Sleep­less in Hong Kong香港不眠夜

More Than a bit of Re­tail Ther­apy

That's China - - Contents - Text by / David Searle

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.