Church in HK => Sheung Wan (walking, free)
Sheung Wan => Central (MTR)
Central => Yau Ma Tei (MTR, HKD 10)
... take care of some stuff...
Yau Ma Tei => Kowloon Tong (MTR, HKD 4.6)
Kowloon Tong => Lo Wu (KCR, HKD 33.2)
The train itself was standing room only. The border wasn'ttoo bad, considering it was the end of the CNY holiday and all that...but...
Lo Wu => Shenzhen Airport (airport bus, RMB 20)
Shenzhen Airport => Shanghai Pudong Airport (Air China, free ticket using UA miles, RMB 155)
The flight wasn't too bad... basic Air China service, still better thanUA domestic tho. The time slot was the only flight that wasavailable for mileage award redemption.
But... every time I fly a Chinese airline, I hit some snag that causesa delay, and this time, despite the seemingly on-time arrival, the Chinese god of airline delays rears itselfwhen our baggage takes 30+ minutes to arrive on the carousel.
Shanghai Pudong Airport => the street corner of Yan'an Xi Lu and Tongren Lu (airport bus, RMB 20)
Too late for the maglev, and continuing the ghetto cheapness, I decidedto forgo a cab. This was the bus ride from hell. Apparently, after midnight or so, they combine the seven bus lines fromPVG, and a nonstop to Jing'an, where I live becomes a multi-stop. Ever wonder how you can get from PVG to downtown Shanghai without usingfreeways? I pretty much found this out tonight. Overcrowded, luggage strewn everywhere, and people smoking as usual.
BTW, the bus dropped me off not at the Jing'an bus terminal, but some street corner in rain and near-freezing weather.
the street corner of Yan'an Xi Lu and Tongren Lu => my place (taxi, RMB 13)
Total: 8 hours, 40 minutes door to door, HKD 47.8, RMB 208
So... the moral of the story is... being frugal
and a good steward of our resources is good, but being cheap
is not. Where is the line drawn? Well, I admit it's not always a clear-cut answer. But, there are
someareas that contribute to one's peace of mind and sanity -- especiallybeing an expat in Asia -- and that penny-pinching can sometimes have intangible costs.
Now, I fall somewhere in between the "starving-English-teacher" and "executive-in-a-serviced-villa-with-a-car-and-driver-who-eats-at-Xintiandi-or-the-Bund-every-single-day"ends of the China expat spectrum, but just living in China with a cost of living much lower than the West, regardlessof or what you do, or how much you make, it's often easy to fall into the Save-Money-I-Can (wink, wink ;) ) trap, just as it's easy to splurge and spend like there's no tomorrow. The titular adage applies to all.
I've realized that my apartment is one of these areas, and apparently,long-distance travel is another one. Mental health andwell-being,just like physical, is an area that people (or their employers...)shouldn't be cutting corners when it comes to investment -- especiallywhen you've already got the transitions of cross-cultural adjustment todeal with.
Next time, I'm flying Dragonair to/from HKG and Airport Expressing/cabbing it, no questions asked... =P
BTW, yes, I have much to write about HK and my experience itself... but that's for another day. =)