Well, I have been waxing poetically about the joys of being everywhere but here for what seems like ages now. [Here being the fabulousness that is the 852.] But in fairness, I have to give Hong Kong it’s due because since I have been back (likely because I finally had the chance to be gone…) I have been really enjoying all things Hong Kong. And since the 852 often takes quite a beating from me let me just say this:
“Hong Kong, how do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways!”
1. I love that I can land at HKIA and be out of there and to my next destination (even if it is the office!) in an hour.
2. I love that it smells like LA used to (when LA was more polluted) and it reminds me of all those summers in the Valley.
3. I love that Hong Kong has given me the opportunity to be an ex-pat in a pretty low maintenance way.
4. I love that I still work with exactly the kinds of kids I want to work with and that when I focus on the work instead of “the job” I loooooooooooooooove my employment situation.
5. I love that I can take weekend trips to Bangkok, Kyoto and Saigon. And you know, like, where ever.
6. I love that it is so easy to be here. (I wonder if this is a good thing, but for now, it is awesome.)
7. I love that I can be inadvertently green because I am so down with the public trans system.
8. I love being able to say things like, “My cats killed a cobra.” Okay, not so much the killing part, but I mean, a cobra? Bad ass.
9. I love that people say I am always going to have really good skin because of all this humidity… and don’t mention the pollution.
10. I love that I have acquired an entirely new perspective on education, diaspora, immigration, travel and geography, all of which I believe I can coalesce into a dissertation subject.
11. I love that I can walk to my closest friends homes and never hear a car (well, unless you count the VVs) and that when I have a dinner party HK, the UK, Australia, France, America and occasionally a couple other countries are represented.
12. I love that I can have an open container on the street and not be considered a “Street Person,” but simply, “Street.” (Okay, yeah, I know I am not “Street”, but come on, maybe a little.)
13. I love that I live somewhere my cousins would want to visit – and one even moved here.
14. I love helping people plan trips over here.
15. I love planning my own trips over here and that I chose time over money – finally.
16. I love that I have my own space here – really and truly my own uncompromising space (save for the dead detritus compliments of N&M – come on, the cats had to be on the list!)
17. I love that I am no where near anything that could be remotely considered a suburb.
18. I love that I have been forced to read more novels than I can count in order to keep up with my students.
19. I love that I have been able to develop a true and deep appreciation for my roots and from where I come in ways that can only be accomplished in absentia.
20. I love that my sense of adventure has been heightened, explored and challenged. And that I can still take luxe trips to places like Bali and Thailand.
21. I love the ways living here has allowed forced me to get to know myself.
I still miss my family and friends in the states on a daily basis, but since I have had the chance to be home and reconnect with them, it is no longer a nostalgic view, but a far more vital and dynamic feeling… maybe because:
Every person we meet, see, hear, or read about, is a member of our family. We are truly not alone. We also begin to see that we are perfectly capable of understanding and relating to people who, on the surface, may seem very different from us. This awareness prevents us from disconnecting from people on the other side of the tracks, and the other side of the world. We begin to understand that we must treat all people for what they are—family.
I constantly contemplate so many of my life decisions (choices? – that word always makes me think of Frances McDormand in Almost Famous yelling after William outside the stadium… “Don’t take drugs!”) and I have reason to doubt lots of them I suppose (talking choices here, not drugs,) but in remaining in the new-agey vibe of this post, I am inclined to consider this:
Sometimes we have an experience that we don’t understand, but if we look deeply, or wait long enough, a reason for that experience will usually reveal itself. All the events in our lives lead to other events, and all that we have manifested in this present moment is the result of past events and experiences. We cannot easily tease apart the many threads that have been woven together to create our current reality. Experiences that don’t make sense, as well as any that we regret, are just as responsible for the good things in our lives as the experiences we do understand or label as “good.”
I am very glad to be back in Hong Kong right now, this very minute. And I am aware that nothing lasts forever, even when it seems more comfortable to think about things in those terms. (Ironically, I reach for that comfort even when those terms make me miserable – it’s like the Blue Cup: I know I don’t want the Blue Cup, but I cannot put it down. And really, it is only a freaking cup so what is the deal?)
These days, I am only carrying around the stuff I want to be carrying around. You would not believe how that lightens the load.
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection…