Especially for Paloma.
10.30am Friday 16th November 2018. Day 2.
Hop inn mody hostel. Hong Kong
My new roomies. All 7 of them.
Absolute silence, apart from the shower running. It’s been flowing continuously since 9. I’m in an unsaid queue, last in line.
Comforting to catch glimpses of my roomies – all Asian, especially their long dark hair
All so young
And so intent on beautifying
It’s hard not to stare
As I imagine them fitting perfectly in a back dressing room for a production of Miss Saigon
Straighteners? In a hostel?
Each one, and they’re not all travelling together, also has a curler in her fringe to make it stick out (in what we westerners might deem to be an old lady shampoo and set look)
Face masks. Yes. Honestly . Thick and White. Giving a geisha girl look
Curling and mascaraing
Brow plucking and shaping and waxing and painting
Products by the suitcase load
No rucksacks in this dorm
Push up bras
So hard not to stare
Cheap plastic heels
I’m a flower girl/princess t shirts
I get my shower. It’s a very very long, let’s begin again shower. Exceedingly un eco friendly, despite all the let’s save water signs, but a much needed restorative drench and purge. And I figure after my less than easy journey I deserve it. I’ve Hired a big white towel as I have zilch. Bliss.
I emerge. Roomies still at their ablutions. Still in silence. Like watching a religious ritual in very slo mo.
I pull on my now less than clean silk nightie, made more seemly by the addition of two little knots in straps
On with the bottom bit of the jack wills onesie
Tie the upper half and hood around waist
Fasten black cashmere jumper strategically for more modesty
Tie on headscarf, not like the queen, more like Alicia Keys hopefully
A little red lippy
Day old socks
Vivo barefoot shoes for I want to feel the land of my ancestors beneath my feet
Shoes are Black and big and flat and
Ugly , but essential for my deformed ‘bound lookalike’ feet
5 minutes and I’m ready. Me and my ‘I’ve seen a bit of life’ liver spotted face. This face that causes sales assistants in chemist to thrust products that promises to whiten and brighten at me, when all I asked for was toothpaste.
But as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so as part of my empowerment strategy, I tell myself that I am beautiful and ready to swim with this crazy Hong Kong current that’s now my life.