Hong Konged

Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

I arrived in Hong Kong on a red eye flight from Detroit and spent the first night in an amazing suite at the Marriott next to the airport. The following day reality set in when I checked into my first hostel. It cost seven dollars a night but this is part of this experience. Since I am 6'9", my feet always hang off beds but this was the first time in my life my knees actually hung off. The first morning waking up in that tiny bed was different than all other mornings, it was more than just waking up; it was like waking up to a new life. One where I was now in charge of my own choices. The weeks leading up to the trip I started to realize that I needed to be more conscious of my thoughts which would allow me to be in better alignment and balance.  One of my first experiences in Hong Kong was walking through the busy streets during rush hour and onto a packed subway car. There were thousands of people around me moving frantically though the city but I had a calmness that I only experienced a few months before in the Newark airport snowstorm.  Somewhere along the way I started to realize that it doesn't matter what’s going on around you and it can’t affect you inside unless you let it.
That night I went to Happy Valley Jockey Club, which is a huge stadium for night horse races. The track is carved into the crowded city like Central Park, as huge sky scrappers surround the track on all sides. Standing by the rail of the horse track as they pass at top speed is an incredible feeling, I had no idea these animals could move that fast. I was in amazement and it was the most awe-inspiring sporting events I have ever been too.

I have to set up the next couple of days. About five years ago when I was living in Hawaii I went to Miami for New Years and met Cynthia who lives in Calgary. We kept in touch over the past few years and when I was coming to Hong Kong I asked her if she knew anyone there that I could meet up with because she travels to Hong Kong often. She put me in touch with her friend Clara who lives near Happy Valley. So from Hawaii to Miami I met a girl from Calgary that has connections in Hong Kong, amazing how the world works when you’re open to it. I have quickly realized how there are no coincidences in life. Everyone is a teacher and everything is an omen if you allow it to be.

I told Clara to look for the tall white guy and we met in the Causeway Bay MTR station. Usually saying tall white guy works everywhere but especially so in Hong Kong. What an incredible person she is and has been an amazing tour guide. Over the next few days she took me to Stanley Bay, which is a little beach town outside Hong Kong and then for many meals of local Cantonese food. We ended up in a hole in the wall restaurant eating the best fresh noodles and milk pudding in all of Hong Kong. She also took me to a Muay Thai gym for a training session with Fanta a former professional fighter. If you would have told me last week I would be in Hong Kong in a Muay Thai gym working out, I don't know if I would have believed you. It was great to experience a new sport and to stand in the ring with my new friends was a great feeling.

I woke up the next morning and decided I wanted to go to Singapore so booked a ticket for the following day. I can't really describe the feeling of being able to do that. The freedom to be able to decide when and where I go at a moments notice is life changing. I believe that is how we are all meant to live, but people tend limit themselves somewhere along the way. As children anything and everything is possible, but as adults almost everything is impossible.

My last night in Hong Kong was perfect. Clara took me out with some of her friends and I think we drank just about every type of drink you can imagine. I even tried green tea whiskey. We ended up in a karaoke bar playing a Chinese version of rock, paper, scissors. Then at around four in the morning, her friend Melody took me to a Chinese diner which was packed with locals. She ordered some sort of shrimp fried noodles and all I remember is they were really spicy but really good. I woke up with heartburn and a headache, but wouldn't trade either for anything in the world. Somehow I needed to catch my flight to Singapore in a few hours and still didn't have a hotel.

"In the sky there is no distinction of east and west; people create these distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true"-Buddha
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