OCTOBER 26Left JFK and never felt better when leaving. The one word I would associate with leaving New York is "more than ready." Oh wait is that three words? I felt ready to leave a city that is called "the most amazing city in the world." Why would someone want to leave the most amazing city? Stay tuned for this in my "American culture blog/book", but I will make comparisons throughout this blog as well. Back to my travels...
Apparently I ended up leaving JFK without my camera-it was apparently stolen from the bin at security. For my friends who know me, this is not a surprise as electronics and my fate are two different things. About every 6 months I lose a camera and I come up with spiritual reasons for it's disappearnce i.e. God took it away from me to focus on my writing or God is telling me to be more responsible or God is telling me I did something wrong and this is the result of karma. But the loss of electronics all started New Years of 2008 in Chicago.. Up until that point I did not have such a problem so this is quite an interesting inconvenience.
Anyways, life goes on right? It is just a materialisic possession. My friend in Rhode Island would always say "It is just a thing-it can be replaced." And Jason is 100 percent right. It is just a "thing" that can always be "replaced" especially in America.
On this trip I already disposed of many materialistc possessions to focus on self improvement and learning, to focus on my interpersonal relationships, and to always keep my eye on my purpose.
After this camera mishap, I boarded my flight for Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. Why Hong Kong?
A.) It is a new place and I love exploring to pretty much any new place B.) It was a free stop over on my way to Bangkok. As I boarded the plane, I was placed in front of a little boy about 3 years old and a new born baby and three rows ahead were three more newborn babies. I thought about what my friend had said about how they place single female travelers next to the crying babies. I wonder if they would like to remind women why they are single and how lucky they are to be traveling alone? The boy behind me was speaking Cantonese and he was so adorable that I easily got over the contious kicking of my seat. He would pop his head over as well and smile. I am such a sucker for cute little kids, especially little Asian ones that touch my heart. The airline itself is fabulous. They constanly feed you and walk around saying "Wat-a, coffee, tea." It is adorable and makes you feel like they care about you. Five pounds of food later and hundreds of kicks to my seat, we land in Hong Kong where it is sunny and 85 degrees. I pick up my backpack fairly quickly and fly through customs and talk with a nice travel agent about things to do in Hong Kong. I already like it from my first interaction with her, which was friendly, sweet, and smiling with cartoon like facial expressions.
I take the Airport Express to meet my couchsurfer in HK. The airport express is super clean with plush seats and flat screen tvs-totally my cup of tea. I was so tired I thought about sitting on the airport express and sleeping while it goes back and forth from HK station to the airport, but I ended up heading to meet my couchsurfer.
We met at Starbucks in Wan Chai and upon first impression I thought she dressed cute, acted cool, and had a straight up personality like me. She has been living in Hong Kong for five years and previously worked in Shanghai. She grew up in various states living in various places and has been abroad since her early 20s. Here is a living and breathing example of a strong, independent woman living and working abroad. It is so refreshing to meet many of these people on my travels and it is just the beginning so stay tuned for more amazing people.
As we get back to her place, she kindly blows up my air mattress and provides me with sheets, towel, and a pillow. She heads out for Tex mex with a friend and I head out to the streets of Hong Kong. The streets are noisy, full of lights, and little side streets leading to markets and shops. The area I am staying in his Wan Chai, which is in central Hong Kong. In the neighborhood, there is many Cantonese style restaurants, Vietnamese, dim sum, and dumplings. And of course your token Starbucks and McDonalds. People are very friendly and helpful when walking the streets and some do not want to be bothered, but you find this across cultures. Some do not want to put in the effort to try and speak English, but if you try and challenge them a bit you can be very pleasantly surprised and they are as well. I end up walking into a camera shop browsing around and not feeling pressured to buy, which I love. They even let me walk outside to check the camera flash in outdoors setting. I end up heading back to Sunny's to pass out being very tired from the long flight.
"Tomorrow is the starting of a brand new day" Sting