A foot in both camps

It was 21 degrees and clear blue skies today. I was walking to Kowloon Park, a five minute walk from the hostel, to a swim, where people are beginning to recognise me and say hello.

It was so sunny I stopped before I got to the pool, and had a little lie down to sunbathe in the park, thinking about how I was beginning to feel less like a tourist, more like a local. The other day I helped a lady on the MTR. She was struggling to work out how to get to Kowloon Tong, peering at the maps and signs through a range of different spectacles, none of which seemed to help her. So I told her to stick with me (yes, really) as I was going in that direction. We got there without a hitch and she thanked me in Cantonese.

I think of being a tourist as being like the dependent stage of the life cycle. I’ve definitely progressed from here to more independence. But I’m also moving on to interdependency where I am now playing my part in contributing to others. Tonight I was invited to a conference around the seven core issues of adoption, and I offered a positive psychology take on the model, that some adoptive parents said they found reassuring. (Odd but sort of nice to be talking as an ‘older’ adoptee, a professional, a parent, a current root tracer, a grandparent even).

But whilst I might kid myself I’m a local, it’s blatantly obvious that I’m not. Even on a day that felt like a summers day to me, everyone, and I mean everyone, apart from Westerners, is rugged up. Winter coats, jumpers, scarves, boots and hats. Not a bare arm in sight, except for yours truly in her shorts and t shirt.

And Locals know that lying down in the park is NOT permitted. I do now, as a park guard came and woke me up , told me off, and made me sit up.

But I’m content with this state of play for the moment, a foot in both camps. And wondering how much Cantonese I could learn in 4 weeks. And happy to be getting on with my root tracing too, which I’ll write more about later.

Everyone is getting ready for Chinese New Year and there’s a definite frisson (is this the right word?) everywhere you go. Apparently a lot of things close down, including the transport system and many small businesses and shops. I definitely need to get local insider information on how all this does, or doesn’t work and when the closures begin and end, as I could find myself being a very hungry tourist for a week or two!

Food during Chinese New Year would be lucky

Published by backstagestives

Looking for my long lost family in Hong Kong And previously.... Fell in love with coastal living 5 years ago. And moved to stunning St Ives. A place to create and grow and flourish. Got me a home and a job. And never looked back. Everyone talks and writes about the famous dead people of St Ives. Virginia and Alfred and Ben and Barbara and Peter and Wilhelmina. Well I thought I’d introduce you to some very nice folk, and they’re all very much alive and make St Ives a much the better town for it.

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1 Comment

  1. Well done for integrating at least one foot 🤩 Why on earth, excuse the pun, are you not permitted to lie down on the grass? Is it considered bourgeois perhaps? Axx

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