Dear Hong Kong, I think I may have fallen in love with you.
I know, I know–it’s way too early for me to be saying this.
Maybe it’s just infatuation, or an adoration with all that is new.
But somehow… I feel like we’ve made a connection–
Do you feel it too?
I love your magnificent skyscrapers and flats that loom high above, forcing me to gape in awe at your towering heights. I love your iconic neon signboards hung at every nook and cranny, pyrotechnical Chinese script searing itself behind my eyelids. I love your nighttime skyline, when it’s ablaze with thousands of twinkling, dancing lights, your city pulsing with vivacity and vigour.
I love your culture, language and food: how we share a common Chinese ancestry and a host of cultural practices, a post-colonial heritage courtesy of the Queen, and an international city-state status. I love your rich history and heritage, your everyday sights and sounds, your melodious Cantonese that resonates with childhood impressions of my mother-tongue intonations and locutions. I love it when I can understand your commonplace conversations, when I make surprising finds of our similarities and disparities, when I take a bite into your crispy yet pillowy-soft polo bun oozing with a thick slab of butter…
I especially love how politically vibrant you are, how your students and housewives and elderly organize themselves as a civil society for what they believe in. I love how your youths in my university shout in loud-hailers and thrust flyers in our faces, angry and excited and hopeful. I love how your people long to secure a future, one in which they can have a hand in choosing–no matter how impossible it may seem. And I love their determination, courage, and even stubbornness in the face of adversity and authority; as I reflect on the presence and/or absence of my very own.
Yet I also know that you aren’t perfect: you have your own insufficiencies, weaknesses and imperfections that I choose to overlook or which I am not yet aware of. I know that ultimately, I don’t belong to you, and neither do you belong to me. And I know that there will come a time, when another will beckon for me to return; and I will obligingly obey, though I may leave you with much wistfulness.
But I hope that when I do go, it won’t be with a heavy heart; but with one of serenity and expectancy as I look forward to our next embrace–whenever that may be.
For now, all I know is this: I love how I am with you, right here, right now–and I thank God every day for you, and for all of this.