Brig exited the gangway and found a men’s bathroom where he cleaned himself up and changed into a fresh shirt and a pair of jeans. He felt better walking out of the men’s washroom, and for the first time appreciated that he was back in Hong Kong. Brig was impressed by what, to him, was Hong Kong’s new airport. Clean and massive, the Chek Lap Kok International Airport still had that new airport smell. He still remembered how nervous and excited he had been as a new missionary, fresh off of the airplane, pushing his luggage cart out into the mass of Chinese people that seemed to be waiting just for him.
Brig passed through Hong Kong immigration and cleared customs without any issue. Before exiting into the reception area, he spied a foreign exchange kiosk and decided to exchange some of his U.S dollars for Hong Kong dollars. He was carrying a little over US $30,000. He knew it was stupid to be carrying that much cash, but wasn’t sure how, or if, he could withdraw money in China. He had sold his car, some watches, some jewelry, and even some artwork. The balance came from VII. Although he never got to speak directly with his father, after some lengthy bargaining and negotiation with his father’s lawyer, his father agreed to pay him $10,000. Brig signed a pile of legal documents, which he didn’t bother to read, and was given a check which he cashed at once.
Brig moved out of the way of the exiting crowd, most of whom seemed anxious and in a hurry to get wherever it was they needed to be. Putting his packs down, he looked around to make sure no one was paying any unnatural attention to him. He reached deep down into his small backpack, pulled out his money bag, and withdrew five one-hundred-dollar bills. He shoved the bag and the money back down into the bottom of his pack. There was no line, and the girl at the kiosk spoke decent English. Brig was too tired and hungover to try to speak Cantonese, so the process went blissfully smooth. She took his US$500 and exchanged them for about HK$3500; two bright orange 1000 dollar notes, one brown 500 dollar note, nine red 100 dollar notes, seven green ten dollar notes, and a heavy five dollar coin. For Brig, the colorful Hong Kong currency always looked and spent like Monopoly money.