It’s been almost a month since coming back from Hong Kong yet a part of me is still going through some sort of withdrawal. Interestingly, many people I know who went and came back as well shared the same sentiment.
If I were to summarize my trip it is one of “surprise”. Without the need to catch up on 18 years of progress and memories I was able to enjoy Hong Kong on my own terms and was struck by an unexpected appreciation for certain aspects of life there (relative to Vancouver): the efficiency of the transit system; the variety of dining and shopping options; the quality of museums (!); the cheaper prices, to name a few.
That being said, they are noticeable from a non-resident’s perspective. It is one thing to visit Hong Kong for pleasure, quite another when you have to live and work in the city. Let’s face it. I don’t think I can survive the hot, humid summers anymore, let alone the pace and demands of the work culture. So I’m very content to stay as a visitor.
There weren’t as many takeaways from this trip compared to the previous one but we were able to re-connect with our roots, something that’s becoming more important as we age. And in Pie Pie Lo’s case, some long lost friends. The re-connection and the reconciliation which followed were very encouraging and heartfelt and I’m very glad that it happened.
I also came to realize, in some ways, Hong Kongis like the old, forgotten cassette/CD/DVD/book/comics/whatever collection in my house. It’s there. Has been for a long time but is packed away in boxes somewhere in the garage/attic, neglected. At times, the thought of digging it out would cross my mind but rarely carry out. Yet when I do, I’m always surprised by what I find and the emotions that go along with it: The joy of seeing old favorites; Giddiness over discovering the new or the never-knew-existed; Appreciation for the irreplaceable; Resignation over the loss of certain things and conditions; and disappointment of putting everything away once again. Hong Kong will always be full of these wonderful nuggets.
And if I have my way, it’d be nice to dig into them more frequently