A few days after I arrived, Sunday 18th November 2018 – last year!, I met up with Liz from my home town. I was still rabbit in headlights as I remember, struggling to find my way around Tsim Tsa Tsui and taking 20 minutes to get from A to B, when now, the same journey takes less than 5. I remember Liz telling me that soon I’d be navigating my way underground, using the MTR station to get seamlessly from A to B, without having to cross major roads using the subway or crossings. How native HKers do this all the time if they want to stay cool in the height of summer, or stay dry in a downpour. I remember thinking to myself, ‘you have got to be kidding me, that day will never come’.
Tonight, at around 9pm I decided that I must go in search of clotted cream, for a small English hamper present that I’m putting together for one, or some very special people I’m hoping to meet on Tuesday. I also wanted to buy a Chinese New Year traditional date pudding and check out where I would be able to buy fresh scones very early on Tuesday morning. English Breakfast tea was on this list, and traditional shortbread, and of course strawberry jam. The best place is Marks and Spencer’s, or the City Supermarket at Ocean Terminal near the Star Ferry. I plumped for the latter, it’s offers a exquisitely displayed global food range whereas M&S is well, it’s M&S! Time was running out, so I took the plunge, quite literally and dived underground. And emerged about 7 minutes later right outside star ferry – with a big beaming smile on my ‘Yes I did it’ face. I know that some visitors probably have this nailed within a day of arriving, and I’m some 70 days into my trip (albeit 20+ of those in Vietnam). Perhaps I’m a slow learner, but tonight this doesn’t bother me at all. As I wasn’t in a hurry to get home from my late night shopping spree I walked above ground, lingered to listen to some live music and happened upon 3 boy racers racing their Ferraris around the streets of TST. I wonder if there’s anywhere else in the world I could experience such a night as this. I mentally make a note to think of strategies to ease my transition back to St Ives.
I got home with everything that was on my shopping list, persuaded one of the fruit stall holders to give me a shallow cardboard box that I will decorate with red and gold, and stored my new year cake and the English cream in the common room fridge.
Earlier today I headed over to Prince Edward to meet up with Rachel who has a studio and gallery space there. As well as being a super talented artist, facilitator, teacher and an all round good egg, she is a founder member of Hong Kong stories, a group of people from all walks of life who are passionate about storytelling and teaching the art to enthusiastic newbies. I’d shared my story at a story telling meet up and she kindly invited me to podcast one of my blog entries for the HK stories podcast station. It wasn’t a live podcast – phew, and Rachel guided me through the process, advised on edits and within an hour I’d done my first ever podcast. I am fascinated by the whole podcasting world as a way of telling a story in small increments and I think of how Charles Dickens might do the same now with Pickwick Papers. All very intriguing and another first in an unchartered territory. Whether there will be a second remains to be seen, time is marching on and I’ve other things on my mind…..