Pre-trip holiday

Trip Start Feb 11, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
The Bowles' Other Residence

Flag of China  ,
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Before setting out on the epic voyage, it was decided that a visit to Hong Kong to see family would be a good idea. The plan has paid off in spectacular fashion, with my few weeks here proving invaluable... In the past, I have usually just packed my bag on the day of the trip and headed out, but it seems that six months (plus) on my own requires a tad more planning. Thankfully, I've partially overcome my debilitating procrastination issues and my natural aversion to planning, and have managed to sort out essentials such as a decent backpack and a visa for China. Still, with 24 hours to till D(departure)-Day, factors such as photo storage, compact camera, insurance, packing etc remain worryingly unattended to.

When I was sitting on my own in Surrey, going through the mind numbing process of getting myself a job, I spent much time wishing I was back in HK. However, part of me suspected it was the 'grass is greener' syndrome, and that when I got back here it wouldn't be all that great. Wrong! Within minutes of being off the plane I was loving the buzz of HK. Everytime I come back the difference in atmosphere, functionality and people's attitudes between here and the UK is immediately apparent. Despite the fact that HK physically changes and develops at breakneck speed, the feeling of the place remains constant. In fact, the only thing that has really changed it that for the first time since we left school in 2003, none of my old buddies are back here to go drinking with. The fact that HK remains awesome even without this seemingly vital factor reassures me that it is the number one place for me to be. There is no doubt about it, once I've completed my ACA slog in London over the next few years, I'm taking the first job out here that presents itself. From the first 'Hello welcome!!' to the last 'Bub Byee!!', every visit to HK feels like returning 'home'...

Have spent much of my time here doing my normal HK routine - namely wandering about, going for runs, soaking up the atmosphere and going to the HKFC for a few brewskis. Most notable, went up to The Peak for a trip down memory lane. Considering I spent the first 18 years of my life living up there, I really haven't been back much since 2003. Well worth the visit, brought back a flood of memories of adolescent hijinks. Who can forget the orange artillary, 'The Daisy's' outings, extreme downhill skateboarding etc etc. Great days, great guys, great times! Not much has changed up there, apart from a slight increase in tourists and Peak School's pimped new playground. Also, tragically, Peak Pavillions and Jack's old house have gone the way of Homestead (torn down and replaced with crap, tasteless but expensive blocks of flats). Still, we'll always have the memories eh?

Enough of that jibberjabber! What now, you ask! Le voyage begins tomorrow, with the overnight sleeper bus from Shenzhen to Yangshuo. Have chosen Yangshuo as by all accounts, it is a piece of cake. A very picturesque and tasty piece of cake, at that. Having spent very little time in the Great Red Motherland in the past, and considering I speak shamefully little Mandarin (or Cantonese for that mater), I thought Yangshuo might act like a handy little China decompression chamber. Somewhere that I can sort of feel like I'm in China, but will still be able to order some mmmsoyummy banana pancakes (not really, but you know what I mean).

Ok, am heading out now to buy my ticket, buy some camera stuff and to enjoy my last day of comfort and familiar faces. 'Bub bye' HK, see you in August.

PS - Not sure who will actually be reading this thing. I strongly suspect it may only be a record for myself and a means of reassuring close family and friends (HI MUM!!!!) that I'm still alive. If, by chance, someone I don't know is reading this then 'Hello!' Jolly nice to meet you! I'm also fully expecting there to be some very lonely moments in the coming months, so perhaps some time to think and write will be welcome... If not, then perhaps I'll say bollocks to this and stop writing. The fate of this 'blog' (bloody awful word, it reminds me of trendies who sit around in coffee shops telling each other how cool they are) is uncertain! WHO KNOWS WHAT WILL HAPPEN?!?!
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lnb203 on

Re: Reading the travel record
Hi Janet, thanks for your kind words... I have also just realised that I never wrote to thank you for the lovely note you send me regarding my job offer.. Many belated thanks! It really was a nice suprise to get that through the letterbox, and it certainly made me feel pretty good about myself!

Hope all is well with you (haven't seen you for too long!). Perhaps if Mum and Dad are around in England in the summer we'll see each other then?

Take care,


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