Business travel is not dull Hong Kong Hong Kong, Hong Kong   16:23

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Cint, 4 October 2011
Hong Kong Hong Kong , Hong Kong 27°


An easy T8 day in Hong Kong

It has been over a year that I survived my first typhoon in Hong Kong. At that day I saw how a storm with heavy rain was treated as a top risk. I was not allowed to leave the hotel and worked from the lounge. I realized that I had driven my bike to school in more severe storms during my younger years.

I think that typhoon warnings are a serious matter. I know that typhoons can be very deadly as the typhoon that struck the Philippines last week. The remains of that tropical storm moved to China and hit the Chinese coast about 350km from Hong Kong. This situation appeared to be the basis of a real T8 warning in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong warning for T8 and higher have serious consequences. A Typhoon 8 here means that everyone stays home and so everything is closed. I mean all (!) schools, shops, bars, restaurants and offices are closed. There are only empty streets with some amazed foreigners like me.

Waking up on my last day in Hong Kong I knew nothing about T8. I packed my suitcase, checked out the hotel and took a cab to the airport express station. I was actually glad I got a taxi in the rainy whether. There were no traffic jams so I could check in for my late night plane less than a quarter after I’d left the hotel. I decided to take my rain coat out of my luggage. I knew I now had to take it along the whole day in over 30 degrees but at that moment the sky looked dangerously black. I walked to the office and started to think I had missed a national holiday in my planning. At the 65th floor the TP office appeared empty. My door code was not good enough because I had no key. At that moment Matthew reached me. He explained the T8 story; his people would ‘work’ from home. Down again I saw the warning signs.

I was lucky that down in the office building there was still one place to get coffee. Here I met with Hans, also a foreigner without T8 knowledge. The whole day it was windy but I did not need my raincoat. I had some time to kill and went for a Wi-Fi place, but all restaurants and bars were closed, still no one started to work.

Suddenly at 5pm T8 became T3; the signs were changed. Now I could meet with Patrick in a reopened bar near the station. We could go trough some business items and had a laugh. We saw Andrew and he joined the bites and drinks. He lives on an island and this morning he had had no problems to get to Hong Kong Central. Andrew has his own business to run but had spent the day alone in the office because for employees even a 5 minutes walk cannot be done after a T8 warning. We concluded the claim mafia had struck again. Officials get afraid to make a mistake and being sued, so they overdo. This year there had been no T8 in Hong Kong so creating an unexpected extra national holiday would acceptable.

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The only damage of the day
The only damage of the day

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