but still nothing. I was starting to get worried when I got a phone call. “Sorry, I’m running late, I’m queueing for the elevator,” he said.

“Ah, so you’re going to be a while then,” I replied, leaving him perplexed.

It took him another 15 minutes to join me, by which time he had thoroughly wound himself up. All told it had taken the chap nearly half an hour to get a lift from his suite on the 40th floor and he was not impressed.

Of course, for us locals, queuing for the lift is all part of life in this great city. But it was all too much for my out of town friend, who has decided the first floor might be more his style next time. A case of high but not so mighty.