Sleepless in Hong Kong香港不眠夜
More Than a bit of Retail Therapy
There’s William from the USA, Deepak from India and Stephan from Germany. Yes, surely this is the way to true happiness; people, and the good times we share with each other. And with that comforting thought I put my head on my pillow to get some much needed sleep.
After contemplating how spirituality is manifested in today's modern age, I thought it would be a good opportunity to use my hastily prepared trip to Hong Kong as a personal journey into the unknown. Would I have my own spiritual epiphany and find the answers to the many questions that I had for the universe? Read on!
As I arrive at my hostel dormitory, I count the 20 beds that will be sharing the night with me and I meet some of my new roommates. There’s William from the USA, Deepak from India and Stephan from Germany. Yes, surely this is the way to true happiness; people, and the good times we share with each other. And with that comforting thought I put my head on my pillow to get some much needed sleep. 1am: Deepak needs to go to the toilet and turns on every light in the dorm in the process. 2am: Our new roommate from Italy, Benitez, arrives, and turns on every light in the process. 3am: Benitez starts snoring…loudly. 4am: Deepak has to go to the toilet again. 5am: Not only have I given up on sleep but also, sadly, the human race.
The next morning I’m off to the visa office. After the previous night my faith in humanity is all but gone, but waiting for what seems like forever in line to get my mountains of paperwork verified destroys any hope I had left. To get over that I enjoy a delicious McDonalds breakfast and head off to glorious Victoria Peak. And what a sight to behold! The trees, the plants the waterfalls, just stunning. Yes, I’ve found it, being at one with nature is the true path to spiritual harmony. Well it would be, if I ignore the fact that along with the trees and plants and waterfalls were the millions and billions and gajillions of mosquitoes, the dozens of bites that covered me from head to, well, everywhere, and the blistering sunburn on my arms. Looks like my search continues.
So why does everyone want to go to Hong Kong? The shopping of course! Top quality brands at low, low prices. Yes, maybe a bit of retail therapy can help cleanse my soul. It seems to be the fashion at the moment, after all. I take a walk down the bustling night streets looking at what’s on offer. Wait a second…a genuine Rolex, and only 300 HK dollars? A bargain! I pay the good man my hard-earned cash as he sets the current time and I go on my merry way. My next appointment is dinner and I spy a lovely Vietnamese restaurant. ‘Closing time 10pm,’ states the sign on the door. I look at my newly acquired time piece; 8.30pm. Hmm, it’s much earlier than I had thought. “Sorry sir, I’m afraid we’re just closing,” says the waiter as I try to walk through the door. “What?” I reply, “but it’s only half-past eight.” “Actually, sir, it’s just turned 10,” he says solemnly. I take a closer look at my watch. Hmm, the chain seems to be coming lose…is it really spelt Rolax? And correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the generally accepted order of numbers doesn’t go 1, 2, 4, 3, 4, 5. That’s it! On the scrapheap you go, along with all my allusions that consumerism can help satisfy my soul.
So I guess my trip didn’t give me the answers that I was looking for after all. But I’ll admit I did have an interesting time trying to figure them out. And I guess that’s when I finally worked it out. It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey…so my advice? Just keep on going.