Other lands may return to us a sense of possibility. They encourage us to be more accepting of ourselves.
- Alain de Botton
My dear brother is the mile-a-minute variety of traveler. He is so full of energy, that he exhausts me. He has a plan and a detailed itinerary; breathtakingly well planned. Now, I am the kind of traveler who picks 2-3 things that I must do and I spend the rest of my time drinking tea at cafes, sitting at bars watching people, planning my next meal; generally whiling away my time soaking in the atmosphere. Hong Kong proved to be perfect for whiling away and soaking in.
Iconic Bank of China building designed by IM Pei, seen from Victoria Peak. You get to the Peak riding an old, Swiss-made funicular.
I don’t exactly know what it is about the Hong Kong but I felt that I would be very happy living and working there. And it's the first city in Asia, and only city so far, that I have felt that way about, aside from Singapore. It felt very livable. And vibrant. So far, every city has been an "interview," in which I make a quick judgment call on whether can I live there, would I be happy there, how does this place make me feel.
It's only recently that I have begun to give thought to how places make me feel. The component of "feeling" was dormant in me all these years. Practicality is what drove my decisions - moves were always meant to be driven by the fact that it was a good career choice, or the school was better there so you move or that the Army made you do it (my dad was in the military).
I never gave it a thought when we moved to Denver, never questioned if I would be happy there. I assumed that happiness was/is wholly and completely in my hands. Not driven by the inches of snow, the scenery or any such impractical thoughts (that's the Indian in me - being completely pragmatic. An Indian in Detroit is quite as happy as one in Bali). When I moved to the US, I really didn’t give two hoots of which city I would move too, I didn’t "interview" cities, I had the truly youthful approach of "we'll see when we get there." But now, meeting cities, is like looking at art. I actually pause to think about what emotions this place wells up in me, does it leave me wanting more, does it leave me feeling icky, does it make me question anything at all.
And yes, I started talking about Hong Kong, so here are a few pictures…
I'm lost - help!