Day off in Hong Kong
I arrived in Hong Kong with the energy of a bag of cement. Our shoot in Vietnam was an extremely ambitious and strenuous itinerary that left me physically and emotionally empty. With Vietnam, I gave everything I had so coming to Hong Kong gave me the feeling of being through a tough break-up where emotionally you just don’t want to start “dating” again.
I had big plans for my day off. Like the rest of the Asia series this is the first time I have been to this destination and there were restaurants and shops I wanted to try, and hiking I wanted to do. But I bagged it all and just walked zombie-like through a city of jackrabbits. Shooting this Asia series reminds me that my travel muscles have gone soft. For the past two years I’ve been working on Great Weekends and traveling throughout the U.S. is a cakewalk. Two weeks in Asia and just coordinating the time to talk to my husband and family is enough to make me wish for my next series to be Samantha Brown’s Florida.
Days off have two purposes 1. To rest and 2. Get prepared for the next show. It doesn’t look like either is happening so I do what I never do on a day off — I get a massage. I ask for the 2-hour massage and when they hand me that clip board where you are supposed to check off problem areas — I mark every box.
I love where we are staying which is a few neighborhoods past the tourist areas and in more of a residential area. The fact that I can drop off my laundry to a small closet of a shop around the corner and pick it up after 5pm is the type of mundane everyday task that I truly enjoy. I know it sounds strange but this for me is what anchors an experience. I don’t do well in totally foreign environments but like bits and pieces of familiarity here and there. Also the fact that we are in one place for 6 days as opposed to 8 places in 10 days makes me feel like normalcy will be returning to my life soon.
One of the best trips we made was to Lantau Island, which is considered Hong Kong yet a world away. The highlight was the fishing village of Tie O. Around for over 300 years, it still holds the traditions of the past. Homes built on stilts line a main waterway. The narrow streets uncover even more gems of traditional life: wide shallow baskets with layers of lime skins drying in the sun. Storefronts seem to be empty, but in the back healthy loud games of mah-jongg are taking place. Men only play with men, women play with women. Time goes on in Hong Kong while time stands still in Tie O.