The last time I was in Hong Kong was 23 years ago, in 1996. After four crazy years as a gweilo it seemed the right time to ‘come home’, precisely a year before the British withdrew. Chris Patten was HK Governor at the time (an odd fact he arrived at the BBC after I did too) .
Coming home was so odd I recall, I hadn’t been to the UK much over those four years and certain things just seem intensified and alien for me. The cold, the British etiquette, the London/Essex accent (I stood out like a sore thumb, still do, always have).
Part of me always longed to go back to HK , but as my 30th and 40th (gulp) rolled by, it just seemed more and more unlikely. At certain times I wish I had stayed, wondering if that’s now just a return to my youth rather than location? But , I don’t think so. Hong Kong will always be in my heart and memories as a special place I can return to.
Life in Hong Kong was totally different to how I live now, in HK I spent 9 hours a week Thai Boxing on top of a roof top and out partying the rest. Now I am lucky to sleep 9 hours a week let alone ‘party’. But its all worth it. I have my daughter, a family, and when I return in just two weeks I will be a much different person, a Mum, a writer. I feel so grateful that I can share that with them.
Get the dim sum lined up for me, I am coming home.
“You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.”
Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong: The City of Dreams