Do you ever get the feeling that everything seems so familiar yet so distance when you revisit a place that you used to call home?
Admiralty, a mix of many government offices and the glamorous Pacific Place shopping mall and office blocks. Apart from holidays and business trips, for fifteen years I spent over nine hours a day, five days a week in the latter, more than the time I spent at home. Now I watch as people take the escalator up to the office blocks, entering into another world. A world that I used to be part of, a world from the distance past.
Down the road is Central, the financial and commercial heart of Hong Kong. The place to work, to shop, to play and to be seen glamoursly. When I first came back to work in Hong Kong, a Chinese who spoke native English had a great advantage in this British Colony. I never had any problems finding jobs in the commercial world. Today, speaking perfect Mandarin translates to background, prospects and relationships, important in the Chinese speaking world.
Across the harbour is the buzzing Tsim Sha Tsui. The prestigious Peninsula Hotel still stands tall and mighty in front of the harbour. Its background skyscraper landscape forever changing beyond recognition. Next to it, The Sheraton Hotel and its distinctive white S on red sign is still there. Many years ago I held my wedding banquet there. An event from the past, a relationship that is still blossoming today.
The only thing that never changes is the Victoria Harbour view. Although its shrouded with smog now, if you can see through the smog, the beauty is still there.
Every time I return to this place I used to call home, I notice something different about it. Is it because I’ve changed, or has the place changed, or have we both changed?