Sunday, December 30, 2012

My perpetual love affair with....Hong Kong

30 March- 2 April 2012

Hong Kong

Is it loserish that despite everything that has happened, reliving this trip makes me happy?

Hong Kong is a place I've always had an affinity for-- friends, places-- or maybe its having grown up on a diet of TVB dramas and movies--it just always seemed to be the place I was destined to have a relationship with.

I have very clear memories of the trip (which is rare for memory-challenged me). Only good memories-- despite the fact that cognitively, I do remember certain parts of the trip where I was sad or angry, but somehow my mind (heart) has blocked off all negative moments. Perhaps it is a little like how the love for a new baby makes mothers forget the pain of childbirth? Or maybe it was simply because the trip had taken place amidst a consistent low that it became such a highlight of that time.

I arrived at Hong Kong via train. It wasn't at all difficult or chaotic at all at the train station, unlike what I read online-- which goes to show that I really should improve on my Mandarin so that I can read Chinese reviews of Asian places, rather than having to rely on gweilo commentary all the time.

From the Hong Kong train station, I realised I had no idea how to get to the hotel. (great planning again, Rach!) I figured that Hong Kong taxis aren't that expensive, so just hopped on to a cab and was done with it. Of course the taxi had to be unfamiliar with the area (CAUSEWAY BAY!) so in the end I still had to lug my bags over some cobblestones to the hotel which had a very inconspicuous sign.
Not as inconspicuous as an old lady selling sex toys! 
Butterfly on  Morrison is a pretty good choice next to Causeway Bay. Its not expensive by the territory's standards but was also nothing too memorable. The only thing I can remember is the three-storey CK underwear ad that the window opened to. Neon green briefs. Nice.

Holly and Leon came up to the room after their work and we waited for JL for dinner. His flight was like five hours late wtf. Dinner was a hole in the wall seafood place that Leon knew well. Delicious! The owner PRed super well with everyone except me with my rubbish Cantonese couldn't understand.

After dinner was drinks at LKF then we headed home on the tram. JL grew up spending summers here so he was very familiar with directions, and I followed him like a spaniel. I've been here probably more than 10 times in as many years but I can never navigate anything apart from Mong Kok Centre.

You know how Hong Kong movies/TV always have scenes where people take the tram late at night and there is no one in the upper deck so its uber romantic and atmospheric (or sometimes, with a lone sleeping dude for contrast)? That night was like that for me (I don't mean the sleeping dude!).

Sometimes when I am on holiday, I don't really live in the moment fully, or enjoy it for the experience. After the holiday has ended, I might have a general sense of having enjoyed myself, but at each and every point, something might have been going on (usually in my head) that did not allow me to entirely immerse in the present, that made that point a little unpleasant in some way-- always something small like a minor tiff, half-thinking about work, feeling too hot, too full etc. I personally find it difficult to live in the moment generally I guess because I'm always thinking and analysing. So I guess I need to be thankful that just for these few moments, I let myself go and really embraced them.

Looking back, I feel that night pretty much sums up our whole relationship--beautiful, transient, not very real (all shadows and neon lights playing tricks on my mind). All that was lacking is a soulful cantopop tune.

Over the next few days, we did a day trip to one of the outlying islands, visited salsa clubs, wandered in the back alleys around the hotel, ate at Meixin's and McDonalds, walked some more.

Now my memories of Hong Kong will always include him.

Where do you get a lobotomy when you need one?

A must-eat for me every time I come,
ever since I first had it as a kid
One of the best egg tarts

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