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Hong Kong

Staying Put

Why I am staying put, for the moment.

Now I’ve calmed down a little from my original hissy fit, I’ve decided to stay put.

It’s warm here and cold there. Feeble, I know, but feeling the sun on your face makes everything better.

I planned to be away for 8 weeks. Nobody is expecting me back, or needs me back anytime soon. I feel connected to friends and family back home, the wonders of WhatsApp and Facetime never cease to amaze me.

Before I left for HK, I had researched going to retreat with a group of nuns in Thailand. To live very simply for a week or two, eat once a day, learn more about buddhism, meditation, live mindfully. Living here with the Leungs, and we become more like family as each day passes, is almost like being on retreat. We eat very simply, there is a meditation space, a massage room as they both practise and teach Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tibetan prayer flags adorn the living space. Buddhist chanting is the only ‘music’ they play. We take off our shoes on entry. And Thailand has 14 confirmed cases of the virus. Nuns, the Leungs may not be, but I could not have asked for more fitting hosts. And I think and hope they are enjoying having me as a guest. I help cook, clean, and sweep (no vacuum cleaner) and took my turn at shopping today. And they brew up this ginger drink that we sip regularly throughout the day to help our immunity. We have big boxes of masks and hand sanitiser. My basic needs are more than met. No TV. Early risers, and early to bed. Not panicing.

I wanted to learn Cantonese. And this is nigh on impossible in Cornwall, on my own. Immersion has to be the best way. Mrs Leung is a great teacher. Patient, fun. Knows what it’s like to learn a second/third language. Excellent English, Cantonse and Mandarin. If I don’t make progress it is entirely my own fault. She is encouraging but at the same time corrects my appalling pronounciation.

There is no rushing. I don’t have to be anywhere at any time, since the schools are shut atm. Incredibly liberating. I’m breathing more deeply when I remember to stop checking for updates on the virus.

I have minimal stuff to manage No real tasks to do. Time to meditate, and write, and talk and do yoga and walk and run and hike.

Weighing everything up, I feel safer here than I would if I went to the airport and boarded a plane with a couple of hundred unknowns. Think the chance of lockdown in HK unlikely. They are keen to stop the Chinese coming in, but I don’t sense they want to stop anyone leaving just yet. The flights from HK are still runnning. I am not convinced the British Government will manage any outbreak any better than HK.


I used to carry a little card around with me that said something along the lines of “remember you are in exactly the right place at the right time”.

Perhap I am, only time will tell.

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.

6 replies on “Staying Put”

Ok, I think you are probably doing the right thing but who knows anything for sure. Your hosts sound like wonderful people, notwithstanding their use of Chinese Medicine. Again, who knows anything for sure. Take care dear Laura Axx

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Curious to know what else is in the ginger drink . Lovely to exchange messages on what’s app , felt like I could hear you saying them made me giggle . Your day sounds idilic maybe not the shopping xxx

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it is just slow dried organic ginger but lots all to do with the heat of the body apparently. very pro hot foods in this household ~ they get very anxious when I eat raw cold food, fruit, avocado.. ..

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Well I think the Chinese are probably better conditioned to dealing with this kind of emergency than we would be. I mean routinely wearing masks to prevent spread of germs is already engrained in the culture; and there’s no way we would ever lock down a whole city as a precautionary measure. Think of our rights to free movement!

To put this in perspective…there were 650,000 deaths worldwide last year from ‘ordinary’ flue and that was not even considered newsworthy. And in 2003 Sars, which is deemed far more deadly, killed ‘only’ 774.

Sounds like your living in a nice space with good people so I support your thinking. No need to get panicked. Just yet. That said, I would personally be feeling pretty constrained by now and would probably be out on the next flight to Bora Bora for my R &R!

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And Lo and behold you now got it. Let’s see how the British Government deal with rogue viruses. left half the evacuees behind today. doesn’t bode well. maybe they thought they were Europeans not Brits

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