PREVIOUS POST: Return To Kowloon, Part 3: Return to Hong Kong
Monday, April 28th, 11AM
On the Star Ferry to Kowloon
Crossing the harbor to Kowloon… to go find Saint Teresa.
Being on this ferry feels like being in Atlantic City.
Old timey English maritime style with life savers, diesel engines, and painted over painted over paint.
Feels like home.
View’s a lot different though.
12pm: Tsim Sha Tsui
Short walk from the Ferry Terminal, through Tsim Sha Tsui, to the metro.
I notice I’m taking my time getting to where I’m going. I could’ve just taken a cab from the hotel.
But with the walking, and the boat, I find I’m turning it into a pilgrimage, without even realizing it.
Until I just realized it.
This is why I am here.
This is a pilgrimage.
It’s a long way to come for fried rice, but nobody does it like Saint Teresa’s.
12:15pm: Fa Yuen Street Market
Neat place, that I hadn’t seen before.
Clothing stalls and junk stalls and no cars to run you over when you don’t look the right way.
God it’s so nice just to be here.
Just to be. Here.
Just looking around
just like a tourist
without even a headache,
with nothing to worry about except
what to eat for lunch
and if I should buy
a cheap pair of shorts
just in case
maybe I’ll go
for a hike later.
I am cured right now.
This is why I’m here.
This is fun!
And that’s it. Fun. That’s all it is.
And man is that a big fucking relief.
And then, I saw another sign.
A sign, above a clothing stand, that said “CP FASHION.” My initials.
And even more amazingly, they were selling a knock off version of my “I FLEW TO HONG KONG AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY BRAIN TUMOR” t-shirt! For only $59HK!
[Note: I may have secretly snuck that shirt onto the rack. But that lady really checked it out for a minute. Who knows, maybe she flew all the way to Hong Kong and got a brain tumor. At least now she can get a lousy T-shirt too.]
12:43pm: Outdoor Flower Market
I bought a cheap pair of shorts! And an even cheaper backpack!
God is this so much fun!
And that is ALL that it is… just a nice fun day in a nice new place.
Fun smells and sounds and signs, like it was supposed to be when I came here 2 years ago.
And it was that for a little bit, but it mostly a lot of a Very Big Something Else.
I’ve been on this street before. Two years ago. With my parents.
And we were walking the opposite direction, and things felt a lot differently than they do right now.
I think I’ll go sit down on that bench and write.
We didn’t sit on those benches.
They look nice.
And so I sat. And I could see a mountain in the distance.
That’s the mountain that I stared at for weeks from my hospital bed. Wishing every day I could be up on top of it, and knowing there was very little chance that was ever going to happen.
When I just looked at that mountain, I breathed a sigh of relief that felt so deep and calm and relaxed and NORMAL that it made me cry.
And this is why I am here:
To experience this place on my own terms.
Only with wonder, and discovery.
As I meant to the first time I came.
Some cloud has just lifted from my head that will never come back.
It is gone forever.
I am alive.
And this is why I came here.
To be alive.
1:24pm: Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
A mosquito bit my ankle back in the flower park. I almost hope it gave me dengue fever, the irony would be too sweet.
But here I am in the bird market now.
A Peacock in a bird market.
Staring at a parrot.
He’s much older than I am. I’m jealous of that.
He just winked at me after I wrote that. Twice.
I think I may have seen him the last time I was here,
with my parents…
They were so worried.
We were walking the opposite way.
We had walked from the hospital.
My head was bandaged,
not more than a few days
from having it cracked open.
It felt a lot different this time.
That old parrot just took a drink, and a poop.
Puffed up his cheeks and showed me his tail.
He remembers me.
And so with a wink and a nod to the parrot, I continue around the corner, a few steps further, and…
I have officially returned to Kowloon.
Thanks, it feels great to be back.
But this isn’t the end…
Just between those trees…
I think I recognize something in the distance…
A nice old lady’s place I crashed at for three weeks about two years ago.
Lots of nuns. And angels. Nurses.
They saved my life.
And they made really good friend rice, with these black mushrooms that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.
I can see my old home from here.