Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hong Kong, China

I could write various stories about Hong Kong, including my AirBnB apartment in SoHo, at the top of the Central/Mid-Levels escalator, the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, which much more easily takes you up the steep hills of Hong Kong Island, or my adventures around SoHo and PoHo, where I ate delicious food and found quirky stores where I could have designed a wonderfully unique apartment with all the vintage and modern home furnishings I saw, or I could write about the endless dim sum I ate every day and often multiple times a day. I could also write about a friend’s fun birthday, when a group of us went out for dinner, drinks, and dessert, wandering around the streets of SoHo. I could write about the sights I saw, including the stunning architecture in Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple, Star Ferry, Hong Kong Island light show, Kowloon, Temple Street Night Market, or Victoria Peak both at night and during the day. I think the better story is something I wrote one day in PoHo, an upcoming neighborhood that appears to be overcoming some abandoned buildings and currently has far less crowds and equally good food, architecture, galleries, and street wandering. Here is what I wrote: As I sat in Teakha, the taste of black tea with sea salt, coffee, and condensed milk in every sip and the taste of apricot ginger granola with yogurt, blueberries, pomegranate, and roselle compote in every bite, my eyes closed while sitting at a wooden table dimly lit by mason jar lamps hanging from thick rope, with a light breeze sporadically sneaking through the partially opened windows, I was able to close my eyes and leave my overly stimulated mind and look down upon myself, in Hong Kong after six days in Japan and three days in China, and I thought about how one day I won't be alive in this world, but on this day I was indeed truly alive and awake, sitting in a back alley Teahouse, and I thought about what a shockingly gifted life I was in the middle of living, and despite all the sadness, confusion, and disappointment life can bring, life can also be surprisingly beautiful, joyful, and fulfilling, especially when traveling on a ship through vast seas and oceans, surrounded by ever-changing skies and water, dropped off in new countries every week, experiencing new languages, currencies, traditions, cultures, and people, and allowing travel to open my mind, heart, and soul, not selfishly receiving experiences that quickly expire, but with a vigilant commitment that these experiences remain alive and continued, helping me learn how to respond to the fact that around the world millions of people lead difficult lives, often with happiness but undoubtedly with challenges, and guided by this increasing awareness of others I want to change the person I am for the better, in the same way my family brought me into this world and filled me with love, encouragement, support, and foundations, and now quite literally sent me out into the world, a sending forth I hope I responded to in a way that evokes pride, not for my sake but a reward for their hard work, with past and new experiences intertwined, like the old and new buildings rising out of the streets and hills of Hong Kong, with stories of confusion and disappointment but also with beauty and joy, these memories of the past and hopes for the future, all crowded into this present moment, which every now and then, with the proper environment, like a Teahouse in Hong Kong, we can step aside for a moment with closed eyes and look at where we are in this rather surprising gift of life.       

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