**The following is a bit of self-reflection, ranting, sentimental thinking, and whatever else is in my train of thought. You’ve been warned.**
A year has passed. I’m a year older. And I’ve moved to another city. A lot happens in one year. A friend passed. Old friendships continue to grow, other friends have drifted, and new ones have been made. So, wait. This is starting to sound like a Haiku or something. I don’t think I’ve written one of those since elementary school!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve decided to take some time for reflection and more importantly, I often feel like I’m rushing to that undetermined ‘finish line’, rather than doing as I know I should and sometimes forget to do, which is to enjoy the journey. Right, so.. it’s been just over a year since I started this blog, and it was then that I was moving to Beijing. Now, I’ve relocated once again, to the somewhat familiar, but still very new and exciting city of Hong Kong. I’m excited for what lies ahead!
And first up on this journey is a jolt into reality…
Having traveled on my own quite a bit, I’m normally well aware of my surroundings and rather cautious of my belongings. But of course, it’s the one time, a couple days ago, that I was a little careless and was ‘pick-pocketed’, so to speak, and at a cafe nonetheless! Well to make a long story short, I didn’t freak out for too long before I returned a phone call to an unknown, missed call. It turns out that a lovely French lady found my stolen purse! It was tossed on the floor, next to the trash can (in the mall that I was in, where the cafe is). I asked her to quickly check what was inside (which of course she had done already, in order to find my business cards and phone #), only the cash was missing. Thank goodness! And what a relief! It would have been such a pain to cancel cards–as the replacements would most likely get sent to the US and then my parents would have to send them again to Hong Kong. In the end, I’ve met a wonderfully kind hearted woman, who perhaps will allow me to take her out for coffee, and paid the price of about US$100 for a good lesson learned. It’s good to know that someone, even a stranger, is looking out for me in the new city I’m calling home. Thanks to all the kind-hearted strangers out there!
It was an incredible experience and awfully humbling, I’ve expressed to a few close friends that “the experience itself was beyond imagination.” We went to some very rural places. The landscapes are nothing like I’ve ever seen before, breath-taking. It was not only about the beautiful mountain landscape, but it was also amazing to have the chance to interact with very low income farming and nomadic communities. I’m really lucky to have had such an opportunity. To see houses made of mud and dirt. To see people living on bare essentials is something we often hear about, but to see the village lifestyle with my own eyes is something else. With that, I thank OneEarthDesigns for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to not only work with them on an incredible project who’s mission I support, but to also travel and do some first hand user-research :)
Talking to two very good friends, I realize how much I miss the old and familiar friendships… And am a bit weary of the transient nature of HK. But it IS an exciting place and I do have family here, who I didn’t grow up with. It’s a place that I’m looking forward to getting to know on a deeper level (beyond the once a year trips). And looking on the year’s past, I am also looking forward to being settled in one place for a longer period of time; and really getting to ‘know’ it :)
Although, I lived in Beijing for a year, I don’t feel I really had the chance to explore it as a ‘real person’… it’s a little different to have been in the student frame of thinking– even if it is just a language student. There are aspects of being a student that often made me feel like I was holding myself back in some forms of exploration. Or perhaps just too pre-occupied with student life. I was indeed looking forward to living in Beijing as a regular adult, and in writing this, I’m happy to do just the same here in HK. Though, I must admit that the comfort level here is much higher than in Beijing. There were many obstacles encountered during my past year that make me have a desire to continue to push these personal limits and HK is just not on that same level. Or at least not on the surface. And maybe that’s what it is–no obstacles on the surface. So I’ll continue to dig deeper and dive deeper into this ever interesting culture in order to keep pushing my own limits :) Thanks to all my friends and family for all your love and support!
Perhaps, I’ll end on that note…
And I’ll push myself to write a Chinese version of this reflection…