girlsdontcry's Diaryland Diary


Hong Kong

Two years ago, I escaped from Hong Kong.

I only lived there for six months, and it feels like nothing now. But then sometimes, like today, I remember things. I remember place names, words I don't hear anymore like Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsiu, and stuff like saying my address the Chinese way "Sheung Wan, Con-naught Doh, Man-Wah Lai-ah" (I remember one taxi driver telling me, based on my delivery of my address, that I sounded like I'd been in Hong Kong for two years, not for a few months ... for a tip, maybe?)

It was so weird though, that time there. Real "down time", you know? So much time on my own there, I could go whole weekends without speaking to anyone except for the Nepalese doorman and the cashier at that food place I used to go to, what was it called? In Admiralty, at Pacific whatchmecallit? But I'd buy Evian at some other place, near work in Causeway Bay, because they sold the Evian with the blue caps, and that was like home. Not the white caps, which were foreign looking.

I wanted home so badly there.

In the first month, I lived in a hotel. I ate so much Australian junk food, it was readily available there in the supermarkets, not like in London, where you have to hunt it down. So that was really comfort food, food like Home.

Then I moved to my tiny little apartment, it was Oscar night, I remember that, and I was excited to have a "kitchen" (it was a sink, a fridge, a microwave and a single hotplate that you had to plug in). And I remember what I ate the first night -- Hello Kitty dumplings. I was happy to be away from the crazy lady in the hotel who was working in our office. Even though I was alone, it was better being by myself than having to talk to her.

Living there in Hong Kong is one of those things, those questions in life. Those "how would things be different if I'd never been to Hong Kong?" questions.

Questions that have no answers of course, and that don't even matter in the end, because I DID go.

I think I worry about it though, because I broke up with my boyfriend while I was living there (but, you know, I did it in person when I was in London, just in case you think I told him on the phone or something).

And I'm really happy that I did that -- but I worry that I wouldn't have ever had the courage to do it if I'd still been living with him in London at the time. Hoping that one day he would come home and tell me he'd met someone else.

I hated being there so so much in the end, I was just desperate to leave. But I'm never sorry that I went in the first place.

It's weird though. Two years ago today I left, and this morning I've had to write a story about some new Hong Kong ad and I had an email from an old colleague there.

I only found out this morning that when Sars broke out in Hong Kong, the tourism board were using the slogan "Hong Kong - takes your breath away". Ouch!

11:49 a.m. - 2003-08-22


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