My current view is looking out onto Hennesy Road from floor 2 of a hidden hostel in Hong Kong. Hong Kong gained it’s independence from China in the 90s and has grown into an Asian hub of Western culture. It has the perks of everything you’d want – tall high rise buildings that performs laser light shows, the best view is from across the water; colourful greenery stretching from the flat city roads up to the top of the tallest peak; there’s a gorgeous sea view. When looking out across the water for the light show I let out a huge sigh of relief.***
***Growing up with a sea view that exercises your imagination is a blessing, as soon as I moved to Beijing I realised that I took that for granted. Instead of seeing glittering sun-kissed waves I now see the rays bouncing off of business buildings and hotels. It’s not the same. The closest thing I get to experiencing the sea is a 7am rush hour on the Beijing Subway… people mindlessly eb and flow on and off of those trains like hoards 1000s of Jellyfish that congregate off the shore of Woolacombe beach. When I worked as an ice cream lady on that same beach I used to head in early and go for a run before work. Running along the beach was almost like running across no man’s land, treading with caution just in case I slipped on a blob of stupid cells. If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen the mass of stranded jellyfish on the beach it’s because they face an unfortunate end around 7am every summer morning. Parkin Estates are prized for keeping their beach clean and that comes hand in hand with a litter harvester that churns up the rubbish as it drives along, sadly the jellyfish get caught in it. Jellyfish have no brains right? They’re pretty stupid so I’m sure they feel no pain.
Hong Kong is extremely warm, 23 degrees to be exact and so for the first time since leaving the UK I have been able to wear a dress without all the extra winter trimmings like thick socks and cosy leggings. I even had to pop to Miniso (a Japanese version of Tiger… I could spend my entire wage in there I swear) and purchase a pair of flip flops. Unlike China Hong Kong doesn’t control the hospitality, retail and social media outreach meaning everything is like the rest of the world. I’ve seen a Jack Wills here too, like what the fuck. The only downside to Hong Kong is exactly the reasoning behind having things like a Jack Wills – British people like we have done for centuries, decided to come over and kind of claim it – thus everything is hella expensive which super sucks. I could completely envision myself living here in Hong Kong rather than in Beijing but hey ho.
I only had a short period of time here because I have to go back to work on Wednesday but I spent my full day climbing Victoria Peak, Hong Kong’s highest peak across the islands. About 30 minutes in I came across the Peak Tram Station and my eyes kind of twinkled but I thought “no, you’re going to walk it and it’s going to be rewarding… plus the queue is long asf”. Before I got to that point though I stopped off at a coffee place called J.Co which bake the most aesthetically pleasing doughnuts ever, I didn’t try one though because I’m not a huge fan. Yep, I said it I don’t really like doughnuts. Instead, I opted for a Mocha (classic me) and a white chocolate and almond croissant. It went down very fucking well.
The incline of the route to Victoria Peak is like Cambridge Grove then Horne Park Road then another Cambridge Grove and then maybe a couple of Torrs corners. It’s bloody horrendous. It’s warm and humid, I am wearing a long sleeved ‘thin’ summer top, some 3/4 length flowy trousers, it’s 23 degrees and I’m walking up what felt like Everest. I was sweating like Nigel Farage when being questioned about his initial plans for the NHS. I passed a couple of people on the way up who encouraged me to keep going and don’t give up because it was totally worth it.
They were right the view is absolutely incredible up there, I just wish it had been a clear day because that would’ve have made it 100 times better. Beggars can’t be choosers though. I decided to take the Tram back down because I didn’t think the legs could bare the weight of me walking all the way back to the city. I felt like I’d deserved to go and get myself a burger. There is a little place just down from the Hostel that a girl suggested, she claimed it was the best burger she’d ever tasted and well I’d just proven I had more superpowers than anyone else who made it to Victoria Peak. It was a good burger. I then followed that with a cheesecake. Of course I regretted it after I’d eaten it. Especially several hours later when photos were being taken and I realised I look like a fucking germinating potato. If you can’t envision that google it. Potatoes are gross and fat and ugly, and even more so when they begin growing sprouts.
In the evening a group of us from the hostel went and had drinks together. The first plan of action was to go to a rooftop bar but there was a private event on, lame asf. We ended up finding a little pub called Dusk Till Dawn and caught the last 20 minutes of happy hour which was fucking great. Several drinks later I realised that the painting that decorated the wall were of naked women, but like artistically celebrating the female body and they were fucking beautiful. Ever since I began learning about the body and the artistic capabilities of what a nude female body can hold I’ve just been fascinated by it. I may have taken a little photo and I may or may not be considering it for a tattoo. lol don’t hurt me mother. I met some really great people though – a group of friends from Kansas who are visiting HK during their week of spring break, a girl from Guangzhou, a guy from Christchurch which is super strange because he’s been at the same raves as Jack (an old English friend who moved to NZ). The last of the expats were Adi and Michael and they’re actually heading to Beijing in April so I’m totally going to meet up with them and show them around which will be lush.
The past week and a bit has been up and down like a yo-yo. Perhaps it’s because I had my first proper period in 8 months, pain, emotions, heavy flow… the works. I’ve been on top of the world totally engrossed and drowning in the moment of contentment and then boom I’m exactly where I was a year ago… feeling hella lonely, unhappy and with no purpose except this time around I’m existing in another country. I don’t wanna say too much cause I’ll sound super lame and classic third year desperate Jodie but it sucks man, I’m in two minds.
Last Wednesday I broke out in a really strange rash during the evening. I became so itchy, hot and uncomfortable and then Thursday after a morning gym session I had red rashes under my chin, on my chest, my neck and my stomach. They looked like scratch marks, super strange. Almost a week later and it’s kind of fading, I still have spots and things on my hands and they’re also tingly. I’m thinking perhaps it was an allergic reaction but to what I’ve honestly no idea.
I got a tattoo though and booked in for one next April so I’m happy.
Back to Beijing in 5 and a half hours and leaving this heat is going to be like going through a bad breakup, I can feel it.