While walking through the busy streets of Hong Kong;
I passed a busy car wash. The concrete floor wet with water and soap,
a small orange piece of paper caught my attention.
A 1000 Hong Kong Dollar bill gently waved in the wind,
the water keeping it held firmly on the ground.
Thousands of thoughts washed over my mind.
"Was it fake?"
"Why was no one picking it up?"
"Who lost it?"
After eating, I walked back to that same spot. It was gone, of course it was.
My opportunity gone.
It has been 6 years since I last stepped foot in Hong Kong. That is why my memories of it are so foggy. I remember exploring the streets with my parents, seeing the Bruce Lee statue, eating food, and even traveling to Hong Kong once on my own. Walking around the rainy streets eating congee. Back when I had no Chinese knowledge, and little idea as to what to do with my life.
Walking through the packed, colorful streets brought those wisps of the past to the present. Just like I have changed over the years, so has Hong Kong. This was made ever so present by my visit to the statue of Bruce Lee. The location changed, the statue was moved, restaurants were now close by, and the hand prints were all in different locations. Patiently, my girlfriend and I waited for our "turn" to take a quick photo by the statue. Seeing the excited looks of old and young, posing in front of the statue brought a pleasant feeling to me. Nostalgia, maybe.
Perhaps it was my instant recollection of the past 6 years. The good, the bad, the struggle. A simple plan, keeping the spark within me alive through all of it. This all came together to bring me back here. My head still spins comprehending all that has happened.
Walking the streets carried my mind away from such deep thoughts. The simple touch of a hand, bright lights, and new sounds were enough to keep me distracted for a week. It was a happy distraction. A distraction that didn't feel like a waste of time. Hong Kong, this experience, was the reason that I worked so hard for.
To ride atop a large bus in the rain. Feeling the cool wind blow as the tales of an old city ring in my ear. To eat strange food in new places, surrounded by new people. To visit the world's busiest spots, and rest in the world's quietest spots. To simply live doing what I love. Many blessings had to come into play before I could even attempt such a journey. What ever I've done to deserve such luck, I'm thankful for.
and Narrow Alleyways
The alleyways left me with slices of authentic Hong Kong life while the tall buildings, silhouetted by mountains, reminded me of all that I wouldn't experience. I truly enjoyed Hong Kong and believe in another life I would enjoy living there. But that isn't this life.
Sitting in the airport, I glanced at the misty mountains. Saying goodbye.
A surprising sorrow came over me as I left the fragmented city. The feeling that there was still so much to do. To experience. Although we had done a lot, many of our plans fell through the cracks. Just like the 1000 bill that I let slip by; leaving the city meant leaving all the opportunities it provided.
As the attendant came over the speaker, a metallic click rang from my buckle.
Shanghai bound I was.
Maybe a nap would help me shake off this sorrow.