hong kong for 3 months ~ Valerie

I’m on a plane to New York right now and I’ve been trying to write a blog post for over an hour but I’ve made zero progress. I’m trying to pinpoint the reason why I’m so sad about leaving Hong Kong and I’m not doing very well, so this post is going to be a gigantic mess!! yay here we go~

When I came back to Hong Kong on May 13th, none of the happiness I’d felt when I first came back during Winter break was there. During Christmas, I was so excited when I took the ferry and saw the familiar HK skyline, and when I made the familiar journey from the pier through IFC to the Hong Kong mtr, and when I was walking through Causeway Bay and was plunged right back into the crowds and skyscrapers and shops with flashing neon lights. In May, when I did all of the same things, it was more of an oh-okay-that’s-cool-i-guess feeling. I don’t know whether it was because Vic (lol my only friend) wasn’t back, or because my siblings were all busy studying for their exams, or because I missed my friends from uni a lot and it was weird not being around them 24/7, or because my internship had just started and as the youngest person in an office of adults who had children/grandchildren my age, I felt really out of place? Maybe all of the above? But at the time, I definitely felt like Hong Kong was no longer my home. I remember telling one of my friends in the US that I was almost 90% sure I wanted to work in the US after uni and not come back to Hong Kong???!

That feeling obviously changed as I grew to love going to work (separate blog post) and as my siblings finished school and started summer break. I loved the routine of waking up at 9, going to work, thoroughly enjoying my time at work, and then coming home at 7 and relaxing and playing cards and board games and just chilling with my family. And as much as I missed my friends all the way on the other side of the world, Skype also became a routine. I think trying to Skype your friends despite your busy lives and different time zones is one of the true measures of college friendships, and group-calling my friends and talking like we were all back in college again really warmed my heart. Also, I will miss the routine of calling my boyfriend after a long day, sending memes to each other at 2am and trying not to laugh too loud and wake my sleeping family, and making him tell me a bedtime story at the end of every call.

ALSO—Vic came back late June and seeing her for the first time in 5 months was amazing. We had genki (of course) and freaked out about the sushi trains, and then did all the usual things we would always do in Causeway Bay—go to H&M, take pictures in sunglasses, try on flower crowns, smell candles, and then get bubble tea and sit and talk about everything. And then there’s the FEELING after every time we go out when I walk back from IFC to the pier—I call it the full feeling because it feels like you’ve had a really good meal and you’re so satisfied and you feel little bubbles of warmth and happiness and I don’t think my description is doing the feeling justice but U GET MY DRIFT. I feel like I say this in every other blog post but I am so glad that nothing has changed between us and distance has only made our friendship even stronger.

I think I diverged from the point I was trying to make… which is that I have been so happy the past 3 months in Hong Kong, what with getting to spend quality time with my family, genuinely loving my internship, seeing Vic, and still talking to my uni friends often—things that I will sorely miss now that I’m going back to the US. But I think what’s bothering me most of all is leaving the routine of staying in Hong Kong and living at home, just like when I was growing up. Being in Hong Kong for 3 months made me feel like a child again safe in my parents’ nest, and while I love the independence that college brings, part of me is also really sad that my childhood is essentially over. I had all of these feelings last summer (throwback to this blog post) and I got over them during the school year, but this summer was like a time warp back to the past/a pocket of my childhood, and I’m sad all over again that I’m leaving and it’s over now (i am such a baby omg).

(also i know that this seems like there’s been no resolution and thus a bad place to end, but I’m glad that I was able to finally decipher my feelings now I can feel better yay)


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