Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Architart in wonderland

One of the firms in my top ten list of architects I would like to work for is considering whether or not to open a Hong Kong office.  Until now their local presence has been akin to two men in a phone booth who relay project information to a team in New York.  A friend of a friend knew the dog walker of the best friend of the wife of one of the partners, or something like that, and so I was able to schedule an informational interview.  Unfortunately the interview was this morning during the black rain storm.

It all started well enough: dinner at a reasonable hour and SB and me snuggled up in bed before midnight.  SB even offered to sleep on the couch because his tendency to snore loudly while rolling over me does not leave me well rested but I decided to drug him with allergy medicine instead since it knocks him out.  Somehow our water glasses must have cross contaminated because I also slept very heavily and was very groggy and disoriented when I awoke hours later to hear the wind banging and howling against our window.  Despite the flashing lightning and loud noises I fell back asleep almost immediately and didn't think anything was amiss when I woke up in the morning to rain and darkness.

I was up at an earlier hour because I was traveling to an office in Kowloon so I convinced myself that it was darker because of the time of day.  After a few minutes of standing at a deserted bus stop I began to have doubts but my phone was set up to receive weather warnings...or so I thought.  Apparently that HK weather app was useless.  I have since downloaded the HK Obeservatory app.

I then tried to call and confirm my interview but no one was answering.  I was 80% sure that the meeting was cancelled but I wasn't willing to bet on the remaining 20% so I found a taxi driver who was willing to negotiate the price of bringing me to Kowloon.  And by negotiate I mean that he allowed me to keep the coins left over in my wallet.  In fifteen minutes Mr. Kwok had earned enough to add another phone to the collection that was beeping and flashing across his dashboard.

The building housing the firm's glorified phone booth of an office was quite large with several banks of lifts and not one single piece of furniture dotting the miles of polished marble floor.  I had to change out of my rain boots hunched over in a corner where no one could pass by behind me and see the color of my underwear.  I was half an hour early so I lurked behind a column for twenty more minutes before heading upstairs where I met...darkness.  The office was dark and empty.  No one was there.  I tried to phone them again and saw a red light blinking at the reception counter on the other side of the glazing.

At least when I exited the building buses were running.  Despite having an umbrella I was still soaked from the knee down but I didn't care as long as I didn't have to pawn my necklace to afford a taxi ride home.  The rest of me got soaked as well after I met SB for coffee because someone took the umbrella.

The interview has been rescheduled for tomorrow morning.  I can't imagine anything else going wrong, but maybe I should prepare in case a swarm of locusts or some other biblical misfortune descends upon us tomorrow.

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