Efficiency is what Hong Kong runs on. It drives the people here. A city that sees a good number of typhoons every year, still gets back on its feet the next day, mending and fixing but never resting, in the end leaving little proof of the destruction and chaos that was caused. Different Truths ventures into the Far East from this week. Here’s a new column from Hong Kong, by Suveera, beginning this Saturday. An exclusive.
I open the door to my seaside apartment in Hong Kong after a well spent month long vacation in India, the place where my roots are.
A nomad, I have always been from my early childhood days. First with my father, an officer in the Indian army. We were off to new horizons every three years. Later, after getting married to a sailor and spending months together on a ship sailing from one place to another. However, no matter where destiny takes me, India stays with me – almost like a hangover.
For the past five years, I have been juggling between the two worlds, trying to strike a balance between my Indian roots and now what is slowly becoming a western outlook.
Hong Kong brought with it some assurance of stability, normalcy and perhaps a new adventure. Hong Kong, the vibrant and dynamic city that I now call home. The city with skyscraper studded skylines and stunning views of the Victoria Harbor. A city which thousands of expats make their own and fall in love with. It is this very same aspect which also makes it a very transient place to be in, with people coming and leaving constantly. A place where you make great friends and then also soon bid them a bitter-sweet goodbye with a promise to meet someday again.
Somewhere, Hong Kong leaves you yearning for more. It makes you miss the stability of a family and the warmth and love of long lasting friendships.
I miss my family and my mother’s love that manifested itself as ten different types of laddoos, and an extra dollop of ghee, inescapably leaving me a few kilos heavier every time I come back.
However, these few kilos will soon find their way out, as that’s another thing about this city; its love for beauty and fitness. I look outside my window and can inevitably find people running or hiking and doing whatever they can to achieve their personal fitness goals in their never ending quest for perfection and efficiency.
Efficiency is what Hong Kong runs on. It drives the people here. A city that sees a good number of typhoons every year, still gets back on its feet the next day, mending and fixing but never resting, in the end leaving little proof of the destruction and chaos that was caused.
Things run like clockwork here. People greet you with smiles and everyone does their allocated work to keep the city functioning perfectly. A bit too perfectly perhaps!
I take the bus that arrives precisely 42 seconds before time, to buy the essentials from the ‘Wet Market’, the go-to place for my vegetarian diet. In a city that is predominantly carnivorous, it is indeed gratifying to find innumerable options for the road less travelled. Hong Kong boasts an unlimited variety of food in every cuisine for every budget. From street food for the more adventurous, to a wide array of fine dining restaurants.
I try and bargain in my very limited vocabulary of five Cantonese words and fail miserably! Finally giving the lady what she wants, I leave armed with green ammunition for my dinner, determined to undo the labors of my mother’s love.
This is again an endeavor to fit into the mold of this beautiful city which can make you tired of its competitiveness. Everyone works long hours, running constantly to cross yet another milestone.
As I sit on my bay window enjoying the breathtaking views, it feels like I’m out at sea again, a passenger on a ship that has forgotten to pick up the anchor.
I happily resign myself to the fact that the universe has yet again conspired to keep me close to my forever love; the ocean.
Do I want to go back to my life in India? I ask myself. Someday maybe. But as of now, this is home.
Photos by the author and from the Internet
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