Over the past few years, I’ve been all around the world. And you know that feeling you get when you touch down in a different city… wonder, awestruck, “what-am-I-doing-here”… that’s what it’s always been for me. I still remember, after my first semester of university, I went home to Vancouver for Christmas break. Even though I’ve lived there pretty much all my life, I still had that feeling of “this is so unreal” when I landed in that city. I don’t actually know what it is exactly… maybe its the fact that you’ve transformed your surroundings completely in a matter of a few hours? Or in the case of new cities like Osaka, the thought of being in a completely foreign place with nobody that you know is also quite crazy. The point is, no matter where I’m flying to, I’ve always felt that feeling of fascination associated with touching down in a different city.
I landed in Hong Kong on Thursday night, and everything felt so natural to me. I worked at the airport for a year. i took the Airport Express to Central, then taxi home. Nobody had to show me around.
The next day, I took a walk around Wan Chai. I knew exactly where I wanted to go to buy the things on my to-buy list. I have no means of mobile communication here when I’m on the street (except for the rare stray Wi-fi signal), but I was completely fine on my own. Everything was so normal, and that’s the abnormal part.
Call me weird, call me difficult, call me whatever you like… but that feeling of familiarity rather than foreignness, that is what made this journey fascinating so far.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that Hong Kong has not changed at all. Here’s one of the first things I noticed that was different:
It’s even more weird seeing it, because three years ago I was at MTR working on this exact project. And now, it’s finally finished. The PA announces “The train to Kennedy Town is arriving”, rather than Sheung Wan. It’s the same train I used to take every morning to work.
New apartments are constantly being built. New stores have popped up. For sure, there are differences between what I saw and what I remember. But it’s familiar…. it’s the same.
P.S. I’m feeling exhausted, but also sleepless these days. So I decided to make good use of that time and (finally) compile a video of our airplane! From beginning to end: building the plane, zipline testing, and I also synced the two cameras (on-board and ground). Hope you like it!