The most exhilarating facet of life is not knowing where the journey will take you. For this food and travel writer, I found myself relocating to Hong Kong last year for work. Moving from Singapore, a dominantly Chinese population, I guess I did not expect much difference. Surely, I expected a more vibrant scene in this bigger city with double the population of the Lion City. Someone commented “Hong Kong is like Singapore on steroids.” It is an apt description. But Hong Kong is not just bigger, busier and brighter. It has its own unique character.
Flying in from the squeaky clean streets of Singapore, I moved into a shoebox studio located in a street known in Hong Kong for traditional Chinese medicine, sharks fin, and other herbal remedies. That was just the beginning of my adventure. The pace in Hong Kong is much faster too, like a treadmill running on full speed.
As I got acquainted with the city, I reveled in the plethora of scents, sights, and tastes it offered. Despite many trips to Hong Kong in the past, working and living here offers a totally different perspective. I managed to sneak in a few excursions and explorations in spite of the grueling demands of work. And before finally leaving, I shifted to tourist mode wide-eyed at the tall buildings, secret parks, monasteries, and hidden attractions. It helped to have a partner-in-crime to explore Hong Kong with Michael, my Polish neighbor, who arrived in the city a few days after I had.
Making sense of my stint in Hong Kong resulted in a video capturing my memories. Even the songs were carefully selected to capture the mood and the reflections of my journey. They were the theme songs of this phase in my life.
To sum up my experience in Hong Kong, I’d have to borrow words from American photographer Henry Callahan. He wisely sums up my sentiment after this chapter in my life, “Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there are no guarantees that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters.”