Goodbyes

Other than my native New York, I have never lived  anywhere as long as I have lived in Hong Kong. I have traveled extensively and have spent weeks places, even months, but never the nearly four years I have been there.

Hong Kong is really far from New York. I know all about airplane travel and Skype and of course Twitter and Facebook, but I also know that my relationships at home have suffered the distance of these years abroad. However, I am going home and I will pick most of them up where I left off.  When you go home it always feels like you were there just yesterday.  When I decided to go to Hong Kong for a professional opportunity it was a quick and easy decision, but it was never my intention to stay there permanently. I always knew I would go home.

Leaving Hong Kong was a much bigger decision. It is a much bigger move. And saying goodbye was also saying goodbye to this period time in my life, looking back and saying “Thanks for the memories.”.

In the same breath I am happy and excited for something new but I am also acutely aware of the things I will miss. I was planning a sarcastic blog about the things I can’t stand about Hong Kong ( oh let me get in a few) like  the way people walk – no crash- into you on the street,  the way people assault that door close button in the elevator just as you are about to get in, and of course let’s not forget the worsening air pollution situation.

What I realized during my final days however, was that I didn’t want to focus on that. I started to think about the things I really would miss. Perhaps not so surprisingly they were mostly the little things. So little I almost took them for granted daily, but when I was leaving my eyes have opened a little wider to the world around me to really ‘see’.  I will miss the little Ginger cat that sits on a leash at the local restaurant by my flat.

My morning ritual was to pet this kitty on the corner...

I will miss the sweet baristas at Starbuck’s who all know what I order.  I don’t even have to ask. I will miss the very fact of being an expat.

Unforgettable...

And I will miss the buzz and excitement that is Asia. Most of all I will miss some very special people that have shaped my life over the past four years. I said to my friend tonight that I hate saying goodbye, and she said “so say see ya later.”  So “see ya later” Hong Kong and thanks for the memories.

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Top 5 Things About Having Piggy Flu*

So I have watched as this virus zoomed around the world starting out in Mexico, quickly making its way to NYC while I was there in April.  I rode the subways and went about my business while watching the WHO freak out on TV.  I then hopped a plane back to Hong Kong in May where it soon followed me.  I went to China and had my temperature checked.  They actually took a little “doo-dad” (that’s a technical term) to my forehead after I waited on line for an hour and marked a piece of paper that I was fine.  Ironically, it was only those in the “Visitors” line that were having their temperature checked.  I guess they figured that mainland Chinese folk coming from the exact same place I just was couldn’t possibly be at risk to the same virus they were checking the foreigners for.  Some natural built in immunity or secret Tamiflu shot the rest of the world wasn’t aware of yet?  Duh? 

Then the whole thing got out of control and then everyone and his mother had swine flu and authorities stopped checking for it and it really didn’t matter because more people die of the regular flu anyhow.  I am by no means an authority on this nor are any of my statements fact checked – just as an aside.  I am currently lying in bed with this piggy virus and have somehow, though I have a backlog of blogs because I have been moving, reorganizing my business and various other bits, being home in bed I am inspired to write about it.  Maybe because I like to call it the piggy flu. Maybe because I just like the word piggy. Maybe because I have taken so much cough syrup, and have a fever, I am a little out of it at the moment.  Regardless – I hope you enjoy

We’re going to do this David Letterman style. Top 5 Things About Having Piggy Flu (sorry – there  just aren’t 10)

5) Chicken soup for the soul diet.  I think that I will eat/drink enough chicken soup to last me until the next flu and I feel the pounds shedding off me as I type.

4) Getting to spend quality time with the pets.  I am usually so busy, I don’t have time to lay in bed with my kitties all day.  It is truly amazing to me however sleeping the majority of the day how much they do actually sleep!  No wonder they are  so over weight!

3) Cough syrup with codeine.  Yeah baby.  The stuff just….Oops sorry – passed out while I was typing.  See it just has that kind of an effect on you!  When you are hacking up a lung or two, the least you can hope for is something that allows you to sleep peacefully.

2) Quarantine.  Though mostly self imposed – the doc did say I shouldn’t really leave my house for another 3 days (total of 6).  It is nice to have some alone time, I must admit.  Great for catching up on DVDs, sleep, DVDs, sleep – did I mention DVDs and sleep?  Visitors aren’t too keen, but I get a few deliveries.  But when you have to go get supplies from the corner 7-Eleven (that is as far as I go), we have….    

Miss Piggy - Swine Flu or Bank Robber?

Miss Piggy - Swine Flu or Bank Robber?

 

 

1)A hot new fashion accessory!  The surgical mask!  The light blue, fuzzy textured kind with elastic white straps to fit Dumbo’s ears or mine.  Oh, because when you are hacking and wheezing and it is 90 degrees and humid and trying to walk down the street, having a mask over your face makes it so much easier to uh…breathe!?  I wore one today and looked like a bank robber.  People in Hong Kong, rightly so after SARS,  get very skittish when you cough or sneeze or do any kind of germ sharing behavior.  I thought  today they should be scared I might ask for their wallet.  

So if you should come down with this increasingly more common flu strain, not to worry, look on the bright side.  In addition to the fever, chills, aches, headache, coughing, hacking, sneezing and other normal flu symptoms – you have these to look forward to!  

Please entertain me with your comments.  I still have 3 days of DVDs, sleeping, cats and chicken soup left. 🙂

 

*Please note this is in no way meant to be insensitive to those who have a serious strain of this virus.  Clearly for some this is a serious disease and can be fatal and should be taken seriously and if you suspect you have this disease and suffer from other serious medical conditions, you should consult your doctor immediately.