It’s so weird that I’ve been busy out of my mind, yet when you ask me what I’ve been up to, I can only say ‘not much’. After being here for a month, I’m coming to realize that ‘busy’ is the way of life in Hong Kong. Your job eats up 80% of your day. Since you never have time to see anyone for special events (as in all the karaoke, hiking, house parties, etc. that we used to do in Vancouver), you get together for dinner after work, which is at least 7:30 PM by the time all of you can gather together in one place. Get home at 11 PM, completely exhausted. Sleep right away because you have work tomorrow. And the cycle starts again.
It’s different when you go out in Vancouver. You don’t feel like you’re always in a rush. Here in Hong Kong, I have to leave work right away to get to dinner on time, and then I have to rush home afterwards so I can get enough rest for the next day. I don’t get much pressure from work or family; it’s literally the lifestyle of Hong Kong that’s making me feel tired and exhausted. I think the saddest part is seeing so many people watch TV on their tiny smartphone screens during their commute. That half an hour of the day where I can finally sit down and think about nothing, or read the Bible, or just ponder about life… it’s being attacked by television companies, because viewership time equals money. So, not only do companies aim to take your money, they try to take your time as well.
All of this reminds me of a brilliant article that I came across a few years ago, titled “Why I Returned My iPad”. Some good food for thought:
Being bored is a precious thing, a state of mind we should pursue. Once boredom sets in, our minds begin to wander, looking for something exciting, something interesting to land on. And that’s where creativity arises.
My best ideas come to me when I am unproductive. When I am running but not listening to my iPod. When I am sitting, doing nothing, waiting for someone. When I am lying in bed as my mind wanders before falling to sleep. These “wasted” moments, moments not filled with anything in particular, are vital.
They are the moments in which we, often unconsciously, organize our minds, make sense of our lives, and connect the dots. They’re the moments in which we talk to ourselves. And listen.
To lose those moments, to replace them with tasks and efficiency, is a mistake. What’s worse is that we don’t just lose them. We actively throw them away.
Anyway, like I said, I’ve been busy, but it hasn’t been interesting. Busy with daily life. How ironic.
There is one piece of good news I bring to those who care. I got switched to the Quarry Bay HQ for the next two weeks, and that’s only a few stations away from Wan Chai. Instead of waking up at 6:20 AM every morning, I can get up at 7:30 AM. I have a bit more time to spend in the evening as well. I really do love the Tung Chung site, especially with all the new friends I met there, but in terms of working hours and free time, of course Quarry Bay is a lot more comfortable. Best part is, I can get to church earlier on Wednesdays nights to help set up for our new Wednesday night service!
Before I sign off, check this out. We have snacks set out after service every Sunday, and last week I came across these fruits that I never realized were fruits. I recognized the name of this food, but not the appearance. Date palms! Also known as 紅棗, and usually you come across them in their dried form. I had no idea they were actually fruits, edible in their whole form. They don’t have an awful lot of taste, but it’s quite interesting – a cool, crisp texture, and a very tropical feel to it. There’s a first for this week!