I remember looking for the signs that would tell me where to find the A11 bus that could take me to North Point. My instructions were to find the McDonald’s inside the airport and look for the exit nearby. Sure enough, the signs pointed me to the bus terminal. I bought a ticket, and as I arranged my luggage for easier carrying I didn’t notice that I had dropped the just-purchased ticket to the floor. A pretty Caucasian girl picked it up and smiled as she handed it back to me. I smiled back and gave her my best “Thank you very much.”
I got on the bus and took a seat near the back, hoping that I would be able to see clearly out the window so as not to miss my stop. Seated on the row of seats in front of me were seven women, some middle-aged, some looking like they had just gotten out of high school. Even if they were speaking English I would have been able to identify them as Filipinas. From their dialogue I could also tell they were domestic helpers. Apparently they’ve never met each other before today, and here they were talking amongst themselves as if they were long lost friends. I guess when you’re a long way from home any connection is a welcome one.
One of them is the central speaker, she’s apparently been in Hong Kong for more than seven years now and had just come back from a vacation in the Philippines. She answers some questions from the others: what can I do on my day off? where do I go? how can I call home? She tells them stories of her life in Hong Kong, how the family she works with has been really good to her and they get along well. If you’re lucky, you will be assigned to a family like mine, she says.
They miss their stop; I guess she’s not as familiar with Hong Kong as I assumed. I look out the window and spot Victoria Park, and I know I’m getting near my stop. I get off the bus at just the right place, and I look for the staff quarters.