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Sep 07

Soliloquy

What happened in Hongkong has stayed in Hongkong… until today.

It was half an hour before midnight when she decided to head to the airport.  Her flight won’t be until six in the morning of the following day but she couldn’t sleep that night.  She had mixed emotions as it will be her first time to travel abroad…alone.   She should be fine, she kept on reminding herself, but with only 700HKD in her pocket, her excitement was now wrapped with anxiety.  Geee, she will be staying in one of the most expensive cities in Asia for four days.  Imagine a 500 ml of bottled water would cost her 6HKD and a meal with rice would be around 30HKD.  Not to mention the 3-night stay in the hostel plus a 10% service charge and a 100HKD refundable deposit.  Good thing she was not that good in math and in currency conversion.  She couldn’t feel the crisis… not yet.  Besides, a pack of Skyflakes maybe able to sustain her until her flight back home.  While boarding the plane, she prayed that someone who knows Hongkong well would bump into her and become her travel buddy.  But, it seemed that fate wasn’t on her side that day.  No one was sitting next to her. Though she met two lovely souls while boarding, they were seated on the other side of the next row.

“Where did all the people go?,” she wondered. 

So she had to spend three hours of solitude, re-evaluating her dreams and passion.  She has been dreaming of this day since she was 17 or so.  And that dream to go to an unknown place all by herself turned into a reality only now, when she is twice as old as when she first dreamed of it.  Tears began to shed as a series of thoughts and visions were flashing in her mind.  Tears of inexplicable joy has kept on oozing until a few minutes before they touchdown.

A bus took her to the backpackers’ inn that she thought she had successfully reserved.  But when the receptionist told her that her name was not on the guest list, a sudden panic crept through her blood vessels.  Not that there were no hotel rooms available, it’s just that she couldn’t afford them.  There was only one slot available that she could afford, and that was in the men’s dormitory.  She hesitated for a moment, but does she have a choice?  Unless she wants to be on a water diet for four days.

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Speaking of diet, she was already starving when a generous Filipina she met at the hostel lobby offered her a bowl of seafood noodles and a seafood rice. 

The men’s quarter was occupied with travelers from all over the world.  The men were exchanging stories, travel experiences and a lot of things about each other’s countries.  Since she didn’t have interest in talking about her country’s history (don’t blame her.  She’s not good with calendar dates as well), she just shared the rest of her Skyflakes and in exchange, they gave her some Indian food and a can of beer.  It was at 3 AM when they finally decided to catch some zzz.  

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She started the next day with a stroll around Kowloon Park, and in the shops along Nathan Road.

“Am I in England?”, she’d imagined.

Then, she was supposed to meet a highschool friend but she got lost in the subway and found herself at the Avenue of the Stars.  The sun was already about to set when she found her way back to the inn.

IMG_20150810_194651When she got back to the inn, one of her roommates invited her to watch the Symphony of Lights.  She was dead tired to go but how could someone resist an astounding, eye-opening, jaw-dropping show?

don't blink if you don't want to miss a thing.

don’t blink if you don’t want to miss a thing.

The night didn’t end there.  After the show, she and her roommate took the ferry to the Hongkong Island and then the tram toured them around.

On the next day, they took a roller coaster ride to Victoria Peak and a picture-perfect scenery greeted them up there.

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After the more roller coaster ride back down, she rushed to make a second attempt to visit her friend in Lok Fu.  This time, she was mindful of the subway exits and interchange, and voila! She made it through.

Her friend was already waiting for her at McDonald’s.  Thanks to her friend, she had her first decent meal in Hongkong.  Thanks, too, for the early Christmas gifts and bonus that she gave her.  And don’t forget the catching up session, and the laughter until it was time to bid goodbye.

That night, she went to the night market with one of her roommates but it wasn’t something that they expected, so they concluded it with a glass of milk tea.

Then, off she went to her new sleeping lounge – the airport lobby.  With empty pockets and stomach (well, she has kept some coins though), and a baggage full of soiled clothes, she had the best adventure, she gained friends (whom she call her angels)  and a great story to tell.

2 pings

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