Welcome Home

I found a post that I wrote after returning to HK from a month in OZ…for some cyber-smacked reason, it never ‘published’…anyway, may as well put it up – regardless of its relevancy now. Enjoy.  

First day back at work today and I am truly struggling.

After spending a month indulging in the warmth of an East coast summer, it has been quite difficult settling back into the frostiness of a Hong Kong winter.

Landing at the airport on Sunday night and being thrown into the wild card that is Hong Kong’s weather, really hammered it home. Gliding along the highway at great speeds, through what can only be described as waterfall-like rain, in the familiar red ‘Toyota Comfort’ was not so comforting.   

After a long day, week, and month we were pooped. We fell through our front door at midnight, sliding our luggage across the white tiled floor and slithered into bed.

God I hate unpacking.

Monday was spent sorting the stinky from the spotless and Space Bagging the summer garb that I had worn only hours before, with great delight. The cozzies, the denim shorts, Havaianas and boardies, all disappeared into the never-never that is our spare room.

Dragging out the woollies and the leather, wiping off the moldy fungus that had gathered in the recent months and preparing for the onslaught of my first day back at work was mildly depressing to say the least. The holiday was certainly over.

After all the household admin; washing and cleaning, bills, mail, grocery shopping, the compulsory uploading of holiday photos and checking Facebook – I was well and truly in need of another holiday.

Tuesday would bring over 300 emails, a paper inbox tray full to the brim of Chinglish in desperate need of ‘polishing’ (aka ‘re-writing’) and a million questions about my trip, my tan and whether or not I was ‘SunSmart’ whilst in the land down under. “How was the humidity?” “I hope you wore sun screen?!” “Can you get that 500 page document to me by tomorrow? Thanks – great to have you back!” Yeah…RIGHT!

The only saving grace to my day was a sneaky left over Caramello Koala and Googling my next vacation destination.

The fact that home was so wonderful doesn’t help settling back into Hongky Tonk. Seeing family and friends and having a truly delicious coffee at every turn, lying on a REAL beach and tasting proper salt water crusted onto my face was sweeter than chocolate. Picking J up from work and driving to Bondi for an afternoon swim before being treated to Bondi Italian for tea was out of this world. How easily we slide back into old habits.

But reality is, Australia you were just a snap shot – a concentration of the wonderful  things we love about you and sorry – but we both know that our month with you was not entirely reality.

We love you, and we will be back soon – but for now Hong Kong is home and home is where the heart is. “Néih hóu” Big Red Cabs and crazy cabbies. “Jóusàhn” wet markets and the tasty morsels you provide on weekends after an $10 massage. “Howdy” to our beautiful apartment overlooking the daily activities on the racecourse, a place we call ‘home” and “Whats up” to the always entertaining Hong Kong Football Club, exotic travel destinations at our doorstep, Chona our ‘helper’ and the cultural melting pot that is this East Asian Island.

“Welcome back” to weekends at ‘Kila’ after the rugby and the fear of getting ‘solassed’ if you stepped out of line. “How you been” crazy Soho and ‘Le Jardine’? I look forward to commanding your juke box once more!

I look forward to All-You-Can eat ‘Kuma Tei’ Fridays, ‘Pho Tai’ lunches and Yum Cha Sundays. I wait patiently for visits from family and friends and I plan to conquer the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens this year, rather than the other way around.

I encourage University to give me its best shot and I will Google travel spots to my heart’s content. I long for lazy days on the couch with the air con blasting and the doona for comfort watching the rest of the world svitz it out on the pavement below, mountain hikes and tanning by the pool.

Zumba classes and the oddities of the female change room at the gym. I miss the tidal wave of Causeway Bay shoppers and the cobble stones of Central and Soho. I cheer the pop-up shop and the hagglers at the markets, the old man shaving his beard on the street outside his Chinese medicine shop – watching the world go by in the middle of my route to work.  

“Howdy” to high tea and special time cocktails at Sevva, the H&M undie department and the sprinkling of Zara pieces that are responsible for my wardrobe (and my bank balance). “Happy new year” to the lady street sweepers that keep this place so shiny, and the fog and mist that make this Island so magical, and the Peak-Lookout a general waste of time. 

Hello again Hong Kong, and welcome to 2012. I look forward to what you have to offer this year and anticipate the cultural challenges you will undoubtedly throw my way, but also the plethora of the exciting and new.

Bring it on, here’s to another year… together!


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