Hong Kong Bank Success - Follow The Money and the Heart - CycleBlaze

January 19, 2020

Hong Kong Bank Success

For about the past two months it had been quite a pickle to do anything with RMB currency transactions, because all my offshore bank cards were either deactivated, lost, or blocked.  The only way to get RMB cash recently was to either do part time tutoring or borrow money from my friends.  It would then be paramount to replace the Hong Kong bank card, i.e. the main account where they pay my full time salary.  There was a card and security device waiting for me at the Hong Kong branch of HSBC, but first I had to get there.

Feeling hungover as could be, it wasn't off to a good start when I woke up later and figured an hour was enough time to get from my hotel to the Guangzhou South Railway Station for the high-speed train departure.  On a Chinese New Year rush no less.  It simply wasn't going to happen, but I had to at least try.  First order of business was to dump my luggage at the hotel as I'd be back later tonight anyway.  That done I made tracks for the subway and arrived at the high speed rail station with about 15 minutes to spare.  I figured I would make it!

No idea where I'm supposed to go
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Well the problem was trying to figure out where to go.  There are automated facial recognition scanners everywhere for locals to enter the gates and board trains, but foreigners had to use the manual channels and these were not marked.  They were impossible to find, and when I eventually did, the super long line to check in meant I'd be late for sure.  I did eventually get into the station and tried to get onto any train bound for Hong Kong, but they insisted I had to also print out a ticket.  This was odd, because China recently stopped the policy of printed train tickets and you could just use your passport.  But not here, they said print it.  So I tried that and while the train was empty (I could see it) they refused to let me on and said I'd have to buy a new ticket because I missed the last train.  Trying to do that online, the only option was first class that cost $60 and I was mad as hell, but there was no other choice because the bank would close at 1pm.  

The train itself was fast and bliss and I easily got into Hong Kong just before the bank closed at 1pm.  They issued me the brand new card and security device, and I felt elated because now this particular cashflow option was back and I could easily take out any currencies at any ATM around the world now.  With time to spare, I did a little shopping and caught a massage then made tracks back to the train station.

Nearly empty
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Yeah we get it, you have cash
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Time to catch a fitness class
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Back to China
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Chilling outside and eating
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Entrance to Party Pier
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Zapata's in full swing
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This time I just booked something at the ticket window and easily got something back to Guangzhou then to my hotel.  It was time for another nap, and I needed to be back for a big party at Zapata's on Party Pier that turned out to be nothing short of epic.

The next day I did a ton of walking around trying to withdraw cash from the ATM with my Hong Kong card and re-deposit it into mainland China accounts so I could then siphon into WeChat and pay back all the friends who had lent me money.  In theory this would be easy, but I spent over 2 hours walking and tried up to 10 ATMs because they were all out of cash.  Apparently they had all been drained before Chinese New Year Holiday.  I sure wished I had a bicycle at that point, because walking was becoming the replacement transport and had cost me well over 30,000 steps.

Nonetheless it all got done and all my friends were paid back.

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