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.